News and Announcements
Schuylkill River has continued our mission to grow the game of rugby in Philadelphia by teaching phys-ed classes at Smedley Elementary over the past two Wednesdays. Club President Dave Codell and Club Vice-President Carlo Sena teamed up to provide the sessions and give the 4th and 6th graders an opportunity to enjoy the greatest sport on earth.
With help from enthusiastic teacher Ray Simpson, a former football star who played collegiately at Syracuse, the kids stayed focused, learned some core skills, and were able to improve dramatically over the course of two weeks. The first week was focused mainly on passing form and refraining from throwing the ball forward. Once the kids understood they had to stay behind the ball carrier they were able to spend more time playing competitive games of flag rugby in week 2.
Mr. Simpson reached out to us after hearing about the Summer camp that we participated in at the Northeast Frankford Boys and Girls Club. A lot of the Smedley students spend their after school hours there and it was helpful that each of the classes had several students who were familiar with rugby so that they could help teach the newcomers.
It’s extremely rewarding to teach someone rugby and then watch them show someone else the ropes so it was great to see then enthusiasm with which the Boys and Girls Club kids helped teach the game to their Smedley classmates. Schuylkill is proud of the role we have played in helping to develop Philadelphia rugby and we are in preliminary discussions to bring an after school program to Smedley in the spring.
Over the weekend Schuylkill River hosted a very successful Friends and Family Day in conjunction with Baltimore-Chesapeake. As reported previously, the wife of Norfolk Blues Captain Eric Hagen recently passed away due to a car accident. In an effort to show Eric some support in this difficult time we decided to put together a fundraiser for his children’s college funds. I am happy to report that Baltimore helped promote this event and was fully on-board with our plan.
A good turnout from both sides enabled us to raise approximately $350 from our snackbar and from raffle tickets. A big thank you goes out to Schuylkill River Hall of Famer Alex Yankowsky for handling the food, and for all of the Schuylkill players who donated items for the raffle.
Our goal was to also put forth a great day of rugby in addition to the fundraiser and we did just that winning the D2 match by a score of 17-12 and winning a 38-36 thriller in the D1 match.
Things got off to a slow start for Troop in the D2 match with Baltimore taking an early 12-0 lead in the first half. Baltimore’s flyhalf did a good job of placing his kicks and we were unable to take the ball the length of the field. The guys regrouped at halftime knowing that we would have the wind and sun in our favor for the second half and we were finally able to get the offense going.
Flanker Pat Bellot helped get things started off by crashing the ball out wide before offloading to the wing who was able to pass back inside to Fullback John Hines for the try. Hines added another try, with a conversion from Scrumhalf Tito Callahan, soon afterwards to make it as 12-12 match headed into the final minutes. Quick hands from Callahan, Hines, and Flanker/Center Dave Gross created space for Wing Mike Centanni to score the match winning try.
The Man of the Match was John Hines and other strong performers included Flyhalf Ryan Tower, Centanni, Hooker Ian Glatts, and Lock Andrea Fatatis.
Tries: Hines (2), Centanni (1)
Cons: Callahan (1)
The Exiles match was a high scoring affair from the get go with Balti’s #5 scoring an early intercept try that was matched by a try from Prop Ricky Schneider. Balti’s 8man, former Schuylkill 7s player Tyler Barberi, was able to break some tackles en route to giving Balti a 12-7 lead which was matched by a rare pick and go try from Center Chino Deal.
Balti then worked it to the corner for a score followed quickly by Brian Keown dragging a defender 20 meters for a try to make it 19-19. Things got a bit dicey for the Exiles from here when Balti’s #22 came on in the second half and really made a big difference as Balti was able to score 3 quick tries to take a 36-19 lead.
To their credit Schuylkill River showed the sort of guts and determination that you expect to see in Philadelphia rugby and were able to answer back. Cody Bukowski righted the ship by tightroping the sidelines to make it 36-24 and Ben Janssen took it from there. Janssen collected a wayward lineout in the offensive zone and scored to make it 36-31 and then he cut back against the grain out wide to find space and score a try to make it 36-36 with 12 seconds to play.
Brian Keown then lined up the conversion kick and put it right down the middle to give Schuylkill a 38-36 lead. Brian deserves a lot of credit not just for this kick but for all of the preparation that led up to it. In addition to practicing his kicking at training every week Brian frequently shows up a couple of hours before he needs to be at the field in order to get extra kicks in. The hard work paid off on Saturday.
Ben Janssen caught the ensuing kickoff and Fullback turned Scrumhalf Pat Boyle was able to boot it out of bounds to give Schuylkill a bonus point victory.
The Man of the Match was Ben Janssen with other strong performances from Brian Keown, Cody Bukowski, Tyler Kelly and Chino.
Tries: Janssen (2), Bukowski (1), Keown (1), Chino (1), Schneider (1),
Cons: Keown (4)
Season Scoring Tally
Tries: Tito Callahan (2), John Hines (2), John Sneh (2), James Brunson (2), Michael Bacon (1), Pat Bellot (1), Mike Centanni (1), Josh Marchisio (1) Yuriy Trimba (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Greg Mininger (2), Ryan Tower (2). Tito Callahan (2)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)
Tries: Ben Janssen (4), Rick Schneider (4), Cody Bukowski (3), Rich Casey (3), Ryan McHugh (3),Pat Boyle (2), Roman Lowery (2), Chino Deal (1), Brian Keown (1), Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Brian Keown (13) Matt Chiaramonte (4)
Pens: Brian Keown (3)
Schuylkill River Rugby has signed up to participate in Movember which is an annual event involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. Our Mo-Team Captain Matt McKnight is leading the way for us in supporting this cause. McKnight is particularly interested in helping to lower the rate of male suicide and states that globally the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Too many men are “toughing it out,” keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence. The Movember Foundation is aiming to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030, and we want to help them get there. If you’d like to help us stop men dying too young please join or donate to our team here (https://moteam.co/schuylkill-river-rfc?mc=1).
