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Services Planned for Popular Player Presumed Drowned

Sunday Aug 2, 2009 in Amateur Competitions Division II Colleges

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Ocean City, NJ – Plans for a memorial service for Temple University rugby player Josias Sterling are tentatively planned for August 8-9.

Sterling, 19, is believed to have drowned last week off the city's beaches. He was in Ocean City last week for a rugby tournament.

Sterling went missing July 24 while tossing a rugby ball with a friend in the surf. They played near an unguarded beach at Great Egg Harbor Inlet near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge. Police on Friday said he has not been found.

Friends and coaches said Sterling had a strong work ethic and an engaging personality.

Teammate Jim O'Brien played with Sterling at St. Joseph's Preparatory School and Temple. Rugby was his friend's greatest passion, O'Brien said. They played a pickup game two days before the Ocean City accident.

"You never saw him without a rugby shirt on," O'Brien told the Press of Atlantic City. As a player, he added, Sterling was relentless. "He just wouldn't stop. It might be clichéd to say about someone who is a tough player, but he honestly never let up." O'Brien said.

Off the field Sterling was popular and good at his studies.

Brian McCloskey, an assistant coach at St. Joseph's, said Sterling babysat for his four children. Rugby opened doors to the teenager and helped him see parts of America and Ireland on team trips. He was a valuable player, McCloskey told the Press.

"He set the tone. If it was a close game or we were behind and needed a big play, we would look in his direction," McCloskey said. "He had the overall athletic ability, aggression and quickness."

Information about Sterling and his memorial service are at


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