News and Announcements
The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference, which features collegiate rugby teams from Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware played an all-star game on Saturday December 2. Three of the players chosen for the match have previous experience playing 7s with Schuylkill River’s U-23 7s Academy. They are Paul Diorio from West Chester, Kyle Kent from Drexel, and Matt Hughes from Villanova. As an added bonus, one of the coaches was former Schuylkill River, and current 7s coach, Mike Burch. Way to go guys!
We’ve repeatedly stated how lucky our Club is to be in an area that has such strong rugby roots from the college level on down into the youth ranks. Here’s a quick rundown of four college teams that deserve recognition for what they accomplished this season.
First up are the Haverford College Angry Young Newts. The Newts made huge strides this season by going 7-0 and winning the NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization) Division of the MARC (Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference) one year after going 1-6 in the same division. Read more on the Newts big turnaround here: http://haverfordclerk.com/mens-rugby-finishes-perfect-season-as-conference-champions/
Next up are the St. Joe’s Hawks who made it all the way to the D1-AA National Championship game before falling to Mary Washington. The Hawks surprised a lot of people who aren’t familiar with Philadelphia rugby by making it that far, but we weren’t shocked given the talent level and strong coaching staff at St. Joe’s. Here’s a recap from the championship match: http://www.hawksrugby.com/news_article/show/864147?referrer_id=1912572
In what’s a really great sign for the development of the game as a whole, the Kutztown Golden Bears have been granted “Elite Club Status” by the University. By taking that step up the Golden Bears will now receive more support from the school which should help them continue to grow as a national power. More acceptance of rugby by college administrations across the country will only serve to grow the game and make rugby a more attractive option for younger athletes. https://www.kutztown.edu/news-and-media/news-releases/november-2017/rugby-teams-granted-elite-club-status.htm
Last, but certainly by no means least, is a shout out to the Penn State Nittany Lions who ran the table and went undefeated in a very strong Rugby East conference. https://www.florugby.com/articles/6022705-rugby-east-champ-penn-state-caps-perfect-run-but-army-makes-it-tough
In a tournament featuring teams from Scotland, USA, Trinidad, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, and Barbados the elite Atlantis 7s program has chosen five Schuylkill River Exiles to compete at Rugby Barbados World 7s this weekend. As usual, the Schuylkill guys are homegrown Philadelphia rugby players competing at a high level and you can find former U-23 Academy players in their ranks as well as guys who have represented our Club at Nationals on the premier stage. We are proud to see these guys take the next step in their development as players and participate in big events like this.
The aforementioned players are:
Dan “Chino” Deal – St. Joe’s University
Paul Diorio – West Chester University
Cody Bukowski – Drexel University
Brian Keown – St. Joe’s Prep
Mitch Vannoy – University of Delaware
Mitch also gets some extra credit because in addition to playing for Atlantis he’ll be on the coaching staff for the Titans who are competing in the women’s bracket. Great stuff Mitch!
In pool play they’ll be competing against the Xhosa Hurricanes (Trinidad and Tobago), Warriors (Barbados) and Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force.
We wish all of you the best of luck this weekend!
On Saturday November 25, 2017 Schuylkill River Rugby participated in the prestigious Men’s Premier division of the New York 7s rugby tournament hosted by New York Rugby Club. New York 7s first started in 1959 and is the largest, and longest running, sevens tournament in the United States with well over 100 entries annually.
Once again Schuylkill was the only club team participating in a division full of elite training academies and all-star select sides. Our home grown team of Philadelphia rugby players (see below) got off to a slow start on the day, losing matches to the Beltway Elites, and the Northeast Olympic Development Academy but our guys showed the heart and determination that Schuylkill River Rugby is known for and overcame the slow start to pick up wins against Canadian sides Equipe Quebec and R.C.C. to end up in 3rd place in the round robin style tournament.
Director of Rugby Pat Boyle felt that this tournament was a great opportunity to continue the development of our younger players, many of whom have both played for our U-23 Academy, and have been to Nationals with our Premier side. Pat also mentioned that our guys continued to play better as the day went on and that this bodes well for our future when the tournaments we play in will have knockout rounds.