Schuylkill River will be hosting Baltimore-Chesapeake on October 28 in a Friends and Family Day Doubleheader at Pennypack that will also serve as a benefit for the family of Eric Hagen. Eric Hagen is the Captain of the Norfolk Blues and tragedy struck his family on October 2nd when his wife, Abigail, lost her life in a car accident. The Hagens have two young sons and all of the proceeds that we generate from this event will be donated to their college funds. Like the rest of the Norfolk Blues Eric Hagen is a tremendous competitor on the field and a great guy off of it. We all need to do our part to let him and his family know that he has our support in this difficult time.
All of the Schuylkill players will be asked to bring something small to contribute to our fan appreciation raffles and every fan in attendance (from both teams) will receive a free raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets can be acquired by anyone, including the players, through a suggested donation of $5. We will also have a snack area set up to keep everyone fed.
The kickoff times for this weekend have been set at 11:30am (D2) and 1pm (D1). The field can be found by setting your GPS to 7800 State Rd and then looking for a small road called Pennypack Path to take you around to the field. President Codell recommends GPSing to “Panther East” and then looking for Pennypack Path directly across the street from them.
It was previously reported that the Boys and Girls Club would be joining us for this match but we have found out that this weekend is their Harvest Festival so they unfortunately will not be able to attend.
In Philadelphia Rugby action over the weekend Schuylkill River hosted the Pittsburgh Harlequins in a match for the Pelly Cup. The Cup is named in honor of Eric Pelly, a U-19 player for the Harlequins, who tragically passed away in 2006. In addition to honoring Eric, many of us on Schuylkill River consider this cup to also be in honor of one of our own who passed well before his time.
Jason “Face” Siddell was a promising player who battled every game and very often led the way with a big hit or a key try. He passed away just shy of his 25th birthday on Jan 4, 2008 and since then many of us have taken to saying his name as a rallying cry before or after our games.
We consider the privilege of wearing the Schuylkill River jersey, and dedicating our effort to Face’s memory, to be an honor and our guys always make sure to put forth their best effort in the Pelly Cup matches in memory of our teammate.
With the local Boys and Girls Club in attendance (read more here: http://www.skillrugby.org/clubs/5023/announcements/1320960-Boys-and-Girls-Club-Weekend-a-Big-Success-) Schuylkill ended up winning an exciting match 38-34.
The scoring started early with Pat Boyle making a linebreak on the first play of the match which led to a try from Ricky Schneider. The Quins struck back with a penalty followed quickly by another River try after flyhalf Matt Chiaramonte chipped over the top of the Quins line and Pat Boyle collected it to score. Cody Bukowski applied a lot of pressure defensively throughout the match and was awarded midway through the first half with an intercept try to put Schuylkill ahead 19-3. Pittsburgh was able to get one back before halftime to make it 19-10.
In the second half Boyle fielded a kick and transferred the ball to Ben Janssen who ran in a try from the midfield line. Pittsburgh’s big number 8 started to get going at this point in time and the Quins were able to quickly score two tries and a penalty to take a 27-26 lead. Schuylkill was eventually able to settle things down and grind out a sequence of 12-15 phases which culminated in another try from Pat Boyle.
Pittsburgh was able to strike back quickly off the base of a scrum to take a 34-33 lead as things started coming down to the wire. Buried in their zone the Quins looked for a clearance kick. The ball ended up staying in and was tracked down by Schuylkill’s Chino Deal who used a nice stutter and go move to create some space for himself down the sideline. Chino found Cody Bukowski in space and Cody was able to finish the play and give Schuylkill a 38-34 lead. On the last play of the match Pittsburgh had a 5 meter scrum and the 8man picked towards the corner. Three Schuylkill players met him there and were able to drive him out of bounds to end the match and preserve the bonus point victory.
After the match Coach Owen Jones selected Cody Bukowski as the Yards Brew Man of the Match while Ben Janssen was voted Yards Brawler of the Match by his teammates. Other standout players included Lucas Brickley, Ian Glatts, and Pat Boyle.
Coach Jones told me “a fantastic ending to the match secured the Pelly cup. Today’s victory marked the seventh consecutive successful Pelly Cup defense for us and today’s game carried extra weight as Schuylkill responded to the playoff loss to Pitt which ended our season last year. Our previous three games had seen us get behind early and make great late game charges. We revered that trend and got out to a lead today which proved pivotal. At fifty minutes in we were up 26-10. In the final 30 minutes we allowed 24 points including 17 in the final 20 minutes. We have to improve how we manage the game and work to play a more consistent 80 minutes. At the end of the day, this is a fantastic win that boosts our table standings and sends us into our bye week with positive momentum.”
Scorers: Tries – Pat Boyle (2), Cody Bukowski (2), Ben Janssen (1), Ricky Schneider (1). Cons – Matt Chiaramonte (4)
Season Scoring Tally
Tries: Tito Callahan (2), John Sneh (2), Michael Bacon (1), James Brunson (1), Yuriy Trimba (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Greg Mininger (2), Ryan Tower (2)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)
Tries: Rich Casey (3), Ryan McHugh (3), Rick Schneider (3) Pat Boyle (2), Cody Bukowski (2), Roman Lowery (2), Ben Janssen (1), Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1),
Cons: Brian Keown (8) Matt Chiaramonte (4)
Pens: Brian Keown (3)