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2007

Home Pitch:
Party Place:

To once again honor Coach Shade, the club created the Dennis Shade Memorial Cup, to be played annually on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Harrisburg and Old Gaelic played the inaugural match at William Penn High School. The temperature was in the 40’s, and below a thin layer of mud and grass was frozen dirt. The first 30 minute period was played to a 7-7 draw. Old Gaelic won the second period 21-0. No score was kept in the third period.

Harrisburg had two more warm-up matches before the playoffs began. Harrisburg traveled to North Bay for the Mud Bowl. In field condition with at least 2 inches of mud and not a blade of grass to be found, the teams tied 8-8. The following weekend was a long trip to North jersey to play Morris, a good D-II team who would provide a good test before the playoffs. Harrisburg started off slowly, maybe due to the long trip. HRFC found themselves down 21-0 at the half. Harrisburg realized they were just as good as Morris, and refocused for the 2nd half. Harrisburg scored 15 unanswered points, but fell just shy, losing 15-21. As the #1 seed in the playoffs, Harrisburg hosted #8 Happy Valley in the first round. Happy Valley had knocked Harrisburg out of the playoffs the last two times, and Harrisburg was seeking revenge. The visitors stood no chance, as the Harrisburg defense stepped up big time. Harrisburg won convincingly 20-0, setting the stage for MARFU semifinals to be hosted by Carlisle the next weekend.

Harrisburg drew #4 Virginia in the semifinal. Harrisburg jumped out to an early 15-0 lead, but was cut to 15-3 at the half. Harrisburg played tentatively in the second half, content to sit on their lead. Unfortunately Virginia got within 15-13 with under 5 minutes to play. As time wound down, Virginia attempted a drop kick the barely missed the right upright, and the final whistle blew shortly after that, as Harrisburg celebrated a 15-13 victory and a birth in the MARFU finals against Old Gaelic, who defeated Blacksburg in the other semifinal. In the final Harrisburg once again got off to a hot start, scoring the first 16 points of the game from a Zach try and 3 penalties. Old Gaelic would not go down easily though, as the hosts fought back with two second half tries to close with 2 points. Once again the game came down to a drop kick attempt by Old Gaelic. The kick barely got as high as the crossbar and went harmlessly through the back of the try zone as the ref blew the final whistle. Harrisburg won their first MARFU championship since 1990.

Harrisburg would play at nationals in three weeks in South Carolina. Harrisburg played two lackluster warmup matches before the long trip south, losing to Reading and defeating Lehigh Valley. HRFC was the #6 seed in the USA Rugby tournament, and took on #3 seed Gainesville in the first round. Harrisburg got on the board first with an unconverted try by Zach, and that was the only score of the first half. In the second half Harrisburg scored the first two tries (Cook, Sweger) to go up 17-0. After a Gainesville try, Harrisburg closed out the scoring with the final try of the game scored by Zach again, making the final score 22-5. In the semifinals, Harrisburg played Boston Irish. Boston scored first with back-to-back penalty kicks. Harrisburg missed two of their own in that span. Boston finally broke through the HRFC defense before halftime, converting the try to make it 13-0 at the break. In the second half Harrisburg stepped up their game. Harrisburg gained possession inside Boston’s 22, but a pass to the wing just missed, and Boston got the turnover. Later in the half Harrisburg found themselves on Boston’s tryline, and after several attempts looked to cash in. It was not meant to be however, as the ref was on the wrong side of the pile and didn’t see the try. Another turnover led to Boston’s final try, and a 0-23 defeat for Harrisburg. Boston went on to defeat Mission in the finals, meaning Harrisburg finished the Spring as the #3 team in the nation in D-III. With almost all the players returning, Harrisburg has a very bright future and high hopes for the upcoming fall season. Back to Top


2006

Home Pitch:
Party Place:

Harrisburg entered the Spring of 2006 having not qualified for MARFU playoffs, ending a two year streak. Harrisburg kicked off the Spring season hosting the newly formed Jersey Shore Sharks. HRFC prevailed 34-0 in the contest. The next match, against D-II power Lancaster, would not be so easy. The weather was not kind, as HRFC donned their long-sleeves to brave the cold, wet, and windy weather at Lancaster. Lancaster controlled the game, winning 0-20. Noah Mumma made his first post-college appearance for Harrisburg in the Lancaster game. A trip to DC to play another D-II team, the Washington Irish, followed the Lancaster game. This trip also marked the first (and last) appearance of the Official HRFC Tour Bus (aka Eurovan). Harrisburg played tough, but ended up losing to the hosts 6-34. Harrisburg hosted North Bay the next weekend. Harrisburg released their pent up frustrations from the previous two matches and throttled North Bay 90-5. The Spring season ended with a trip south for the North Bay Cup. Harrisburg was fired up to play, but not as much as the Eurovan, which burst into flames on the way down. Luckily everyone escaped injury, and only memories of the Washington trip remained (although some of us barley remember that trip home). After packing everyone in the remaining vehicles, Harrisburg had a good showing at the tournament. North Bay was defeated 39-0 in the opening round. Next up was Montclair, a tough D-II from Jersey. Harrisburg gave them all they could handle, but in the end it wasn’t enough as Montclair won 21-12. HRFC defeated Pax River 35-17 in the final match of the day. Though Harrisburg finished the season a disappointing 4-3, the Spring proved that HRFC was an up and coming team, and its best play was yet to come.

