Pete Freeman, Mike Posko, and Henry Posko became the inaugural members of the Severn River Rugby Hall of Fame on October 27, 2018. With some remarkable words by teammate and lifelong friend Marty O’Neil, these three set a daunting precedent for future inductees. Marty’s remarks about each inductee are summarized below:
Pete began his rugby playing days in 1978 at what was then known as Frostburg State College. That same Frostburg side not only gave us Pete, it’s players formed the backbone of Maryland Old Boys (MOB) for years. You may not know this but Pete is actually a biology major masquerading as a skilled craftsman and I have vivid memories of riding to matches in that old Toyota pickup and getting a play by play of the flora and fauna from Hagerstown to Morgantown.
Well, Pete brought his talents back home to Severna Park in 1979 and has continued to be an active player ever since. Pete has also laced his boots up for the PRU Select Side, BASS or Baltimore Areas Select Side, ERU, Louisiana Exiles, Virginia Cardinals, Wilmington Old Boys, the CRABBS and of course the Severn Old Salts.
He was a multiple winner of Most Valuable Back and Unsung Hero. He captained the club for 3 years, coached for 3 years, served as Secretary and of course was Mr. Field and Equipment forever.
Pete is drenched in rugby. He continues to referee, coach the Severna Park Green Hornets youth program, teach at coaching clinics, introduce his boys into the sport and stay in touch with scores of ruggers - old and new, international and domestic.
When we played, you wanted to be around him because he was always first to every breakdown. On the social side, you wanted to be around him because he made it so easy to just be yourself.
Mike, along with his brother Henry founded Severn River Rugby in 1978 and Mike, in some form or fashion, has been roaming the Severn River pitch ever since. Mike also suited up for the Old Salts, CRABS, UMBC Alumni, Virginia Cardinals, Chesapeake Old Boys, Wilmington Old Boys, Gorge Old Boys, PAC Old Boys … there is an OLD theme here …Poltroons, and Roosters.
Mike won the Most Valuable Forward (twice) and the Most Valuable Back award. He was also a select side player on four different occasions, won the Leather Balls twice and impressively, had an Eagle tryout in 1986.
Mike also served as Captain, Selector, President, Vice President and Governor. He coordinated a number of tours ranging from England in 1981 to Ireland in 2017. He coached both the 15’s and 7 sides for a number of years but perhaps his unwavering affection for rugby reared it’s unrealistic head when at the age of 50, he challenged the props to get fit and as a result, Mike ended up playing A side.
Most of all, Mike was the difference maker in all of the key matches. Fearless at the back of a scrum and never afraid to stand toe-to-toe with any opponent, Mike leads by example and his passion for this club and the game have impacted countless ruggers along the way.
Henry was the scrum half and outside center for Old Red Rugby from 1974-1978. Wanting to play a bit closer to home, he co-founded this very club with his brother Michael in 1978.
Henry owns virtually all the ‘firsts’ with Severn River. First Coach, First Captain, First Selector, First Scrum Half – until Pete later bailed him out. It should not go unnoticed that Henry also was also the ‘first check book’ – getting the club off the ground takes union dues, money for jerseys (those funky brown things), parties, and field expenses.
Off the field, Henry has served as President, Vice President, Governor, Match Secretary and Field and Equipment guy. He was the Inaugural recipient of the “Leather Balls” award back in 1978 and won his derby for Most Valuable Back in 1979. Henry also coached the first Coed youth rugby for the Green Hornets and sandwiched his virtually lifetime relationship with the Club with two international tours: England in 1981 and Ireland in 2017.
Henry has always been the role model for this club. A reserved, dignified and elegant man that was happy to see others be in the spot light, that wanted to make their dent in the universe. He set the initial direction for this club, has mentored leaders up close and from a distance and will always be our compass.