Wednesday, November 7
Northeast Region is Getting Ready for NSCRO Playoff Action
The NSCRO Men’s Northeast Region, which last year produced the National Champion, Salve Regina University, is nearly set for the upcoming Regional Championship on Nov. 17-18. The event will be held at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Quinnipiac (formerly New Haven U23) has received school recognition and will compete as the New England Wide CRC Champion after beating Central Connecticut State in the Conference final 43-19 ending their Conference season at 8-0. They will face the New England RFU Champion. The NERFU Champion will be determined this weekend in Henniker, NH hosted by New England College.. The semifinal pairings are New England College vs. Amherst College and University of Maine (Orono) vs. Colby College.
St. John Fisher edged Union College 23-17 to win the Empire GU Upstate Conference finishing its season with a 6-1 record will face the defending National Champions the Salve Regina Seahawks who completed their Colonial Coast Conference season at 7-0 defeating host Roger Williams 26-19 in the Conference final.
Full details are found at http://nscrone.tripod.com/
Saturday, November 17
12PM – Quinnipiac University vs. NERFU Champion (tbd)
2PM – St. John Fisher University vs. Salve Regina University
Sunday, November 18
11AM – NSCRO Central Region 3rd Place
1PM – NSCRO Central Region Championship
3PM – NSCRO Awards Ceremony
Nov 04, 2012 by Matt Eisenberg
New Blue captain Johnson Chu could barely put his happiness into words, so he did what felt right: making snow angels on the Quinnipiac Intramural Field.
“It feels like Cloud Nine,” Chu said.
Teammate Nick Buondonno joined him. Four years ago, merely stepping on that field was a dream. Even though they realized their dream last week, nothing could compare to the team’s new accomplishment.
With no coach, no funding and no definitive home at the beginning of the year, New Blue won the New England Wide Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship Saturday, beating Central Connecticut State, 43-19, en route to a perfect 8-0 record.
“I can’t even describe it,” captain Pat MacLellan said. “It’s unbelievable, coming from nothing and making it all this way.”
Comprised of all Quinnipiac students, New Blue is unaffiliated with the university, but after working with administration and athletics, the team was able to host a game at Quinnipiac last Saturday. After beating Western Connecticut State University last weekend, New Blue tried to host the championship game at Quinnipiac and got what it wanted.
“Second time we’ve been playing here, and it feels like we’ve been here forever,” junior Marc Villalongue said. “The crowd was just amazing and I like being able to play here in front of all of our fans and all of our friends.”
New Blue has been fighting to become a club sport at Quinnipiac for years after it had become unaffiliated from the school.
“We’re on board,” Quinnipiac Associate Athletic Director of Intramurals Mike Medina said. “(Director of Athletics and Recreation) Jack (McDonald) and I have really supported these guys from the start of the year and we want them to succeed, so we’re going to do whatever we can to make this work and I think today and last weekend were perfect examples of how this group of students can really represent the university well.”
During the game, the referee even called New Blue “Quinnipiac.” The players and Medina took notice.
“You see the way that just having a home field brings that name,” Medina said with a smile. “Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to put Quinnipiac across the front of those jerseys.”
Four years ago, there were only four players on New Blue who were in the class of 2013. This year, 20 seniors lead the team not only to an undefeated season, but to Bristol, R.I., where the team will play the Colonial League champions and if they win two games there, they will head to Colorado for the national tournament.
“We showed we could compete with the best,” MacLellan said.
Few thought New Blue would make it to this point. After all, the team had missed the playoffs for three straight seasons. But after the team beat Hartford, 8-5, in its season-opener, there was something different about this team.
“After the first game, the fight, you could tell that this was a special team,” said Jimmy Whelan, last year’s captain who has acted as the team’s coach this season.
New Blue turned a 10-point deficit with less than 10 minutes to go into a 17-13 win vs. Babson in the third game of the year, and nothing would stop the team.
“After three years of the same thing, missing the playoffs, losing games against really good teams…” Buondonno said.
“…We turned it around,” Chu said.
Four different players scored for New Blue, including MacLellan. Villalongue scored two trys, converted one penalty kick and made five extra points in the windy conditions. Christian Plunkett and Joe D’Apice also scored.