The Fall of 2006 brought with it high hopes for the club. Harrisburg was on a mission after sitting out the playoffs the previous Spring. Two more teams joined the EPRU D-III table this season, Lehigh Valley (from D-II) and Jersey Shore. Harrisburg opened the season with a trip to Western Suburbs for a friendly match. Harrisburg won a tough game 27-20 to get the season started off on the right foot. The next weekend Harrisburg opened up league play with a game at Whitehorse. Harrisburg wasted numerous chances inside their opponents 22, and could only muster a 5-5 tie, a very disappointing result. Next up was a trip to Lehigh Valley. Harrisburg was expecting a tough game from Lehigh, who played in D-II the season before. But Lehigh could not keep pace with Harrisburg, as the club got their first league win of the season 25-0. Harrisburg hosted Wilkes-Barre the next week, and continued their strong play, winning 28-5. Arch-nemesis Old Gaelic was the next opponent. Harrisburg was down early, at one point behind 17-7 in the second half. But Harrisburg never gave up, and scored two tries in the last 10 minutes to defeat the hosts 21-17.

Unfortunately the high from winning the Old Gaelic game was short lived. HRFC Coach Dennis Shade passed away that night in his home. Dennis was truly a huge part of Harrisburg Rugby, and a great ambassador of the club and the sport. The rest of the season was dedicated to Coach Shade, and the team wore black arm bands during the games in his memory.

HRFC played PCOM in the next game. Harrisburg came out pumped up and dismantled PCOM 39-0 to remain unbeaten in league play. The next two games were Jersey Shore and North Penn. Harrisburg had no trouble winning either one, beating Jersey Shore 51-0 and North Penn 34-11. The final league game against 2nd City was huge. A Harrisburg win would clinch the EPRU title for the first time in many seasons. The game started out tight, with 2nd City keeping it tight and pounding with the pack. The Harrisburg defense was up to the challenge though, and stuffed the runners time and time again. Eventually Harrisburg’s pack wore the opponents out, and Harrisburg dominated possession. HRFC eventually won a hard fought match 27-7 to win the EPRU D-III title, and with it the #1 seed in MARFU palyoffs. Immediately after the game, everyone dispersed to hustle up and get ready for the Sweger nuptials, which took place an hour after the final whistle. Harrisburg finished the record breaking season with an 8-0-1 record. Back to Top


2005

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg & Cibort Park, Bressler
Party Place:

The New Year brings a new club President, Greg Ball, as Bill Pagats finally retires.

The Spring of 2005 started of with a home game against Severn River, played in miserable conditions. The temperature was in the 40’s and the rain was pouring down. Harrisburg ended up losing 7-20 in a game the backs touched the ball maybe once or twice. Harrisburg followed up that loss with two big victories in the MARFU warmup matches. North Bay was defeated 60-13 and the following weekend Harrisburg knocked off D-II Reading 37-22. HRFC then traveled to State College where the MARFU tournament was taking place. First up for Harrisburg was Newport News. Harrisburg ended up winning only 10-5 in a game in which Harrisburg dominated possession but couldn’t pull away. In the second round, HRFC played the hosts, Happy Valley. Harrisburg ended up losing 7-20 against a quality HV squad. In the consolation game the next morning, Harrisburg played Carlisle. Harrisburg lost 0-25 in a game in which many players were injured and couldn’t compete. The club finished in fourth place. The next weekend brought a trip to Wilmington, with Harrisburg losing a tight 5-12 game. The Spring ended with a trip to the North Bay Cup, where Harrisburg lost to Reading, then defeated the Renegades and Quantico. HRFC finished the Spring season with a 5-5 record.

The spring also brought the inaugural season of the high school boys of West Shore United is highly successful. The boys go undefeated under coaches Sean Robinson and Jeff Cook, move up to Division II, and send three all-stars to the EPRU U19s select side: Jon Intrieri, Chandler Norman, and Drew Dill.

Summer sevens include Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, and the Championship at Schuylkill River’s Cheesesteak Sevens. The HOBOS again travel to Maryland to play the Blue Geese, and the women play at Punkin Fest.

Heading into the fall, the club playing field becomes Cibort Park in Bressler. After the March of Dimes Duck Regatta, the club began their season. The Fall of 2005 brought about a much stronger EPRU D-III field, with 2nd City and North Penn dropping down from D-II and the law schools (Wharton, Widener, Dickinson) dropping out of D-III. Harrisburg opened the season with a trip to North Penn, and gave the hosts a rough welcome to D-III rugby, beating them 32-25. Next up was 2nd City, who handed Harrisburg their first league loss 18-27. HRFC then defeated Wilkes-Barre, who are always tough at home, 12-7. Rivals Old Gaelic came to town the following weekend, handing Harrisburg their second loss 14-27. Harrisburg finished league play by dominating PCOM (43-7) and Whitehorse (54-7) to finish the season in third place in the East Penn Division III with a record of 4-2. Unfortunately for Harrisburg, only the top two teams (Old Gaelic and 2nd City) qualified for MARFU playoffs. 2005 ended with the awards banquet being successfully held at the Appalachian Brewery. Back to Top


2004

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place:

The women of Harrisburg officially merge and the club becomes one non-profit 501(c)3 organization by amending the constitution, as 42 members meet to approve at the Knights of Columbus. Honorary life memberships are given to Sherri Magnuson, a founder of the women’s side and referees administrator, and Dennis Shade, coach for 15 years.

