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A coach’s painful farewell to a rugby program he built and the players he loves

The secret was already weighing on him as the team bus pulled out of Washington and headed north Tal Bayer, coach of one of the District’s most unlikely athletic success stories, sat at the front, his pale bald head a beacon to his roster of two dozen teenagers. He called them his boys, and the physical expression of their relationship — cleats, gym bags, rugby balls — were strewn all over the bus.

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