“We all pulled in to get the win,” Villalongue said.
Villalongue came through early, kicking a penalty kick in the third minute. Five minutes later, he set up D’Apice’s try by punting the ball from 20 yards out. The ball took an odd bounce on the pitch and went right to D’Apice, who ran it in untouched from five yards out.
In the 52nd minute, Villalongue broke two tackles down the middle of the field and dove into the try zone to make it 29-7. Fourteen minutes later, Villalongue took the ball from the right side, stiff-armed a defender by midfield and then juked a defender to run 50 more yards untouched to give New Blue a 36-7 lead.
MacLellan scored twice, the first to give New Blue a 22-0 lead that it would take into halftime. He clinched the game with a try in the final minute, as the players stormed the field shortly after.
“To end it on that note,” MacLellan said, “it was awesome.”
Oct 29, 2012 by Matt Eisenberg
For the first time in more than 10 years, the New Blue rugby team took the field at the Mount Carmel Campus at Quinnipiac University. The opportunity to play at Quinnipiac campus along with the home crowd and the playoff atmosphere was a surreal feeling for New Blue Rugby captain Joey D’Apice.
“All of us were numb,” D’Apice said.
And with a championship on the line now, the team might get another chance to experience that same feeling.
Playing its first game at Quinnipiac since the program became unaffiliated with the university, undefeated New Blue Rugby put on a show on Saturday. They defeated Western Connecticut State University, 48-7, at the intramural field behind the baseball field, to advance to the New England Wide Collegiate Rugby Conference championship game next Saturday, perhaps another chance for the team to show a university crowd what it has to offer.
The team had played “home” games in Cheshire, Hartford, East Haven and West Haven, but nothing compared to playing on campus.
“It was a perfect setting for us,” New Blue senior Jimmy Cappadoro said. “The fans were just out here from the beginning. They were loud, they were screaming at us, it’s what we’ve been waiting for for the past four years. … The fields came out great, gotta thank Facilities for that, Athletics putting this all together and it was awesome.”
The entire event was something the team had been working toward for years and after discussions with the Quinnipiac Athletic Department, the team was able to play on an actual field they can call home.
“I’ve been dreaming about this day since I came here,” New Blue captain Pat MacLellan said. “Just to make it actually come true is amazing.”
New Blue earned support from a lot of its alumni and student body. Quinnipiac Associate Athletic Director of Intramurals Mike Medina, who watched the game, said he saw at least 500 people show up in support of the team.
“It was a great crowd and a very supportive student crowd that we saw today, so we’re really excited about that,” Medina said.
Jimmy Whelan, last year’s team captain who has acted as a coach this year, said that playing on campus in front of fans was going to bring the program to new heights.
Boy, was he right.
MacLellan scored two trys, while Cappadoro, Nick Buondonno, Marc Villalongue and Ross McMahon each scored one. Villalongue converted on all six of his extra points and made two penalty kicks.
The team raced out to a 27-0 halftime lead and scored two trys in the first three minutes of the second half to score 41 unanswered points.
“We’ve been so excited to play this game. We’ve been waiting 10 years for this one, and we showed up,” MacLellan said. “Everyone came to play.”
Medina said New Blue made it easy on his part to set up the game and make sure everything went smoothly.
“Everything that we expected of them as a club was phenomenal,” Medina said. “They ran a first-class organization today and proved, I think, that they can contribute a lot to the Quinnipiac community.”
While Whelan spoke with friends after the game, one of the campus public safety officers came up to him.
“You guys are playing here next week?” the officer asked.
“We’ll see,” Whelan replied.
“I don’t see why not after today,” the officer said.
It’s not just the undefeated record. It’s actually where the team is playing: home.
New Blue hasn’t had an official home site for its home games. Over the past few years, the team has played its “home” games in East Haven, West Haven, Cheshire and even Hartford. But now, the team, comprised of all Quinnipiac students, will have the opportunity to show the campus what it does.
“This is something every team has been working toward since the beginning,” says Cappadoro, who has been with the team since his sophomore year.
