Inaugural Class of the Severn River Rugby Hall of Fame Inducted

Henry, Mike Pete HOF.jpg

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 Freeman

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 Posko

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 Posko

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.

Severn River Men vs Western Suburbs

Severn River Men traveled to Fairfax, VA this past weekend, to match up with last year’s D3 central division champions, Western Suburbs. It was another nail biter for the gentlemen from Annapolis, as they kept the match tight all day, but fell in the end, 28-22. Western Suburbs started off the match with a good bit of possession, finished off by a try from their number 8, Phillip Walter. Severn answered right back with some quick hands in the backline leading to Captain Colin Gotimer dotting it down in the 15th minute. The momentum for the match swung with a yellow card in 35th minute for Suburbs’ inside center, Bassam Estwani. And although Erik Dronberger was able to convert the resulting penalty to bring the score to 14-8, Suburbs were the beneficiaries of the swing, as they turned on their engines while down a man and did not relinquish the ball for the majority of their center’s 10 minutes in the bin. Two second half tries by Wing Robbie Wygal and Dronberger weren’t enough to turn the tide, as Suburbs matched river score for score in the second half through 2 tries from Wing Gary Jackson. Cullen “The Bulge” Bilger took home the backs man of the match honors in his first start of the season, Nick Stratchko grabbed it for the forwards.  Severn will look to get their 1st win of the season at home against Frederick RFC this Saturday at 1pm.

Tries: C. Gotimer (1), R. Wygal (1), E. Dronberger (1 - 3)

Conversions: E. Dronberger (2 of 3; 4 of 5)

Penalties: E. Dronberger (1 of 1)


Severn River’s B side saw their first action of season against Western Suburbs’s D4 side on Saturday and they faired a little better than their 1st side did against the outfit from Northern Virginia. Although Severn had several men in the starting lineup playing in their very first rugby match, they won in a romp, 53-19. River’s Killer B’s spread the ball all of over the pitch as 8 different players found the try zone. In particular, the backline of Tommy Sitar, Brandon Kirk and Logan Reece proved a large problem for Suburbs, as the trio scored 4 tries on the day. The forwards had a great day as well, with Lock Derek Swayze and Flanker Matt “Farva” Sabol both scoring their first career tries in the match. Swayze and Logan Reece took home men of the match for the forwards and backs, respectively. The Bs look to continue winning ways against Frederick at home this Saturday at 3pm.

Tries: B. Kirk (1), L. Reece (2), M. Sabol (1), T. Sitar (1), R. Wygal (1), R. Maldonado (1), D. Swayze (1), C. Gotimer (1)

Conversions: M. Greenstreet (2 of 5), R. Maldonado (1 of 1), C. Gotimer (1 of 2)