Skill Rugby Hosts 25th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by Schuylkill River RFC on May 18 2020 at 08:50AM PDT

On February 22, 2020 Schuylkill River Rugby hosted a 25th Anniversary Celebration which included players from the original 1995 team and up until the present day. The 1995 team collectively was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Coach Holmes Harbson for the legacy that they created. Holmes helped establish three key principles for our Club that have been instrumental to our success through the years. They are (1) we will always compete at the highest level available to us, (2) politics will play no role in our selections and the best player will play no matter what, and (3) we will never forfeit a match regardless of level.

Following these principles paid off when we won the EPRU Division 3 championship in 1999 and advanced to the Elite 8 in the National Playoffs and followed that up by winning the EPRU Division 2 championship the following year and making it the National sweet 16. These back to back EPRU Championships gave us a unique status within USA Rugby as a team that advanced from Division 3 to Division 1 in a two year span.

Our first season in Division 1 showed that our rapid climb was no fluke when we earned a second place finish in MARFU (now called MAC) Division 1. Unfortunately, a one-point loss in the MARFU playoffs prevented the club from advancing to Nationals for 3 consecutive years in 3 different divisions but in just 7 years our founding members had built a club that would compete at the highest levels of USA Rugby for a long time to come.

Thanks to this foundation, which we have built on throughout the years, Schuylkill River Rugby stands as one of the 10 or less clubs in the United States who can say that they perennially qualify for Nationals in 7s and make the playoffs in Division 1 15s. We remain Philadelphia’s only D1 rugby team, we field multiple sides in league play, and we have several top 10 finishes Nationally between 7s and 15s to hang our hats on.

None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Holmes and the original 1995 team and for that we thank you guys!

Original 1995/96 team members in attendance:
Paul Allegretti, Chris Bailey, John Falco, Matt Hainey, Steve Hardeski, Jack Henderson, Dave Lebisky, Joe Lopez, Brian Mahony, Dom Malatesta, Nate McAtee, John McSherry, Tony Monocco, Matt O’Boyle, Tom O’Malley, Jack O’Neil, Chet Radecki, Chris Steinmetz, Kevin Stretch, Jim Sweeney, Kevin Wentling, Butch Zarrilli

Table Sponsors:
Butch Zarrilli, Dom Malatesta, Chris Bailey, Josh Mastromatto, John Hughes

Silent Auction Donors:
Rob Grasso – Round of golf at Whitemarsh Country Club
Liam Kelly – Dinner at Con Murphy’s
Jim Kernaghan – Round of golf at Philly Country Club
John Falco – Alcohol from around the world
Paul Alegretti – Sixers and Phillies tickets
Spoonie O’Neal – Dinner at O’Neal’s Pub
Carlo Sena – Overnight stay at Penn’s View Hotel/Panorama Wine Bar
Temple Men’s Basketball – Tickets to an Owl’s Home Game (shout out to Colin O’Shea for setting it up)
Ricky Schneider – Autographed sports memorabilia
Chris Bailey – Vintage rugby apparel
Cider Works – Gift bag


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