Community service includes the Lebanon YMCA Golf for Kids, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, A Golf Hole sponsorship at Shippensburg Alumni, and the March of Dimes Duck Regata, including a photo in the Patriot News.

In the Spring of 2004, Harrisburg once again qualified for Division III MARFU playoffs. Before the playoffs could begin, Harrisburg played 4 friendly matches. HRFC lost the first two matches of the Spring to Division II teams North Penn and then South Jersey (on the now infamous “sheparding” call with seconds left). Harrisburg then hit its stride beating South Pittsburgh and then Second City in the final test before playoffs. Harrisburg then traveled to Newport News for MARFU playoffs to face HappyValley in the 1st round. Harrisburg played a tough game, but didn’t have enough in the end, losing 10-21. In the consolation bracket, played later that afternoon, Harrisburg rebounded with a 14-7 win over Virginia. The 5th place game would be played the next morning. Unfortunately, Harrisburg may have stayed out a bit too late the previous night taking in all the town had to offer, and laid an egg in the Sunday morning game against Blacksburg, losing 8-24. Harrisburg finished the Spring season strong, winning the final two friendly matches over Greensburg (42-22) and North Bay (32-26), ending the Spring season with a 5-4 record.

Summer sevens continues to be successful, winning the Bowl at Princeton, fourth at Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and fifth at North Penn and Lehigh Valley. The HOBOS travel to Maryland and defeat the Blue Geese 17-16.

The Fall of 2004 brought high hopes for the Harrisburg team. There was a good blend of solid veterans and some fresh new faces eager to prove they belonged. Harrisburg opened EPRU D-III league play with a convincing 33-12 victory of Wharton. Next up was arch-rival Old Gaelic. The result was not favorable, with Harrisburg ending up on the wrong side of a 16-31 defeat. That loss rallied the men, who reeled off five straight victories over Widener, PCOM, Wilkes-Barre, Whitehorse, and Dickinson. HRFC finished the fall season with a stellar 6-1 league record and once again earned a birth into the MARFU playoffs in the Spring. The season ended with a fun match.

The club awards banquet is again held at Appalachian Brewing Company, with the establishment of new women’s awards: most improved, rookie of the year, most dedicated, and the Harry Lingle MVP Cup. Back to Top


2003

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: TJ’s East End Pub, Steelton

Spring begins with the St. Patric’s Day Parade and the Ship Coaching Clinic. A farewell picnic at coach Shade’s is held for Coach Steve Foster, who is honored with a framed club jersey.

The club ties, set up by Jamie Forbes, arrive from Wales and PayPal is established for dues and sevens tournament fees.

Summer sevens are again fruitful with second place at North Penn, Mon Valley, West Virginia, and third place at Harrisburg. The HOBOS picnic at the Risser estate becomes the club picnic.

Ducks at Kipona open the fall season as the club moves to T.J.’s East End Pub in Steelton. We move to EPRU Division III and finish undefeated. A Halloween Beef & Beer is held at the Steelton Moose. The year ends with the Ship Fun Match and the Award Banquet at Appalachian Brewing Company. Back to Top


2002

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Pep Grill, Harrisburg

The College Coaching Clinic at Shippensburg and The St Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Harrisburg start off the spring season. The club finishes as runner-up at the Westmoreland Tournament and makes the semis at the Erie Tournament at Edinboro, finishing third – in the snow.

The women are featured in an article in the Patriot News and Harry Lingle arranges for new club buggies.

The summer is very productive as the club builds a storage shed, 10×12, with carpenters Greg Ball & Butch Comstock. The sevens team does well with a second place finish at Harrisburg and a third place finish at Lehigh Valley.

Community service includes YMCA golf for kids, the March of Dimes, and Kipona ducks. A beef & beer is held at the Veraday Club. The club also purchases new sky blue game jerseys. The team bonds on the bus trip to Richmond and wins 17-15.

The year ends with the Ship fun match, which also has the women participating this year. The awards banquet is again held at Appalachian Brewing Company. Back to Top


2001

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Pep Grill, Harrisburg

The year begins with the Harrisburg St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the club float being a flatbed truck, courtesy of Jeff Cook. Another pre-season coaching clinic is held at Shippensburg.

The club travels to the Reading April Fools & Carlisle Tournaments.

The Harrisburg Harlots women’s side is established. Two beef & beers are held at the Dutch Club. The club web page begins and the club constitution is revised. With credit from sevens supplies, goal post pads are purchased.