Playing in the New England Wide Collegiate Rugby Conference, New Blue beat Hartford, Babson, WPI, West Connecticut, Central Connecticut State and Springfield College en route to a perfect record and a top seed in the playoffs. Now the team will not only play Western Connecticut State University in the semifinals, but it will host Western Connecticut State Saturday at noon behind the baseball field.
“We’ve been working for this since day one,” says Pat MacLellan, one of New Blue’s three captains. “It’s a dream come true, to tell you the truth: stepping on Quinnipiac Field and getting to play in front of our home fans for once, just representing the university for once as well. We haven’t had a chance to do that.”
New Blue Rugby is independent from the school. It became unaffiliated in 2001 after the university would not recognize club sports. The team stayed together and would try to play its games on campus, but school administration said that security would escort it off campus if it tried to play games on campus.
But if everything goes smoothly, it could pave the way for men’s rugby and other club sports on campus.
“Club sports is a major priority for the students and for the university,” Quinnipiac Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald said. “We want it to go well so we don’t have anybody saying this is not the right thing to do. Men’s rugby is something that we’d like to see come into Quinnipiac as a club sport, along with many other men’s and women’s club sports. It’s a big test not only for men’s rugby, but for all sports.”
According to McDonald, the university needs to ensure that several different factors are met in order to implement club sports, including safety, class organization, coaching staffs and safe travels.
“We’re getting close. We’re not quite there yet,” McDonald said. “We thought we would give this home game a try and see how everybody handles themselves.”
New Blue doesn’t have a coach. The team’s trainers are Quinnipiac physical therapy students. The players provide all of the team’s funding. They use their dues to pay for referees and the fields. This year, they were able to buy new uniforms for the first time in four years.
“You basically put together 30 kids every year that takes rugby balls and plays a sport,” says Jimmy Whelan, one of last year’s captains who has acted as a coach this season. “This team has come from basically nothing because each year is a brand new year. It’s a new group of kids with nothing, no support. That’s just huge.”
Despite all the difficulties, the team has flourished. It is 6-0 for the first time in several years. Now, New Blue will get its golden opportunity to represent the university – and in the playoffs, no less.
“Quinnipiac is our home and we’re still representing Quinnipiac and all Quinnipiac students,” MacLellan said. “It’s going to be unbelievable.”
There’s something about this team that’s different from past ones. Perhaps it’s the resiliency: New Blue scored two trys and two extra points in the final 10 minutes of its 17-13 win vs. Babson on Sept. 29.
Maybe it’s the team’s confidence: despite getting blown out to Springfield the past three years, New Blue beat Springfield College, 14-7, under the lights last Friday night.
“It’s really special to be the team that does it, 6-0, No. 1 seed,” Cappadoro said.
Whelan said he has been more of a support person than a leader for this year’s team, giving all the credit to the senior class. The seniors have factored into much of the team’s success both on and off the field. MacLellan and the other two captains, Johnson Chu and Joe D’Apice, have had to fill the void of not having a coach by leading practices and teaching younger players the game.
“Being the only team in our league, year after year, with no coach to coordinate places the odds against us,” Cappadoro said. “These captains take on so much responsibility beyond getting kids to show up to practice and teaching kids like myself who had never picked up a rugby ball before. It is a collaborative effort to train and make ourselves prepared for our season.”
Even without a coach, the team struggles to find a place to call “home.” The team works with town officials to rent fields for games, and often times, the players are the ones responsible for preparing the field. In one game last October, the players planted macgyvered PVC pipes into the ground and used duct tape to make the pipes stick together for the goal posts. They even had to spray paint the field to set boundaries.
In order to set up the home game, Cappadoro said several players met with school administration and the athletics department to discuss the field dimensions and set up. In addition, the way the team handled itself was brought up during the meetings, but Cappadoro said that the behav will not be a problem.
“They were great,” Cappadoro said. “It was a joint effort.”
For some, the worst part is not having a complete crowd attend games. Because the team doesn’t have a set location for home games, there is no set fan base. But that can come to a change this weekend.
“The biggest advantage come Saturday is the large fan base the team will have, which we have lacked because we play so far away from campus,” said Whelan, who graduated in 2012. “They will be the 16th player come Saturday.”
