Goodbye, Max Doerfler

Gone but not forgotten!

Saints Rugby @stasaintsrugby

Joe Best, Writer

On January 28, 2023, junior Max Doerfler left Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, and the United States of America. When he returns, Max will have spent approximately eight months in the beautiful country of New Zealand, far away from friends and family. Even though Max will be missed by many students here at Aquinas, the things he will learn and life experiences he will have are well worth the tears of sadness I know we all will shed. If you have never met Max and are wondering why he is leaving us for so long, or why it’s such a big deal, the answer is simple: rugby!

Saints Rugby

Most of you might only know Max Doerfler as one of the kickers on the football team. Some of you might never have heard of him until now. Whenever Siebolt loses his touch in a game and misses a field goal, Max is sent in to save the day. He has played football for six years as a kicker, as well as a little defensive end and offensive line in middle school and freshman year. He has also done some wrestling, basketball and baseball in middle school. Kicking is one the greatest weapons in Doerfler’s athletic arsenal, which makes perfect sense due to the fact that he is also an accomplished soccer player and has been for 14 years! During the fall season, Max juggles school, work, soccer, and football, which has to be extremely exhausting. Even so, his work ethic and no excuses mentality keep him upbeat and energetic, not allowing anything to hinder his grades or physical health.

Speaking of grades, Doerfler is currently a Principal’s Honor Roll student with a GPA above 4.0, which clearly shows his intelligence and desire to succeed in all aspects of life. Any school, sports team, or employer will be lucky to end up with a person like Max on their side. Since he pretty much left right at the start of the second semester, any school work he needed to do must be completed in order for him to graduate with full credits on time. Some of the classes he will take at Nelson College in New Zealand are the same classes he’s taking here at Aquinas, but not all. Required classes that are not taught over there, such as American History, had to be finished and submitted for credit before he left. That means months of learning and assignments in one month! But if anyone could do it, Doerfler could (and did).

In addition to being an accomplished student and varsity athlete, Max Doerfler is a member of the STA Rugby Club and one of its best and most experienced players. Playing rugby is what led to him getting the chance to visit New Zealand. After touring Ireland and playing rugby during spring break of  2022, Max got the opportunity to go back during the summer with Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, an American rugby organization. The head coach of EIRA recommended Max for the scholarship opportunity offered by USA Rugby, so he applied for it. “Everything has gone fast,” Max said, “and I am hoping to bring good rugby back to the United States [and also] see how I can handle myself in a new country.” All his friends and family are excited for him and miss him very much. I wish the whole team could fit inside his suitcase and go with him, but it’s just not physically possible.