Summer brings sevens at Lehigh Valley, North Penn, NorFal, Virginia, and Harrisburg. Charity includes a cancer walk for life, March of Dimes, Kipona Ducks, and YMCA kids golf. Joe Pavucsko scores a try in a TV law commercial. The club finishes first in the East Penn D III West during fall play. Larry Sweger again is selected as an EPRU All-Star. The season ends with a fun match that has three full sides, dividing players using lots. Back to Top


2000

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Pep Grill, Harrisburg

Spring of Y2K brought the Westmoreland Tournament in Pittsburgh, where the team went 3 and 0, but did not qualify for the championship game. Figure that one out! Then came open play, followed by MARFU championships. The team finished a disappointing 6 place, losing to Virginia Beach and PCOM, but beating Carlisle. Then came more open play, followed by the Carlisle Tournaments. The team did well making the championship game, before bowing out to Brandywine.

The club’s new jerseys are white with navy shoulders and sky blue trim. Sponsors are Harley Davidson, Pep Grill, and Fosers.

The summer brought Harrisburg 7’s team tournament appearances at Boddington (North Penn), Bethlehem (Lehigh Valley), Brawn Mawr (2nd City Troop), and Harrisburg. The summer highlight was a championship appearance at the Boddington tournament, which resulted in an overtime lost to Reading.

Fall begins with the Kipona Rubber Duckie Regatta and Beef & Beer at the Dutch Club. The Army Select side from all over the world has trials at the Gap. We host them under the lights at City Island, as their probables play our A’s and the possibles play our B’s. The event ends with a banquet at the Pep Grill. Not to be outdone by the Harrisburg Rugby Club, Mayor Steve Reed makes all of the Army Selects honorary citizens of Harrisburg at another banquet held at Appalachian Brewing Company. The Army side then goes on to Florida, winning the Interservice Championship.

Harrisburg’s fall season begins with a College Coaching Clinic at the Gap, led by Coach Dennis Shade and Scott Stratton, with students from East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Bucknell, and Shippensburg attending. The season also brought on the challenge of Division II play. The team went 3 and 5 overall with a 2 and 5 in division play with wins over Doylestown and 2nd City Troop. Although, not a successful season filled with victories, the team proved they belonged in Division 2. The new players, such as Mike Archbold (set a new team record with 23 tries in 2000), Brian Brucher, Eric Jones, Steve Baker, Steve Stewart, Justin Prudhomme, Andy Briggs, Tom Murphy, Steve Croshere, Ken”JR” Hill, and Justin Jacobson show Harrisburg a rugby team on the way up in Division II.

The awards banquet is held at Appalachian Brewery with Honorary Lifetime Memberships awarded to: Mike Snyder, Chairman of the Sevens Tournament; Wade Edris, HOBOS & Coaching; Harry Lingle, Overall Club Service; Bill Pagats, 30 years as President; and Jeff “Russell” Bucks, 20 years as Field Chairman. Back to Top


1999

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Pep Grill, Harrisburg

The spring brings MARFU D III Championships at Media, where Harrisburg finishes fourth. At the Carlisle Old Gaelic Tournament, the club loses in the plate final, finishing sixth. Bob Rhubright moves into second in season trys with 12, followed by Larry Sweger in third with 10 trys. Jeremy Beacher takes second for season points with 125 and finishes with 205 for the year.

The summer of 1999 started out with a visit to the Boddington/North Penn’s Tournament. Harrisburg made a respectable showing by making it to the semi-final game before bowing out in a close game with the Caribbean Cougars, 14-19. The team also traveled to Bryn Mawr and Lehigh Valley.

Fall began with Kipona’s Duck Pluck and the Lancaster Tournament. The fall opens well as the club starts out going undefeated in division play. Then came a World Cup Tour to Ireland with visits in Dublin, Port Arlington, The Cliffs of Mohr, and New Castle West. The club plays games against the Robinsons relatives at Port Arlington, New Castle West, and the University of Limmerick. We saw the games of Romania vs USA, Ireland vs Australia, and Australia vs USA. It was a time filled with many memories, including Jim Dopkins karaoke singing “Chocolate Salty…”. Upon returning to Harrisburg, we played 3 playoff games, beating Wilmington and Reading and then losing in the championship game to Schuylkill River. The club again qualifies for MARFU D IIIs and moves up to D II. We see Larry Sweger play flanker at the East Penn All-Stars. Back to Top


1998

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Pep Grill, Harrisburg

The club’s Most Improved Player Award is dedicated “The Chris Ambrosia Memorial”, as Fifteen HOBOS honor him with a trip to Ohio.

The spring opens with the third place trophy at Erie Day’s Tournament, and is capped with a third place finish at the MARFU Division III Championship at Frederick Maryland.

The Summer is busy with the Allentown Sports Festival, plate winners at Harrisburg Sevens, and Social Champions at Lehigh Valley Sevens. The first HOBOS picnic is held at the Risser Estate.

Kipona opens the fall as the club plucks bucks for the March of Dimes at the Rubber Duck Regatta. Jeremy Beacher leads the team with 186 points for the year, moving into second place. This leads to the West Championship of the East Penn DIII and a MARFU qualifier under head coach Dennis Shade.

The 30th Anniversary Banquet is held at The Pep Grill with a surprise showing by Elvis! Back to Top


1997

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Pep Grill, Harrisburg

A new era begins as the team moves to downtown Harrisburg with the Pep Grill becoming the teams main sponsor. To show our appreciation, the club donates their time and paints the exterior of the “Pep”. At this time, the club also adopts an alternative game jersey – solid navy with sky blue collars.

