Archive for March, 2011

Grey Rugger Talk: Shawn Brennan

1. What teams have you played for and during what years.

Berlin Strollers 87-89, Hartford Wanderers 1990-2007 Greys 2007-Present

2. You are the 2010 MVP for the Backs with the Grey.  Congratulations.  Do you feel that your time as an Alternative Dance Instructor in Guadalupe helped prepare you for this award?

It helped me perfect the Brennan Hop.
3. What is your greatest moment in rugby?

My greatest moment in Rugby was making the 1995 first 15 for the Irish Invitational in Boston. Or pulling off the feat of going on tour to Ireland and leaving my wife with a 18 month old and 3 week old. Genius.
4. What do you like most about playing for the Grey?

It’s competitive, yet no one takes it too serious. Perfect for this time in my life, my current fitness level, and  I love playing against 60 year old guys…it makes me feel young again.
5. You are currently taking on a new rugby venture this summer for children that sounds very exciting.  Can you tell us a bit about it?  What made you decide to put this all together?  What can the Grey do to help?

I’m starting a Rookie Rugby program (flag) through Parks and Rec in Newington.  I helped start a program last year in Wethersfield and we got over 90 kids from age 6 to 12.  I decided I’d like to start this in my hometown to expose more kids to rugby in hope of eventually getting a high school team in the future.  We are running a one week clinic (July 11-15) to start and hope to expand it next summer.  There are many ways the Grey can help….sign up your kids to play, come out and help coach, donate a ball, cones, or t-shirts.
6. What first got you interested in playing rugby?

My brother played for the Berlin Strollers and brought me along.
7. What is your funniest moment, with the Grey, surrounding rugby?

Last year’s Four Leaf tournament when Jay Rubino tried to fight the second row from AC and got dropped with one punch.  I leaned over and asked him if this was his rock bottom.
8. What rugby positions do you imagine these following people would play (if they were to play rugby) and why: Golum (from Lord of the Rings), Simon Cowell, Paris Hilton, Forest Gump, and Homer Simpson.

Not sure about the guys, but Paris could play in my shorts.
9. What would you like to see the Grey accomplish in the upcoming years?

Keep being competetive on and off the field.  I think a tour should be in our near future while I can still play.
10. If they were to make a movie of your life – which actor would play you and what would the title of the movie be?

Mark Walberg-Boogie Nights
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Reminder: Executive Meeting this Wednesday

Hello Everyone, Just a reminder that tomorrow night at 6pm there is an Executive Meeting at Rookies in Cromwell.  Everyone is invited.

President Mac

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

A Note From Tom Stauffer

(Tom Stauffer is a long time member of the Grey and has served as an officer of the club.  He recently announced his retirement from Rugby due to the need for hip-replacement surgery.  We wish you the best Tom and look forward to having you involved in the Grey family for many years to come.)

Hello Everyone,
As you know, the Grey went 1-1 at the 4 Leafs Tourney.  We had Dave Martin ref our first game.  Dave had a hip refacing operation last year, and he noted that a total hip replacement is not where you want to be.
It was a tough day, but it was a special day.  My oldest daughter, Kara, came up from college in Washington DC to see me off the pitch.  I saw a short video, and did not realize how bad I have been limping.
Lou was great, and found ways for me to get some time on the pitch, which I really appreciated.  Sharing a Guinness with Fino… not a bad way to end a rugby career!
As Little Feat noted in Old Folks Boogie… “you know you’re over the hill… when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill”
Tom
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Former Grey Now Coaching Amity Regional Club

Ed Walsh is the coach at Amity High School and played for the Grey from 1993-1997.

Ed started the Amity regional club last year with just a few guys coming out. This year they have 24 so far and have been recognized as an official club of the school, which they hope will lead to future varsity status. Brian ‘Doheny a current Grey and Amity grad (1985) gave the club a huge shot in the arm with a substantial donation that will cover jerseys, equipment and many fees.

Last year Amity partnered with the Madison club to get the kids some playing time. A few played “A” side- but most played “B”. We were involved with games against Cheshire, Simsbury and Staples. Amity also partnered with  Simsbury in the July 7’s tournament in Cheshire to take on schools from NY and MA. This season we have 5 guys returning who can play an “A” game and we have 18 underclassmen- so we are young. We will partner with Madison again as we did last weekend at the Fairfield Jamboree.  So far we have matches scheduled against Southington and possibly Stamford Academy. The club is ready and willing to take on any club that wants a contest.

To Get Amity’s Schedule contact Ed at walshaspe@optonline.net

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Four Leaf Match Report

 Grey go 1-1 at Four Leaf
     Thanks to the 25 players that committed to participating in this years tourney.We have been to the Four Leaf a few times but this is the best we have played as a Club.Many players stepped up to the challenge and played with passion giving their best effort.Here’s to Tom Stouffer who played his last matches before hip surgery.Hope everything goes well and you can get healthy and return to the pitch.

