Aspen 2007


Magnificent rugby weekend for the Virginia Cardinals at the Aspen Ruggerfest 2007. Special thanks to Bill Gardner,Mike Herron,Mike Puopolo,Skip Yeager,John Carr,Billy Wilson,and Will Thornton for all their planning and management before and during the tournament.
Special appreciation to Howard Graham and his wife and babe, Angela, for their third year in a row all the way from England in support of the Cardinals. Howard, you are a superb leader,mate, and world class rugby player. Angela, you are an angel of mercy while attending to our dings and pulls with a fine sense of humor.

Angela and Howard Graham

To Karen and the Lance Vandecastle family, Aspen Ruggerfest 2006 was Lance's last epic appearance with the Cardinals. We felt Lance around us this fine rugby weekend and his spirit urged us on. His rugby boots were left on the halfway line at Wagner Field on sunday during the hardware honors. Puopolo buried Lance's boots at the halfway line that evening at Wagner Park. Godspeed Lance,we love you.

Denny Stoneman
We invaded Aspen with over 90 players and three sides capturing championships in the 45 and 50 division and finalist honors in the 35 division. Noteworthy,the 50s completed the trivecta in 2007 emerging as Champions in Ft.Lauderdal,Saranac,and Aspen. This group of 50s retraces the steps taken by the 45s two years ago and includes the same core of players that swept the field two years ago. The emails below capture the essense of Cardinal Rugby.

Rugby forever,

Cary Kennedy

From Will Thornton:

Gents: Just want to send a huge shout of thanks out to everyone who pulled together and brought home the Championship and Finalist trophies. To perform at such a high level in any sport, especially one as physically demanding as Rugby, is a tremendous accomplishment. I am constantly amazed at how everyone pulls together and gets things done. The friendship and camaraderie in this group is incredible. When I sit back and reflect on the past performance of our club, from the dominance of the 35's in an extremely competitive field, to the 45's running the table in '05, to this past near sweep of Ruggerfest, it makes me extremely proud to wear a Cardinal crest on my chest. I hope we can all sit back and reflect upon the scope of our achievements. It is truly like catching lighting in a bottle. The skill, passion and heart of the Cardinals is unmatched. Cheers to Bill, Cary, Mike, John, Billy and all the wonderful cast of classy players, family and supporters who make this all possible. We are doing Lance real proud. Will

From Todd Musick:

To all the "Mighty Virginia Cardinals Family,

It is my most gracious privilege to take the pitch with a truly time tested and dedicated Esprit De Corps of Rugby Warriors. It was a special time for me and closure for many. I will surely put myself to sleep remembering every vignette that defines an Aspen Ruggerfest. To all those with nicks and dings, a speedy recovery. Looking forward to the Cardinal's next test,

Phil Dorsey

From Billy Hayward:

When Richard Morris bestowed the virtues of the team and its personnel, I took stock and listened (as you know he is a man of few words). The following weeks communicating with Will, I was so excited to actually get out and play rugby again, I thought it may be an anticlimax. Oh how wrong I was!! Everyone without exception, made myself and Donna (I think she was probably more the reason!) so welcome. After a lifetime of rugby, tours, tournaments and fellow friends they all go to inspire memories we share over many a pint for many years following. I can honestly say, for the first time in many years I actually created more memories!!! Whether it be G&T’s on a balcony overlooking the rugby pitch, threats of being skunked playing cribbage, Will’s five star ***** service…Kitchen bar and laundry room!

Billy Haywood
Sitting in a hotel room, I could only see in the movies, with a bucket of Heinekens, evaluating film of Sundays opposition with the cerebral management. Bearing witness to our forwards decimating a great team on Sunday. The over 50’s kicking ass prior and our over 35’s fighting it out in the freezing rain being beaten only by the ref who had not witnessed such a hit under the post’s he was shocked into giving something! I think rugby aside..for the things I do remember..not much on Friday night (apart from Will forcing me into putting a pint on my head at 2AM in the morning – for free beers at a pub), a 150 ruggers in a bar watching England’s dismal performance, Mike enticing Brian Vizard out of retirement (smooth sales!), Colin getting Donna and myself to the airport while fighting an ‘over active’ prostate and 5 guinness’s prior, John sleeping until 5PM Saturday (thank Will for that one also!). Finally Keith, Dicky, Joe Mark and Dan (my friends from out of town who came in to Babysit me while enjoying the festivities Thanks for sharing the Cardinal Hospitality! Suffice to say, thank you all…what a great crowd, I definitely look forward to joining you all again very soon. Cheers Bill Hayward

Heinicke,Mclean,Lewis in background
From Greg Robinette:

The Cardinals are a blast. From looking out for bears from the hot tub with Darden, Hillary, Larry and Jerusha to dominating the Mountain Old Boys in the final I had a great time. Thanks to all the visitors to Condo 207 in the prospector, we enjoyed your company. Carla and Jerusha were fine providers of the pink drink that many enjoyed so special thanks to them. Finally everyone will be pleased to know elk killer managed a safe drive back to Denver without killing any innocent animals. thanks to ALL

Cary- thanks for all the management duties and coordination you have provided over the years. You are a true rugby sportsman and I enjoyed your tenure as a teammate.

online article,courtesy

A win to remember
By Nate Peterson

The Virginia Cardinals win the Old Boys 50+ at Aspen Ruggerfest for a lost teammate

The team walked off the pitch at the Aspen Ruggerfest a year ago, beaten and bruised, vowing to return in 2007 to make amends for letting a perfect season slip away. more of the article----

Norfolk,Sons of Beaches- Cheeko,Hennie,Greg,Hilliary,Billy,John,Tim,Mike,Allan

Mike Puopolo

From Roger "Tree" Tremont:

Thank you, thank you all for another great Aspen rugby tournement, we played so great and should of got all the "pottery." So great playing with so many great players, past and yes, present, I love playing, and socializing with all of you guys....great story: ran into several Denver Barbos out last night...they bumbted into me and I stated: "you guys play for the Barbos?" they stated "yeah, we're Barbos" I said, "I played with the Virginia Cardinals in Aspen" they went....."Virginia Cardinals???, You guys dominated up there"...." I said we all love playing rugby".....Lance was watching, and will always be looking over the Cardinals..... great his wife was with ya guys!!!!

Cardinal 35s

Cardinal 45s

Cardinal 50s

Puopolo explains the size of a rugby pitch to Carr

Bob Carswell,The Prop and Las Vegas Professional poker player

Colin and Connie

Colin Crawfford,Country Music Star and Rugby Lock

Darden and Mala

Long live the 70s! Dave,Lex,Cary-former players with Norfolk Irish and/or Norfolk City


Howard and Angela

Maryland Old Boys-Andy,VG,Chops,Whiskey

Tonk and Billy Wilson are sad because the free Moosehead is gone

Morris and Carr,Mount Rushmore Models

Highlander and Tatonka

Poltroons-Phil and Blitz

Philly Whitemarsh Old Boys-Puddinhead,Cass,Tonk,Highlander

The Penningtons- Junior and Senior-Go Lafayette!

William and Mary Old Boys Al,Cary,Steve--please note the stylin scarf, er garbage bag, around Cary's neck


DVDs are available on all our matches. Contact Mike Puopolo for details.