Summer sevens brings a seventh place finish at the Harrisburg Sevens Tournament and a third place finish at Second City’s Bryn Mawr Cup.

The first seasonal club program is published by Tom Wenger. Fall pre-season begins with a trip to Erie to bring home the trophy for the Championship at the Erie Day’s Tournament. The club then travels to the Lancaster Tournament, defeating Carlisle 24-7. In EPRU Divisional West Play, Harrisburg placed second and qualified for the Mid-Atlantic MARFU Divisional Championships.

The team is led by Geoff Welsh’s 73 points and Jamie Forbes’ 10 trys. Jamie is again selected for the All-Marines in Florida where he becomes team MVP. The club holds another medieval banquet at Bube’s to end the year. Back to Top


1996

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Ridge Run Inn, Hershey

The year begins with a tour to Louisiana for the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Tournament, followed by traveling to Erie, Pennsylvania for the “We Love Erie Days” tournament, where the club is runners up. The HOBOS again play at Carlisle, where they reach the semi-finals.

The Harrisburg Rugby webpage is established.

Harrisburg finishes tied for second place in EPRU Division II, led by Jeremy Beacher who moves into second place with 108 points for the season. Brian Bishop moves into third with 8 trys for the season, and Sai Montagna has 10 trys for the year.

Flanker Jamie Forbes plays select side in Florida for the All-Marines at the Military Championships. Another medieval banquet at Bube’s. After 19 years as match secretary, Jim “MoGo” McGovern resigns and is given an honorary lifetime membership. Back to Top


1995

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Ridge Run Inn, Hershey

The HOBOS (Harrisburg Old Boys Occasional Side), led by Jeff “Russell” Bucks, play their first official tournament games at Carlisle, beating Lancaster Old Boys and Old Gaelic Rugby Emeritus Side. In addition, the club takes third place. The after game socials move to Sylvia’s Ridge Run Inn.

Summer sevens brings a Bryn Mawr Cup Championship at Second City and a fourth place finish at the Harrisburg Sevens Tournament.

The fall opens with the fifteen’s side winning the bowl at the Lancaster Amishland Tournament. Larry Sweger is sent to play flanker at the EPRU select side All-Stars. Greg Ball scores 10 try for the year. The Awards Banquet is again held at Bube’s Brewery. Back to Top


1994

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Ridge Run Inn, Hershey

The club host the United Kingdom’s Insurance Offices Touring Side at City Island, losing a tough 10-34 battle. They hold a kangaroo court at the Paradise Alley Banquet, as the club watches game clips on TV – ABC 27 Sports.

The club is Division Champs at Carlisle’s Tournament, losing in the semi’s. Summer sevens bring the Championship Bryn Mawr Cup at Second City, and a Bowl Plaque from Harrisburg Sevens, which included a women’s bracket for the first time.

The Fall brings a second place in East Penn Division II West with wins over Brandywine 34-10 and Happy Valley 69-0. Back to Top


1993

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Ridge Run Inn, Hershey

The club hosts the Keystone State Collegiate Challenge Allegheny vs East Penn. The March blizzard snow covers the pitch as Bloomsberg defeats Juanita. The Division I and Collegiate All-Stars consider the field unplayable and refuse to play. The club then moves to Paradise Alley and win the Plate Championship at the Carlisle Old Gaelic Tournament.

Summer sevens brings the Plate from Severn Maryland and fourth at Harrisburg Sevens. The club also worked at Hershey Park again. New editions to the club include the new hot tub at Bressi’s for the picnic and a scrum sled built by Craig Braidigan and Mike Bowser.

Alex Yankowsky becomes an EPRU Select Side All-Star. After sixteen years as Treasurer of Harrisburg Rugby, Mike Bressi is awarded an honorary life time membership to the club. Back to Top


1992

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Ridge Run Inn, Hershey

Spring brings wins over Severn River 31-20 and Carlisle 21-9. At the Carlisle Old Gaelic Classic, Harrisburg wins the Championship, and John Murcavage is named MVP. The club also travels to New York by bus for the Dead Ants Tournament.

Under Chairman Jay Abom, the Harrisburg Sevens Tournament moves to Fort Indiantown Gap. The new grounds are christened with a win by Harrisburg. Further in the year, a win over Baltimore brought about a fourth place finish in Division II of the EPRU.

Alex Yankowski moves into second place with 9 trys in the spring and John Terrell scores 105 points. The Capitol Area Women are established. Additionally, the club moves its socials to the Ridge Run Tavern and sells Pennsylvania Rugby license plates. Back to Top


1991

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Ridge Run Inn, Hershey

The team win streak extends to a total of 36 in a row. The club does well in tournaments – third at the Batavia, New York Dead Ants Tournament, Plate winner at Carlisle, and the semi-finals at the Virginia Commonwealth Cup. On a sad note, the stuffed club mascot, R.K. was cremated on May 4th at 11:45pm in the farewell bonfire for scrum half Craig Herring.

The Harrisburg Sevens Tournament moves to the New Cumberland Army Depot with the hosts finishing in second place with a win over Lancaster 19-6. Additionally, the club works at Hershey Park as a fund raiser, and holds their picnic at the Bressi pool.