Here is a list of the Philadelphia area High School and Collegiate rugby programs that were represented in the Schuylkill roster this weekend:
High School: St. Augustine Prep, St. Joe’s Prep, Roman Catholic, Doylestown, Coatesville, Downingtown
Collegiate: Villanova, Kutztown, St. Joe’s, Lock Haven, Penn State, Temple, Delaware
On Saturday October 11 we travelled to Pittsburgh for a D1 league match, followed by a D2 friendly, against the Pittsburgh Harlequins. Pitt came into this match highly motivated after narrowly missing out on an opportunity to reclaim the Pelly Cup earlier in the season and to their credit they played a tremendous first 50 minutes to claim a 35-3 lead.
As usual Schuylkill kept our composure and began to chip away at the lead. On a muddy track Chino Deal was able to find some footing to cut back against the grain and score our opening try and Lucas Brickley added one of his own soon thereafter. With 15 minutes to go Randy Helsman broke to the sidelines and was able to toss the ball back in field to Mike Centanni who scored the try in what was his first ever D1 match. Unfortunately this was as close at it got for River as the Quins added another penalty and try to earn a 43-22 victory.
Tyler Kelley was named man of the match for his 80 minute performance and other strong performers included Ricky Schneider, Jeff Hall, Centanni, and Brian Keown.
Tries: Deal (1), Centanni (1), Brickley (1),
Cons: Keown (2)
Pens: Keown (1)
The D2 match was a high scoring offensive shootout that we ended up winning by the final score of 63-29. It was a back and forth battle for the first 40 minutes which resulted in a 29-17 halftime lead for us but we stuck to our structure and were able to pile on in the second half before taking our foot off the gas in the last 10 minutes and giving up two tries.
The elusive Michael Bacon was named man of the match after scoring a hat trick and other players who stood out included Beau Lail, John Hines Jr, Ryan Tower, Dave Hilley, and Dave Gross.
Bacon (3), Lail (2), Tower (1), Hilley (1), Hines (1), Gross (1)
Cons: Tower (4), Hines (3)
After the match Coach Owen Jones offered these thoughts, “we would have preferred to finish our season on a high note with a victory, but away games at Pittsburgh are notoriously difficult. You are challenged to remain disciplined and efficient and we were undisciplined with our attacking platforms throughout the day. With this being the final game of the fall I think it more appropriate to reflect on the entire fall season. All in All I think we are right where we should be regarding the table standings. Coulda, woulda, shoulda with the Norfolk and Potomac Exiles matches, but we have another crack at each of them come Spring. The fall was a lot of hard work incorporating new players into the mix, learning a new structure, and managing players injuries. However, player after player has stepped up when called upon. I’d like to thank all players for their efforts this fall, enjoy the rest as they have earned it, and look forward to our spring campaign.”
I have a couple of thoughts I’d like to add from a personal standpoint. First, shoutout to our St. Joe’s contingent known as the “Baker Bandits.” The Deal, Kelley, Zebrowski, and Centanni crew have stepped up their game recently and the results have been good.
Secondly, I know we talked a lot about our Club structure in the last match report but I think this week’s matches also serve to show how our structure benefits the Club as a whole. Mike Centanni started playing rugby this season and his first ever match was September 30 but instead of playing bits and pieces here and there in B-Side games Tanni was able to cut his teeth playing 80 minute league matches, and because both of our sides travel together he was then able to watch the D1 team play. By giving everyone meaningful minutes, and giving them an opportunity to learn by watching the D1 matches, they’re ready to play when their number is called and we saw that on Saturday when Tanni scored a try and made several big hits in his first taste of D1 action.
I’m probably preaching to the choir here but if you want an opportunity to get meaningful playing time while learning the game, and improve your skills so that you can play at a high level Schuylkill River is probably the only Philadelphia rugby club that provides you with that opportunity.
Season Scoring Tally
Tries: Michael Bacon (4), John Hines (3), Beau Lail (3), James Brunson (2), Tito Callahan (2), Dave Gross (2), Dave Hilley (2), John Sneh (2), Pat Bellot (1), Mike Centanni (1), James Glatts (1), Josh Marchisio (1), Brian Taylor (1), Ryan Tower (1), Yuriy Trimba (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Ryan Tower (6), John Hines (3), Greg Mininger (2),Tito Callahan (2)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)
Tries: Ben Janssen (5), Rick Schneider (5), Cody Bukowski (3), Rich Casey (3), Chino Deal (3), Ryan McHugh (3),Pat Boyle (2), Roman Lowery (2), Lucas Brickley (1), Mike Centanni (2), Matt Giannascoli (1), Jeff Hall (1), Tyler Kelly (1), Brian Keown (1), Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Brian Keown (15) Matt Chiaramonte (4) Cody Bukowski (2)
Pens: Brian Keown (4)