We played Morris in the first match.Things were even for about 7 minutes as we did not take care of the ball and kicked some possession away.Then things opened up with Bill Bishop,Sean Sierra,Tom Kubic and Kevin O’Sullivan scoring tries.Nice win to start the season.

We played White Plains next  and it was a great battle.They scored first to go up 5-0 but we answered as Kevin O’sullivan scored to make it 7-5.It was 12-7 at half and we had the wind in the second half.We got little possession and what we had we made mistakes and gave them the ball.To their credit they did what good teams do and capitized scoring two more tries for a 22-7 win.Mike Powers,Sean Sierra,Kevin Osullivan,Tom Kubic,and Fino played great in the back row.

Mike Berling injected pace into the game with good hard rucking.The backs played great defense coming up quick and limited space for the opponent to attack.Welcome to Mike Finn,Tony Salema,and Mr Law.

Hope to see everyone on 4/9.Good start to the season.Keep working on fitness because by the end of April the season gets busy.Thanks to Joe Bordieri for playing multiple positions in the backs and his calming leadership.

Capt. Lou

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

CT Grey’s Denis Horrigan and John Carew Give Back to Rugby

Denis Horrigan and John Carew both play for the CT Grey and coach Simsbury High School here in CT.

This will be (unbelievably) our fifth year at Simsbury High.  We just got approved to be a varsity program, which we are very proud of.  The program boasts more than 40 boys and 20 girls and attracts kids with a wide range of athletic backgrounds.  One thing has been consistent – the kids love it.  Many are saying that it is theire favorite sport and if it was during soccer/football season, they would play rugby!!  The parents love the program too.  (It is nice to coach a sport where the parents have no friggin’ idea what the hell is going on!!).

 We had a great season last year winning the CT Valley Championship.  We graduated 6 or 7 A side starters and are rebuilding this year.  We look to return a number of experienced forwards, but may have a hard time in the backs.  Although we did just recruit one of the stud football players who was a tailback – that should help!

 I believe we have the first girls High School rugby team in CT, so we struggle to find matches for them.

If you would like to get more information on the program our the schedule please contact Denis Horrigan at: dhorrigan@ctwealthmgmt.com

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Grey Rugger Talk: Steve “Bomber” Tenenbaum

1. What teams have you played for and during what years?  

University of Connecticut-1979-82

West Hartford Yahoos-1984-85

Berlin Strollers-1985-89

New Haven Old Black-1989-93

Connecticut Grey-1994-present

2. Tell us about some of the changes you have seen on the team from when you first started playing for the Grey?

 We have newer, sleeker jerseys which make the backs look slimmer, younger and faster and the forwards looker fatter, older and slower.  Just in case you haven’t heard, Tom Flynn is a big fan of them.

3. What is your greatest moment in rugby?

Finishing a season injury free. (I think it happened once)

4. What is your fondest/funniest moment with the Grey?

 So many memories to choose from, like every year in Franconia,  but my favorite is the 2004 trip to Barbados.  We laughed the whole time.  The Grey are a great group of people to travel with.  Also the time that Leone bought a round….that was epic.

5. A good portion of your rugby career has been spent at Fullback.  Do you have any regrets that you never got the chance to play in the forwards – doesn’t it just break your heart? 

Not really, I always thought I smelled way to good to be a forward, something I confirmed while subbing in at second row up in Rhinebeck, NY a couple of years ago.  It was really hard to breathe and to this day, I can still smell those guys.   Kind of a combination of rotten eggs and ass.

6. What do you think is something that really distinguishes the Grey as a premiere old boys club?

 We are always highly competitive on the pitch and have always been the consummate hosts off of it.  I have always been proud of the way we treat opposing sides at our post-match festivities

7. What offices have you held with the Grey (and during what years) and what awards have you won from the Grey (and during what years)?

I was named MVP of the backs in 1999 (I think my vote was the deciding one) and won the Mace Comen award in 2009.  

I served as the corresponding secretary from 2007-2010….good luck Mike. Making yourself understood to a bunch of old, brain damaged rugby players can be quite a challenge.

8. If you could trade places with any famous person for a day – who would it be and why?

 Any good looking female…I wouldn’t leave the house for the entire day….and I’d invite Darryl over. (This is just disturbing to visualize or even contemplate)

9. Beaver does not really appear to age and he has gotten faster over the years.  Do you think he is some sort of mutant vampire immune to sunlight?  What can we do to protect ourselves from his vampiring ways?