Tony Trost moves into third place with 14 trys for the year. An honorary membership was given to Hal Risser for his efforts with sevens facilities set up. Back to Top


1990

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Luigi’s Pizza Pub, Middletown

The Spring of 1990 was an undefeated season extending the regular season winning streak to 16 in a row. Tournaments that Spring included the Virginia Commonwealth Cup; a second place in the consolation division and the singing trophy at the Dead Ants Tournament, Batavia, N.Y.

The summer included the Fun Run and Sevens at Rockaway, N.J., and a fourth place finish at the Harrisburg Sevens Tournament.

Fall proved Harrisburg’s strength with another undefeated season capping off an undefeated year with 17 wins, including a win at Frederick, Maryland (49-6). The team scored a club record 336 points in the Fall led by Mark Nuttall’s season point record of 135 points and year record of 238 points, and Bill Bennett’s 15 trys. Harrisburg defeated Western Suburbs 28-6 for the Division II Mid-Atlantic Championship. The record season was accentuated with the fourth tour to Freeport, Bahamas where the hosts were shocked by a 6-6 tie.

Harrisburg continued its Division II march to Orlando, Florida with a 27-4 semi-final win over Battleship of Mobile, Alabama. In the finals Harrisburg lost a close 9-20 match to Amoskeag of Manchester, New Hampshire, finishing as Eastern US Rugby Union Runner-Ups. Back to Top


1989

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Luigi’s Pizza Pub, Middletown

The spring includes a Plate Championship at the Carlisle Tournament and a 50-0 win over Chambersburg. The Penn State Fun Run, a Thanksgiving trip to the New York Sevens, and the Lancaster Tournament.

In the fall, Harrisburg began their win streak with nine in a row, out scoring their opponents 272 to 49. This led to a Division III championship and move up to Division II.

The club adopts a new mascot, a stuffed cat names R.K. (Road Kill). John Terrell moves into second place for team try with 8 for the season and 11 for the year. Mark Nuttallsets captures the new point record with 125 for the season and 162 for the year. Back to Top


1988

Home Pitch: Penn State Harrisburg
Party Place: Luigi’s Pizza Pub, Middletown

Harrisburg moves their socials to Luigi’s Pizza Pub, takes second at the Carlisle Tournament, and defeats Reading 20-8. The Harrisburg Sevens Tournament is expanded to 16 teams and is held at Shenk Park in Hershey for the next three years. Harrisburg finished fifth.

With a 13-0 shut out of Carlisle, Harrisburg finished second in Division III of the EPRU and is featured in a newspaper article on August 22nd.

President W.A. (Bill) Pagats donates a new club award, “All Guts, No Brains” for the most games played (both A & B sides) – winner is Randy Nolan.

The years ends with the club’s third overseas tour to Freeport, Bahamas and the Awards Banquet. Back to Top


1987

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: Rosie’s Lamp Post, Middletown

The club play at the Carlisle and Lancaster tournaments, raises $200 for the Penn State Fun Run, and has the first Unfriendly Open Golf Tournament, arranged by Mike Snyder, Harry Lingle, and Russell Bucks.

The inaugural Harrisburg Rugby Sevens Tournament, with eight teams, was held at the Middletown Pitch. Harrisburg finished 5th in the inaugural tournament.

President Pagats takes a teaching sabbatical and Wade Edris is named Interim President. Back to Top


1986

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: Rosie’s Lamp Post, Middletown

Hitoshi Sakai, a Nuclear Engineer at the TMI clean-up teaches the club “Father Abraham” in Japanese. A new club logo design with the city skyline, US flag, and cooling tower is adopted.

Harrisburg plays in the Lancaster and Carlisle Tournament, have the hog roast and picnic at Tony Trost’s, and with wins over Lancaster 12-3 and Carlisle 10-3, Harrisburg finishes second in Division III West.

At the Awards Banquet, the club presents Penn State Harrisburg Athletic Director Bud Smitley a check for participation in the Fun Run. Back to Top


1985

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: Rosie’s Lamp Post, Middletown

Harrisburg wins third place at the Carlisle Garlic Tournament (trophy was misspelled – supposed to read Carlisle Gaelic Tournament), and also shuts out Wilmington 24-0.

A busy summer with the picnic at Tony Trost’s, the Hog Roast, the PSU fun run resulting in a $400.00 donation to Penn State Capitol Campus, and the Hibernians Sevens. Four players represent Harrisburg at the Keystone State Games: Ron Rash, Glenn Williams, Wade Edris, Ron Luenberger, and Coach Bill Pagats.

Fall includes the Lancaster Tournament. Timmy Seesholtz moves into second place in try scoring for the year with 11. The Awards Banquet returns under Tom Gallagher, after an eleven year lapse, hosted at St. Catherines. Back to Top


1984

Home Pitch: Penn State Capitol Campus
Party Place: Rosie’s Lamp Post, Middletown

The Club hosts the MARFU Collegiate Challenge. Potomac vs East Penn at the Middletown pitch. Field is well marked and 8 teams play for the championship of Division I and Division II.

Harrisburg defeats the Merchant Marine Academy 26-3, Lancaster 20-3, and play at the Buffalo Valley Tournament.

