News and Announcements
In the first installment of our off-season player profile series we play 20 questions with Ryan McHugh (with a bonus question at the end for all of you club treasurers out there!). Let’s get right to it.
1. How many years have you played rugby? I will be going on my 20th year of playing.
2. What made you stick with the sport? The teamwork required to win and the family aspect of a rugby team.
3. What position do you wish coach would let you play? Everyone wants to play hooker right? I love my role know but I wouldn’t mind trying center.
4. What previous clubs have you played for? I played for Media for about 15 years.
5. How come people say you went to St. Joe’s but you’re always wearing Temple gear? I actually graduated from SJU, but I was fortunate to coach at Temple and most of my closest friends went there.
6. What drew you to Schuylkill River initially? Aside from persistence it had to be the team culture they had built and and opportunity to play with my friends. I also wanted to challenge myself by playing D1.
7. What’s your favorite thing about being part of Schuylkill River Rugby? Aside from the constant ball busting it is playing for a team that works this hard yet is never satisfied. It was also pretty cool to play for a legit 7s program
8. You have an interesting nickname, where did that come from? In college I was tall, white, skinny, and bled a lot.
9. What other sports do you like besides rugby? College basketball, baseball, and hockey
10. Do you prefer Carson Wentz or Randall Cunningham? The Ultimate Weapon was great to watch but Carson is a generational talent.
11. Do you prefer Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons? Simmons is going to be a multi time all star but he needs to improve his shooting. Got to go with Embid here.
12. What is your proudest rugby moment? Going undefeated in our first season at Media and making back to back trips to nationals. Starting for Schuylkill is pretty high up there too.
13. You grew up pretty close to the Frankford area of the city, what’s it like to give back to your community through Rookie Rugby? It is great. They are an amazing group of kids who truly appreciate our time and are starting to enjoy the game.
14. Tell me what Philadelphia rugby means to you and how you embody that ethos? Just like our city, rugby here is blue collar. We are all about out working our opponent and doing anything necessary to win.
15. Who do you think could talk longer about rugby without stopping, Pat Boyle or Greg “Loopy” Mininger? I think if you put both of them in a van they could make to the West Coast and back without stopping.
16. Who’s your rugby hero? On a personal level it is my college coach Ken Smith. I’m also a big fan of Francois Pienaar and Richie McCaw.
17. Who is your favorite member of the Wu-Tang Clan? ODB was batshit but I’m a fan of Rza , the Gza, and of course M E T H O D man.
18. Give me 3-5 official Ryan McHugh cheesesteak recommendations. Steve’ Prince of Steaks, Phil’s, and Johns roast pork. Steak ums a close 4th of course.
19. What’s on your pregame pump up playlist? Eminem, Gang Starr, Wu Tang Clan, Ac/Dc, Crystal Method and some movie scores like Gladiator and Braveheart.
20. What’s a fact that people might be surprised to learn about you? I hate clowns. Not in a scarred way but a freak me out way. I saw the original It (yes youngsters the new one is a remake) and clowns have creeped me out ever since.
21. As Club treasurer would you like to end this interview by telling everyone to pay their dues? They know to pay or they can expect a call from our Director of Rugby. Haha.
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