“Imagine a skinny 13-year-old who somehow also has a pot belly, who was a musical theater kid all through grade school, walking onto a rugby field, ready to play. You’re probably thinking that that kid got rocked with this new challenge. But the beautiful part is, this story is not that unique for rugby players,” said Luke Misleh. Rugby was the teacher, and he was the student. Not only did Luke learn the game, but also discipline, endurance, and brotherhood. Bruises, cuts, and heavy hits came and went, but he was always determined to give his all for the teammates beside him. Through his experience with challenges presented on the rugby pitch, he has translated these lessons to guide him through life. Luke played for Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Over the course of four seasons, he played both 7s and 15s on the junior varsity and varsity sides. In 2019, he served as the captain of the junior varsity team which placed second in the state of Ohio and saw action on the varsity side. In 2021, he was served as captain of the varsity side and for the entire Moeller High School program. During this time, he helped his team once again place second in the state of Ohio and earned a no. 7 ranking by the Goff Rugby Report for Division I high school boys’ programs. His play and leadership during his high school career earned him the Man of Moeller Award, given to the player who best exemplifies the respect, comradery, and culture of rugby, as well as being a top player in the program. In the summer of 2021, he was invited to participate in the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy National Invitational Tournament in Elkhart, Indiana.
“Luke has everything you want in a rugby player, size, speed, strength, dedication, hardworking, and a leader. He never misses a practice or a lift without prior commitments. He is deadly around the ruck and scores off them consistently. He is an incredible talent and has picked up the game extremely quickly in the past four years. However, Luke is not only an incredible player but a great leader and student,” said Steve Kuhlman, Archbishop Moeller High School Rugby Head Coach. Off the pitch, Misleh excelled in the classroom and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at Archbishop Moeller. As a member of the National Honor Society, he tutored underclassmen in a variety of subjects and was an active participant in organizing events and fundraisers. He served on the student admissions team for Archbishop Moeller, meeting with prospective students and guiding them through their high school decision making process and freshman year. He also led a section of the student body as “Zehler House” captain, organizing competitions with other student body houses, events, and local trips.
Luke will attend Ohio State University and play for the Buckeyes. He will major in psychology with intentions of pursuing law school after graduation. Wherever his career leads him, he feels compelled to serve as a voice for those who cannot help themselves. He wants to make a difference in the lives of others and is committed to striving to be a peacemaker. On the pitch, he is determined to become the best player possible for himself and his teammates at Ohio State. His goal is to earn the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity during his career as a Buckeye. He would love to crack the ranks of Major League Rugby after college. So far, Luke is well on his way. “He is the only true freshman in our 1st XV. He plays lock and prop and is improving every week with his skills and knowledge. A dedicated player, he makes all trainings and lifts. Good kid, good student. Good club man as well. He’s willing to help where we need it. Setting up practices, carrying gear, carrying water. Quick to pitch in. I think that speaks to his personality and character. He’s a very good teammate,” said Ohio State University Men’s Rugby Club Head Coach, Tom Rooney.