Captain Frank Kelly is given a farewell plaque before his return to Ireland. The team picnic and hog roast is held in the summer. Two year old Brandon Risser thrills the crowd by singing “The Little Grey Mouse” between bar waves at Rosie’s Lamp Post.

Duane Pelletier set new club records for try in a season at 14, try for the year at 19, points for the fall at 86, points for the year at 122. This effort led to an undefeated Fall EPRU season, winning Division IV and thus moving up to Division III.

This year, Harrisburg sent four representatives to the Keystone State Games: Ron Rash, Ricky “Rugby” Wilhelm, Tim Seesholtz, Paul Kruis, and Coach Bill Pagats. Back to Top


1983

Home Pitch: Penn State Capitol Campus
Party Place: Jednota

Harrisburg wins its first tournaments at Buffalo Valley’s Pennsylvania Classic and the Carlisle Tournament.

The first club silkscreened golf shirts emerge. The club defeats Baltimore 23-0. This year is the 4th Yeich Raft Trip, another Fuzzy Few Carnival, and in the Spring, the club hosted the first of four Annual Hog Roasts. Mogo purchases a dozen Guinness sweaters in Ireland.

The Dirty Dozen Division IV Matrix Match vs South Jersey. Harrisburg has only 12 players vs South Jersey and have a choice to play with 12 or take 3 players and forfeit. The club chooses to play with 12. Score at half is 0-14 and in the second half Harrisburg outscores them 4-3 and put out two South Jersey players.

The club sent 6 players to the Keystone State Games: Ken Waple, Tom Gallagher, Paul Kruis, Tim Seashore, Harry Lingle, and Coach Bill Pagats. Back to Top


1982

Home Pitch: Penn State Capitol Campus
Party Place: Jednota

Two new club awards are established: Most Improved Player – Ron Rash; Rookie of the Year (no previous rugby experience) – Alan Cahall. The Carlisle game is played at City Island, along with the Lancaster and Penn State PHYRS Cup Tournaments, and the Fuzzy Few Carnival. New Med Center Post Doctor and future Captain Frank Kelly teaches players proper Guinness consumption. Harry Lingle sets new club point record for the year at 85. Back to Top


1981

Home Pitch: Penn State Capitol Campus
Party Place: TMI Inn, Middletown

During the spring of 1981, the team finished runner-up at Buffalo Valley’s Pennsylvania Classic, as Chris Ambrogi – scrum half – does not get a try on a push over the scrum in the final.

In the fall, the club builds Penn State Capitol Campus dugouts for the baseball team as a donation for the field and light usage. After match table slides at Londonderry Fire House and Bath Room Jam at Wilmington. 18 people including Russell & Pagats. Hawaii Brian LaPorte sings a fake Japanese version of “Swing Low” at the Yeich Raft Trip. Shut out Carlisle 15-0 and Buffalo Walley’s Timmy Conrad gives Russell Bucks beard burrs. Harry Lingle sets season scoring record at 69. The club moves to EPRU Division IV. Back to Top


1980

Home Pitch: Penn State Capitol Campus
Party Place: Dom N Nick’s, Hummelstown

The Spring opens with the legendary West Virginia bus trip. “Was that Barbara Mandrell sitting on…” The before and after mud bowl wall plaque was the result, after defeating Reading 14-7. The party moves to Jim “MoGo” McGovern’s.

The club celebrated the first anniversary of T.M.I. with a replica of the plant cake and a TV crew. Not a place for a rugger, as they sell the reporter a raffle ticket and take a bite out of the cooling tower.


The Buffalo Valley Pennsylvania Classic results in third place as Harrisburg defeats the Hibernians 35-10, Monmouth 19-11, and Carlisle 14-10 (and again in the fall, 16-7), on the way to a 9-3 record.

The summer brings The Fuzzy Few Carnival, the HIBO’s Sevens, and The Monmouth Tournament. The “B” Team wins their division of the East Penn Championship.

In the fall, a club social record was set by drinking 34 half kegs. Mike Bressi set the club try record with 8 for a season and 10 for the year. John Hredzak set the scoring record of 71 points for the year.

The second overseas tour to Freeport, Bahamas occurs over Thanksgiving. The club toasts the Canadian cable TV at poolside with “Bark at the Moon”. Back to Top


1979

Home Pitch: Penn State Capitol Campus
Party Place:

Harrisburg’s pitch moved to Penn State Capitol Campus, where we were also able to use the lights. After the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the club continued to practice and play within a mile. Blackthorn visits a week later, traveling by bus. As they exit, they are all costumed in radiation gear, complete with face masks and yellow foot covers. “Radioactive” rugby – we glow in the dark. The TMI cooling towers earn a spot on the club logo.

Harrisburg wins the Singing Trophy at the Buffalo Valley/Bucknell Pennsylvania Classic, due to a lack of travel vehicles while Wade Edris has an eye welt. All the other clubs run out of tunes as we sit and wait for their return, winning easily.

Harrisburg served as hosts for the Mid-Atlantic Men’s Club Championships. The second touring side visits from Camberly, England, playing games for social and McDevitt High School. The Fuzzy Few Carnival leads into the Monmouth New Jersey Tournament, as the club moves to EPRU Division III. Back to Top


1978

Home Pitch: Lower Dauphin High School
Party Place: Hummelstown VFW & Rosie’s Lamp Post, Middletown

The new club President is Bill Pagats, who will serve until 2004. This is a season of firsts. First Club Trophy, First Club Patch, First Overseas Rugby Tour, and First two player East Penn Select All-Stars.

