Virginia Old Boys--Master Champions,Porter Cup 2004,mix with Va. Gents
Peadar Little,Mike Puopolo,Deke Ealy
Some of the players:
There are some people I want to single out for special thanks. Courtney Hoopes, for lending gravitas, leadership and wisdom to our efforts. Lance and Karen Van de Castle for their unstinting labor to ensure that the Cup not only came off, but came off as a class event. I know Lance and Karen were up at 3 am the night before the Cup making sure all went well. To Terry Whelan, who despite an incredible work week and horrible weather made the time to mow and prep the field. To Tracy Burges for getting the field lined and generally looking like a professional rugby pitch, even though he wasn't even an Old Boy. To Mike Puopolo, for behind the scenes organization, coordination and advice. To Ron Murray who organized refs and medical support, and was indispensable in helping to run the team during the day.
I also want to thank all of the "young" boys who made time in their schedules to help out, support the effort, and generally came out to cheer us fossils on. Mike Kagey and Steve Waggoner were particular participants before the Cup as well. That's what being a Club is all about, and you guys really came through.
Finally, I think we all owe a big vote of gratitude to a particular "young boy", Sean Shanks. He really pulled everything together and made the Cup his baby. His job was thankless, tiring and frustrating. With no prior experiance he pulled off a first class rugby tournament that was complimented highly by everyone who attended. And many of these teams are fairly discriminating. I have played (as have many others ) in a great many rugby tournaments, and this year's Cup ranked right up there with the best in terms of classy organization and fun for the participants. This event could become a major factor in publicizing the Club, and much of the credit for a hugely successful event will have to be laid at Sean's door. So, Sean-sincere thanks from all of us. Your reward will probably be to have to top this next year. A good deed never goes unpunished.
Again, thanks to all, this was an important milestone for the Club, and we all worked together to make it happen. Thanks, Bill Bownley
The images really do not convey the magnificance of this try. This was no "old boy" try--the drive was instant, low, powerful , and full of nuance--it was over before you realized it was underway. Long live the 70's, Lance.
another picture of the day
Email from Mike Puopolo--post match commentary after Master Rugby Classic/Dorey Park March 30 in Richmond
I went to Richmond yesterday morning because I didn't want to have anyone travel from any great distance to a cancelled event without being there to thank them for the effort. It was snowing in Charlottesville and I was sure that we wouldn't play. I got to the pitch about 9 and there were some die hards there. It was too nasty to get out of my car so I just sat there. Up came Jeff White and Mark Wolfe. They hopped in my car and we talked about how we wouldn't play. Then Brad Mills came in. Then came Sean Whelan and Mark Rasmussen. Then Bill Brownley, Jim Ward, Terry Whelan. Peadar Little, Tom Oxenham, and Ron Murray were already there as referees. Then Colin Crawford, Andy Proctor, Connie Roussos. Then Bev Nash and Ian Mills. Finally I saw a guy I have not seen since 1979 who is back in Virginia and came to play, Randy Bailey. We ended up with 17 guys there. Seven backs and ten forwards.
Our opponents, the SOB's, had more than a full side and to our surprise there was nobody in charge of the fields that would stop us from playing on the fields. The weather was horrible. It was cold and the rain was driving. The field was a mess. We were playing 20 minute halves. We scored to make it 5-0 going into the wind and rain. Andy Proctor made a nice sixty or so yard run to score. Just before the end of the half, the SOB's were given a try on a knock-on in goal. Oh well. 5-5 at the half. We switched ends and realized that it was cold and wet on that end of the field too, but at least we had the wind at our backs and were headed slightly downhill. We played the second half in their end of the field but couldn't score. We had one noteworthy play where ( I think Peadar Little ) put up a good high kick to the SOB fullback who knocked the ball on at his one-foot line. The only person on the field who didn't see the knock-on was the referee who allowed the fullback to play on and make a nice kick to touch. In the next minute or so, we had FOUR different penalties for four different players giving the ref such a hard time that he kept blowing it up and awarding the SOB's another ten. Those fired up guys were Sean Whelan, Mark Rasmussen, Jim Ward, and (referee) Peadar Little. The second half ended with no more points. Score still tied at 5-5. Terry Whelan (I am told) suggested that we quit then but our Captain, Bill Brownley, negotiated a 5 minute overtime.
With time running out in the overtime Jim Ward, playing scrum half, picked up the ball and went to the left. He outran a couple of the SOB's and made a nice pass to Tom Oxenham who outran the SOB's the final fifteen to twenty yards to the corner. It was great. We won, 10-5. It was horrible playing but to stand out there watching had to be worse. It was great to see our men's side (coached and captained by Jeff Hollier) cheering us off the field at the end of the match. The Virginia A's took 3rd place after losing a tough match to United in the semis. Of our seventeen players for the match, I believe that six are over 50 and another four are over 45 with the other seven ranging from 36 to 44. I think the Commonwealth Cup is set for mid-May and official word will go out soon. I hope that as many of you as possible will plan to play and the rest will plan to attend and enjoy spending some time together.
Line out v Wild Geese/Highland Games
Virginia Rugby Football Club Commonwealth Cup 1968
Hello Rugby Colleagues:
The following video files are best viewed with Window Media or Real Player. Due to storage limitations at my server these large files will not remain published for an indefinite time. So , if you really like something---copy it to your computer.
I want to thank the Virginia OB's for allowing me to jump aboard at Cape Fear and special thanks to Mike for organizing the side.
Our side that weekend was blessed with a trully impressive group of players. Two former Eagles, Bill and Terry, with an outstanding supporting cast lead by Mike and Jeff, two dangerous ruggers. Our record was a respectable 2 and 2, in that, the Master Division at Cape Fear was extremely competitive (actually that is an understatement). The Maryland OB's were littered with former eagles and past National Club Champions from the early 90's. Philly-Whitemarsh was big, fast, and contentious. We did quite well, all things considered.
Cape Fear remains a fabulous rugby fixture---we survive and do it again.
"We had a good trip to Cape Fear. We started out Sat morning losing to "The Lost Boys" from Philly-Whitmarch (and a few ringers). We then beat Charlotte and Fort Lauderdale. That earned us the 3rd seed in the master division on Sunday. On Sunday morning we lost a physical match to Martha's Old Guard composed of Mt Vernon High School Old Boys.(>Sorry Mike, but Cary has got to say that the ref ignored the late hits on Bill Russel--that team clearly targeted Bill for demolition).
The "Lost Boys" only got stronger after beating us and thoroughly dominated an impressive Maryland Old Boys in the finals----thanks to all the players, wives, and children that supported us that weekend."
Bill breaks away
Mike scores again
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