SPRINGFIELD RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

For me, it all started mid-late 1970's on Autumn weekends at Lincoln Park in Chicopee near St. Mike's. A bunch of us would get together for football games and a few brews on a semi-regular basis. Bob & Bill Regan, Bill Morris, Frank Ruelli, Chuck Momnie, Jake Claffey, Kevin Hogan, Dave Scaglarini, Frank Hurley, Bill Kerigan, John Robak, and many others I've surely forgotten (sorry guys, too many beers) were some of the guys that got together for football games. Some had been playing rugby for several years with the SRFC and they handled the ball pretty well with LOTS of lateraling of the ball. Thats how I became aware of the wonderful sport of Rugby. I think we really liked it cause it gave us a reason to party early in the morning with breakfast before road trips all over New England. There were some real good athletes playing for the SRFC and everyone had "heart". We wanted to win every game, but we never took ourselves so seriously that it affected our partying.....that was what the SRFC was really famous for! You don't think these touring British teams were coming to Springfield, MA because of the competitive international rugby we were playing! After joining the club I met many more friends that are pictured below. Suffice it to say that I still count more of my life's friendships from this group of people than any single other life experience I have had...... The question is whether it was the beer or the rugby that pulled us together?

LINK TO THE 2012 MEMORIAL DAY GAME PICTURES

LINK TO 5/5/2007 ALUMNI GAME PICS AND MOVIES

LINK TO OVER 200 PICS FROM 1970'S THRU 2004

*** Link to 10/28/2006 "B" game and Old Boys pics ***


(Click on the pics below to enlarge)

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Spring, 1978
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Fall, 1978
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1979
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Fall, 1979
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Fall, 1979
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Fall, 1979
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1980
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1980
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Summer, 1980
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Fall, 1980
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Fall, 1980
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Fall, 1980
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1980
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1981
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1981

The 2004 Reunion (click to enlarge)...

2004

The 1974 Team Picture (click to enlarge)...

1974

The 1976 Team Picture (click to enlarge)...
1976
HISTORY of the SPRINGFIELD RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

It was the summer of 1969 when several young men met at Cathedral High School to form the Springfield Rugby Football Club, the Rifles. Some of the original group included: Tim Rabbit, Bill Cosgriff, Bob Crowley, John DelNegro, Dan Discenza, Bob Carney, Paul Rieker and Phil and Joe Ward. In the earlier days, the members of the team primarily came from Chicopee and Springfield. Half of the team had played on college teams, and they recruited and taught the others real quick for the first game. They bought the first green and yellow team jerseys at a men's store in the "X" in Springfield, and given their light weight, they didn't last much more than one game. The team's first match was played against Schenectady, NY. At the time New England was divided into three divisions. Springfield played in the 3rd division. The team later played a number of times for the division 3 championship. The team had a handful of experience players. What they lacked in talent they made up for in athleticism and hard play. "We were successful because we had great athletes who were very physical," said founding member Paul Rieker. "Typically teams like Albany and Boston had bigger and more experienced players. We were sometimes undermanned in the set piece, but often dominated the loss play by being extremely physical. Our aggressive defense frustrated teams often causing them to make mistakes that we would capitalize on." The team really had two watering holes, The City Line and St. Mikes in downtown Chicopee. While the social life at home was fun the away games were an experience. "It was a long strange trip, the stories are out outrageous," said Paul.

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