You need to talk to someone about these strange, irrational fears….or maybe just stop drinking for a while, but since you asked I used a Command Humanoid spell to lead Seridur (the vampire from the Virtuous Blood quest) out into the noon day sun and he just happily followed me across the countryside taking zero sun damage. It would have been cool if he burst into flames when the first rays of sunlight hit him – but no. Was this lack of foresight on Bethesda’s part? That said, I think we can add some garlic to our pre game meals to gain some measure of protection against him.

10. Ok so here is the question everyone is curious about.  You had a bad injury last year, you had the shoulder operation, and then it was announced that you were retiring from Rugby.  Do you still feel that it is time to retire or is there a chance that you will continue playing? 

I have been consulting with Brett Favre on this…he said not to show my cards to anyone right away and to keep people guessing. Hell, he teetered on the brink of retirement for nearly four years, so why can’t I?   He also mentioned something about a cell phone and a good looking girl, but I had stopped listening by then.  I do, however, really appreciate the Rugby Tombstone that I received at the last banquet.  (Pictured above)

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Sean Brennan Opening a Summer Rugby Camp

Sean Brennan helped coach a Wethersfield youth rugby program last summer for over 90 kids ages 6-12.  He is  running a one week Rookie Rugby camp in Newington for grades 1-8, July 11-15th.  Registration hasn’t opened yet, so we’re not sure how many kids we’ll have.  If you have children in this age group and are looking to teach them the game of Rugby then please contact me for a pre-registration: brennan240@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Staples High School Rugby

 

Grant “Randy” Heller has played with the CT Grey and gives back to CT Rugby by coaching  Staples High School Rugby:

 Program summary: we have about 50 kids in the program, 20 of which are new to rugby this year, along with 3 student/managers who have undergone first aid certification. Joseph “Oscar” Barahona is the head coach, a teacher at Staples and played with me on the CT Yankees. I am the assistant coach, as I can only get to one or 2 practices per week and attend the games. Ray Peterson had been very involved with the team, but USA 7’s has taken up a tremendous amount of his time as they’ve grown. At practice, when we do positional skills, Oscar generally works with the backs and I work with the pack. We also have members of the Yankees do guest clinics at practice and attend the games when possible. We practice 4 days/week for 2.5 hours per practice. We are well funded and continue to attract larger numbers of players each year. At the impetus of one of our HS players, we are currently working on creating a youth program at the middle school level, which we’d like to roll-out Fall ‘11.

The program started in 2002 and is a varsity sport, but came under scrutiny 3 years ago due to a perception of being too dangerous since there was high physical contact with no pads and an inordinate amount of concussions and head injuries. We responded by mandating that all team members wear scrum caps and mouth guards at all practices and during the games. Scrum caps are purchased by the program. More importantly, we restructured our training program to spend much more time on proper rugby tackling form which stages the players involvement from watching proper form, to executing on tackling dummies, to tackling on one knee at half speed, upright at half speed, full contact from 5 yards, to open field training. The progression takes 2-3 weeks in pre-season and is closely supervised by the coaches and players from the CT Yankees. As a result, our head injuries and concussions dropped by a staggering 80% last season.

Season outlook: We recently participated in a scrimmage/training session at Belmont HS Rugby, near Boston (coached by some Wolfhounds alum) which was a tremendous success for all the boys as a learning and bonding experience (3 hour bus ride each way). Last week we participated in the Fairfield HS round robin with Greenwich, Darien, Fairfield, Madison, Amity and some Cheshire players as well. We played short games against Greenwich, Darien and Fairfield with our first XV (all wins for us) and against Fairfield, Greenwich and Madison/Amity with our 2nd XV (mixed results). Tomorrow we play Fairfield Prep, Sunday we host Simsbury. We also have Greenwich, Fairfield, Cheshire, and Madison scheduled. We hope to get Darien on the schedule. We will play in the CT High School Tournament in May at Yale. Coaching philosophy: Aside from our primary focus on developing rugby skills in student athletes, we are trying to instill rugby’s unique camaraderie and competitive respect for opponents, in addition to the life lessons learned from winning, losing and competing through sports.

We try to emphasize performance and execution of the concepts we train, which should dictate a positive game outcome, rather than measure success only by the scoreboard. 

 Coach Grant “Randy” Heller Staples HS Rugby PS – My son is a freshman prop/hooker, my daughter is one of the team managers, and my older daughter in college is dating a rugger. I’m still playing with the Yankees. It’s a rugby life!!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

CT Grey’s Bill Bishop Gives Back to Rugby

Bill Bishop is the Coach at Chesire High School

Cheshire Rugby Club, founded in 2005, now entering our 6th season and competing at the HS division 1 level.  2008 New England 2b champion, CT d2 State Champs  and CT Valley League champions, competed in 2009 NRU playoffs. This team has produced over 40 collegiate players including one high school all American in 2010. The team usually fields a roster of 40 players.

Contact Bill Bishop wfbishop@fedex.com to find out Cheshire’s schedule.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

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