With no football team on campus, this is the first time that there will be a Saturday afternoon men’s contact sport. Though there will be no bleachers for seats (there will be ropes for safety areas for fans), some players predict hundreds of people in attendance. As of Tuesday at 11:15 a.m., the game’s Facebook event has 396 people attending.
“We’ve done it without Quinnipiac,” Whelan said. “Now being able to play on their field, this program is going to go sky high.”
New Blue Rugby has been granted permission by school administration to play their regional playoff game on campus on October 27, 2012. This will be the first time New Blue has been allowed to host a game on school grounds in nearly 10 years. This is a great step forward in the effort towards sponsored club sports at Quinnipiac University.
Details on the game to follow…
November 22, 2011
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A crime-fighting rugby player is winning high praise for stopping a suspected purse snatcher on a Manhattan street.
Gerry Loehr, 25, was having lunch at The Penny Farthing on Third Avenue around the corner from his office at Con Ed — where he works as a Purchasing Department Procurement Specialist — when he spotted a man bolting down the street with a purse.
The man was being pursued by two other men who were yelling, “Stop thief!”
1010 WINS’ John Montone with Gerry Loehr
Loehr immediately jumped up from the table, went outside and tackled the suspect at full speed.
“It was a good hit,” Loehr tells 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “It was just like out of a movie – the purse went 20 feet in the air, everyone’s surrounding you and I just got on him and held him till cops came.”
Loehr said the suspect looked up at him from the sidewalk and complained about his asthma.
“I said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t have been running,’” Loehr recalled.
Police arrived at the scene to take the suspect into custody and the purse was returned to the elderly woman.
The three-year Con Edison veteran then went back to the restaurant where he was met by a cheering crowd.
The rugby player says he’s not a hero; he just did what anybody with a mother, sister or grandmother would do.
Still, the restaurant thought his good deed deserved a reward so they picked up his tab.
St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser raises over $24,000
March 5, 2011 by Lauren Taylor
In order to see how dedicated students at Quinnipiac are to ridding the world of childhood cancer, one doesn’t have to look farther than their freshly-shaven heads.
The St. Baldrick’s fundraiser at Quinnipiac shattered fundraising expectations, much like it did last year.
“We planned to raise $8000 with about 75 shavees,” said Kristin Cagney, the event co-chair. “But after last night we had around 115 shavees and as of right now we have raised $24,054 and still counting.”
The Student Programming Board (SPB) and Quinnipiac’s Irish Club co-sponsored the event this year, held on March 1.
St. Baldrick’s is one of the largest volunteer-driven fundraising programs for childhood cancer research. The foundation has raised over $56 million from 2005 to 2011 for research grants. This past year had over 22,000 shavees nationwide, according to the organization’s website.
Both men and women participated in the QU event. Though no women fully shaved their heads this year, many opted for a shorter haircut.
Some shavees knew someone who was suffering from cancer or had lost his or her battle with the disease.
“I did it because last year a good friend of mine’s mother passed away from cancer, and she’d been battling for a while,” said sophomore math major Anthony Messina. “I just tried to get the message across that these kids have a lot of dreams and they have to stay positive and hope and believe that they’ll get better.”
Many members of the New Blue rugby team at Quinnipiac shaved their heads for the event,
“We had around 30 kids on our team that we got to do it. We raised a little over a grand,” said junior business major and New Blue teammate Michael Screnci. “We really just wanted to show that we are not thugs and are good kids who want to help with a good cause.”
Six barbers from local salons like Super Cuts, Tantrum, and Image Co. Salon volunteered their time to shave and cut the hair of the participants.
The event chairs said they were very happy with the turn out from the QU community.
“We received such support from the campus, which was really important to us,” said co-chair Catie Regan, a senior Public Relations major. “I think that traditions are very important for a community, and I am so excited that St. Baldrick’s has become a tradition at Quinnipiac University.”
Event chairs predict that St. Baldrick’s will be at Quinnipiac for years to come.
“Everyone was cheering for each other, laughing, listening to speakers and asking how they could get involved next year,” said Cagney.
“It was truly incredible.”