The 40th Anniversary weekend could only be described one way…EPIC! People came from near, far and even across the ocean to reunite with their rugby family.
Alumni weekend kicked off on Thursday with a Ryder Cup style golf tournament set up by Joe Helpa, at Renditions in Davidsonville. Thirty-two “golfers” teed off that day to play a mix of scramble, best ball and alternate shot and one two-man team came out victorious; Jon Holtzman and friend Brock Anderson. Others may argue that Amanda Noss and Dave Pick really won that day since they led in several categories, including ‘most shots drank’, ‘most carts stuck in the marsh,’ and finally, ‘most holes not actually played.’ The SRRFC Alumni Association may also like to claim the win on the day by getting Moose drunk enough to become the first ‘Legacy Level’ member. Whoever claims the big win, all can agree it was a fun afternoon.
River wasn’t done for the day though. They gathered at one of their former glorious hang outs; Ebb Tide in Annapolis. If you have ever been a patron in this fine establishment you might think ‘no way you can get kicked out of here’, but a few…a proud few, still there at the late hour of 9:30pm, managed to do it. With nowhere to turn, the remaining ruggers decided that Stan and Joe’s could provide some food and shelter for the remainder of the evening. Amazingly enough, the only casualty that night was Jason Dunbar’s flip flops.
Friday’s activities began in the afternoon as Severn looked to Mike Johansen to inspire the day’s fun. We gathered at Laurel Park Racetrack for some VIP treatment in the Sports Book Lounge. The ruggers enjoy complimentary wings and 2 for 1 beers while trying to win a couple dollars on the ponies. Severn headed to the winner’s circle after the “Fallen Rugger Memorial Race” sponsored by the club. They presented the winning jockey with a plaque and rugby ball. Joe Helpa and Wendell Harsanyi showed up that day, not only with hopes for a pony ride, but also for the rare chance to be in a picture with a man shorter than them. Unfortunately, this jockey measured in just above the two hopefuls.
As the sun began to set, it was time to head back to Severn’s sponsor bar, Stan and Joe’s, for some more shenanigans. The Alumni filled the back half of the bar and was engaged in a hugging frenzy as they received friends many hadn’t seen in 20 years. The current team showed up later in the evening in full ninja costumes to celebrate the Halloween weekend in unison. Some crawled from bar to bar, others went home early to be refreshed for the Alumni vs Current team match ups the next day, a few spent their night feeding shots to the current team while enjoying a refreshing glass of soda water and lime, hoping the youngsters would be too hungover to compete in the early morning.
Saturday’s A Rugby Day! The weather could not have been more perfect at the American Legion Post 175, in Severna Park that day…birds were chirping; sun was shining…oh wait that was a different day. THIS day was freezing cold and it was raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock. Good thing Severn likes the mud! The ladies started the day by lacing up their boots and zipping up their dresses, for a prom dress Alumni Vs Current team match up. Referee, Pete Freeman and touch judges Milton Greenstreet and Phill Denton also looked strikingly beautiful in their gowns. The alumni women were victorious on the day, but did give up a break away try to Aly McCarty and interception try to Charlee Bryant. After the women got the field nice and muddy it was the Men’s turn to slop around. The current team took the win by a couple tries that day, but onlookers might say it took them way too long to realize the man across from them was-in some cases-twice their age. Perhaps the best plan of attack would be using their speed advantage on the outside, however, the night’s revelry took control of their cognitive abilities. In the end, the whole Severn River family gathered, with representation throughout the 40 years of the clubs’ existence, for a center of the field group photo.
Up next that day was the social under the Pavilion. Some hosed off but others just embraced their mud covered faces. Ruling over the event was Current Player Princess, Charlee Bryant and Alumni Queen, Meredith McAlister, the women of the match that day. On the men’s side Richard Maldonado and Quinn Freeman were awarded men of the match for the current team while Aaron Cree, Jason Dunbar, Donny Stevens and Steve Palmer represented for the Alumni. After making short work of the pasta and beer, everyone headed to the showers to make themselves presentable.