In the spring of 1978, the club won their first trophy – taking third place at the Wilkes Barre Cherry Tournament. That fall had their highest finish at the Borderer’s Tournament, making it to the semi-finals in the consolation bracket by beating Flint, Michigan. Harrisburg also has two EPRU All-Stars’, Prop Lenny Snyder and Fullback Chad Keck. Later that fall Harrisburg embarked to the Bahamas in November on a tour to play the Freeport side.

1978 also brought the infamous Mud Bowl, played at Lower Dauphin vs. Blackthorn. Captain Carl Collins introduced a club mascot, “Stretch Armstrong”. Back to Top


1977

Home Pitch: Lower Dauphin High School
Party Place: Hummelstown VFW

The new club President is Bill Threthaway and they new pitch is at Lower Dauphin High. The club found itself playing in the Wilkes Barre Cherry Blossom Tournament and getting to the semi-finals of the EPRU “knock-out cup”, losing to Bethlehem 4-28.

The club held a fundraiser, The Water Balloon Toss, at the Hummelstown Fuzzy Few Carnival. Winners received either a lei or one of Pagat’s cheap cigars.

Also, in 1977 Harrisburg was able to boast its first EPRU All-Star select side player, Flanker Ed Smart.

At Borderer’s, Harrisburg defeated Miami of Ohio 4-0. ARMY Scholarship Med Center student, John Weatherby MD, is presented wit his own Harrisburg Jersey as a farewell gift. He played for the club for four years and always borrowed somebody’s jersey.

High school rugby at Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt.


1976

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: Hummelstown VFW

Harrisburg continues to play with good numbers, playing three “C” games, defeating Buffalo Valley 23-6, and shutting out Carlisle 18-0. In Canada at the Borderer’s Tournament, the club plays Chesapeake to a 0-0 tie.


1975

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: Hummelstown VFW

The club continues its winning ways both in the Spring and in the Fall, having winning records, finishing 11-9 for the year. Wins over Penn State (24-3) and Carlisle (36-4). The club also had enough players to play 5 “C” games in the spring. Labor Day brought another trip to Canada, as well. Back to Top


1974

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: Hummelstown VFW

Brad Miller becomes President, leading the club to its first winning season in the Spring. The club wins the Harrisburg Invitational Tournament, defeating Blackthorn 12-7, and additionally play six “C” games. Over Labor Day, the club again travels to Canada for the Borderer’s Tournament. Gary Wallish sets the club record for season trys with 5, and Rick Corrado sets the season points record at 46. The club holds its first end of the year awards banquet at Schindlers. Back to Top


1973

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: The Pub, Hummelstown

In the spring of 1973 under the presidency of Ed Smart, the inaugural Harrisburg Rugby Invitational Tournament was held at the Hershey Medical Center Field. The tournament was inspired by suggestions from the visiting Irish side and was won by Harrisburg. The club also hosted the select side match at the Med Center, which was won by the EPRU 14-7 over Potomac.

The Club’s first picnic was held at the Middletown Hunters and Anglers.

During the Fall, 19 games were played, including four at the Borderer’s Tournament in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The Welsh Under 19s coach, Don Devereux, was brought over to visit. This led Harrisburg to the EPRU semi-finals of the “knock-out cup”, under full-time (non-playing) coach Brian Lloyd. Lloyd became Harrisburg’s second honorary lifetime member. Back to Top


1972

Home Pitch: Hershey Medical Center
Party Place: The Pub, Hummelstown

Tom Davis becomes President. During this formation period, a former Rugby League player, Ken Kershaw, was instrumental in acquiring John Williams, the Welsh Junior Coach, to visit the Harrisburg Club. His coaching served the club well when they hosted Drogheda, Ireland. Harrisburg lost the game by a close margin at the Cedar Cliff High stadium on October 18, 1972. The Irish visited the Midstate for four days with game proceeds going to benefit the Harrisburg Flood Relief Fund. Back to Top


1971

Home Pitch:
Party Place:

The club’s first trophies are awarded. The President’s Cup was donated by Dr. Reidell for the Most Valuable Player and was won by Jeff Geiman. The Britanni Award was donated by Brian Lloyd and Ken Kershaw, two Englishmen, for the man who did the most for the club off the field and was won by Fred Jonesy and Bill Seely. Back to Top


1970

Home Pitch:
Party Place:

Dr. John Reidell becomes President. He later would become the clubs first Honorary Life Member when he moved to State College. In addition the annual club MVP award bears his name. He is presently head of surgery at Centre County Community General. Back to Top


1969

Home Pitch:
Party Place:

The Harrisburg Rugby Club was founded in the fall of 1969. The first match was against Wheeling West Virginia, the home club of match secretary Charlie Davis. The team’s captain was Princeton Alumni Bill Jennings, and the scrum captain was Dickinson College professor Joe Staggers. Other founders were President Allen Buggs from George Washington who worked for IBM, Joe Byers, a high school teacher from Penn State, and Jim Harmon who went to the Carlisle Army War College after graduating from West Point. Back to Top


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