The Gala was definitely one for the books. Severn entered the Mainsail ballroom at the Doubletree Hilton in Annapolis at 7pm that night. As the group enjoyed their dinner, club Co-founder, Henry Posko opened the night with a few remarks. Milton Greenstreet, Club President, was the master of ceremonies for the evening and continued the program with a heartfelt thank you and a few jokes for the evening’s table sponsors. Next the women’s team captains, Casey Hartzell and Lenni Ferreira presented this year’s recipients; Tiffany Paul, Katie Marshall, Scrappy, Ashley Chafin and Tina Schafer with their rings. Lenni Ferreira was awarded the ‘Player’s Player’ plaque by her teammates for her dedication to the team. The men followed with derby’s for John Sage, Punchy, Nick Stratchko and Colin Gotimer presented by Milton Greenstreet, Captain, Colin Gotimer and Men’s Team President, Brad McCarty. Mike Posko, Club Co-Founder got up next to present the ‘Leather Balls’ award to Dan Gotimer and Jerry Gallion. The club took a moment to thank the hard working coaching staff; Dave Egar, Chad Newcomb, Dolla Harmse, Katie Fitzgerald and Rachel Priddy, with some much appreciated gifts. Meredith McAlister, Katie Fitzgerald and Jenn Fenzel snuck in to the program to surprise Rachel ‘Sloth’ Priddy with being crowned the ‘Gala Queen’. Mike ‘Bergie’ Bergeson brought a very special gift for the family of the late, great, and forever missed Tom ‘Dr. Doom’ Guidotti. It was a bottle of the last beer Dr. Doom ever brewed. The family was grateful for the special gift and the gesture brought the crowd to their feet. Next, Jerry Gallion spoke on what is important for the ‘Legacy and Longevity’ of a club that has been around for 40 years. Finally, the the main event…Marty O’Neill inducted long time friends Mike Posko, Henry Posko and Pete Freeman into the SRRFC Hall of Fame. The three gentlemen looked absolutely dashing in their Navy HOF blazers, lined with Black watch plaid and sporting the crest on the breast pocket. It was a sight that brought tears to their friend’s and family’s eyes and the crowd to their feet once again. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) Finally, it was time to shame all those that had been a dick that year. Lenni Ferreira made the women’s team proud keeping the YAD with them after she sent some questionable pics to the team GroupMe text. And the Golden YAD could not have possibly gone to any other person than, long standing club dick, Bill ‘Mouth’ Dennison. Severn managed to squeeze in some dancing and drinking before being steered towards the hotel bar. After some more drinks, and rugby songs, Severn was finally sent packing and off to bed.
As the sun rose on Sunday morning, a few managed to make it to the hotel restaurant for brunch. With the smell of bacon and shame in the air the group discussed the previous nights’ antics.
Alumni Weekend Awards
Men of the Match: Richard Maldonado, Quinn Freeman, Aaron Cree, Jason Dunbar, Donny Stevens and Steve Palmer.
Women of the Match: Charlee Bryant and Meredith McAlister
2018 Men’s Team Awards
Rookie of the Year: John Sage
MVB: Erik 'Punchy' Droberger
MVF: Nick Stratchko
Unsung Hero: Colin Gotimer
2018 Women’s Team Awards
Rookie of the Year: Tiffany Paul
MVB: Katie Marshall
MVF: Hannah 'Scrappy' Whiteley
Unsung Hero: Ashley Chafin
Steel Tits: Tina Schafer
Players Player: Lenni Ferreira
Leather Balls: Dan Gotimer and Jerry Gallion
YAD: Lenni Ferreira
Golden YAD: Bill ‘‘Mouth’ Dennison
Gala Queen: Rachel ‘Sloth’ Priddy
Inaugural Hall of Fame Inductees