The Fall of 1981 was the first year without Tim DeMello and many of the guys that built the team in the last two years. We had great players returning but the feel was very different.
Buzz on the campus was tremendous from our returning squad and we had great success in recruiting once again. Rugby was a winning club with great team camaraderie, great stories, and a loyal following of fans to make the games fun. We knew we had a strong returning squad and we could compete at any level within New England.
Injuries took their toll on some of the stalwarts of the club over the course of the season, including our biggest body in the line Bill Anderson, and just prior to the NERFU tournament, Russ Mucklow our scrum-half. However, the club was deep with talent and others stepped up repeatedly to fill the shoes of injured starters.
We entered the First Division NERFU tournament that fall undefeated with an opening tie against Tufts, followed by wins against Mass Maritime, Central Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, Wesleyan, and Amherst College. We drew an unfortunate seed against UMass Amherst in the first round and struck early with a try to make it 4-0 Babson. UMass went on to win 31-4, then blank its three next opponents to win the Northeast Championship decisively. Babson went on to beat Boston College in the consolation division that afternoon.
Records aren’t clear about whether another game was played on Sunday. The following week saw a match at Williams that was more like a scrimmage. Williams couldn’t provide a referee so they had a rookie player ref the game. It would have been nice if he knew the rules….. The spring started strong with BURC’s first Spring Break International Trip for a tournament in Bermuda sponsored by Amstel; a new beer company at the time. Fairfield sent half a team and two other teams never showed.
So we lined up a match against the Bermuda Police. With less than the full complement of A-team players, and a couple who’ve never played before, we took the field against a much larger, more physical, better trained, and better conditioned squad and got our butts kicked. It was great. We also enjoyed a liberal treatment from the locals for the remainder of our trip which was greatly appreciated.
When we returned to school, we started strong again with wins against URI, St. Anselms (our favorite social team), a disappointing forfeiture (win) because Plymouth State just didn’t show, and Colby. Then came the silly season. The Beacon Hill Rugby Club (BURC’s founding sponsors) challenged area colleges for a match, and so Babson along with other area schools assembled an all-star team to play. Beacon Hill prevailed by a score of 18-6 in a match that tested the good-will of such a game.
Next up was the First Annual Alumni Game. BURC seemed to have it in the bag until a late second half pass in the outer line was intercepted by Joe O’Connor ’81 and run back for a try to tie the score. Tim DeMello converted for the kick and shortly thereafter the match was over. Alumni won by a score of 7-6 and the match ensured that future games would be played each spring. Joe hung up his cleats after the game declaring that he’s going out on top.
The following two weeks saw difficult losses against Amherst College and a poorly reffed match against WPI, leaving the season on a down-note, but playing an 8-game season once again. Graduating seniors knew they were giving way to an even stronger crew, as next year’s team would be lead by the first four-year/eight-season group of players.
|1982||Jasper, Kenneth||Fullback, Center|
|1982||Johnson, Karl||Flanker, 2nd Row|
|1982||Noel, Peter||Flanker, 2nd Row|
|1982||Romanzi, Kenneth||Flanker, Center|
|1982||Sheehy, Edward||Outside Center|
|1982||Tuygil, John||All purpose Back|
|1983||Brady, Robert||Wing Break|
|1983||Farmakis, William||Flanker, 2nd Row|
|1983||Hagermoser, Scott||Prop, 2nd Row|
|1983||Harrington, Charles||Fly-half, Inside Center|
|1983||Kerwin, Joseph||Scrum Half|
|1983||Knott, Thomas||Outside Center|
|1983||Mackay, David||2nd Row, Eight-man|
|1983||Mackey, Russell||Outside Center, Wing|
|1983||McDonnell, Stephen||Prop, 2nd Row|
|1983||McManus, Daniel||All purpose Back|
|1983||Reilly, Mark||All purpose Back|
|1983||Roth, John||Flanker, Hooker|
|1983||Sabbag, Lewis||Prop, 2nd Row|
|1983||Veevers-Carter, Rory||All purpose Back|
|1984||Allen, Randolph||Wing Break|
|1984||Fontana, Gregory||All purpose Back|
|1984||Guemes, Julio||Wing Break|
|1984||Hathaway, Nichols||Center, Fullback|
|1984||Lukaska, Kenneth||Outside Center|
|1984||Mandell, Jeffrey||All purpose Back|
|1984||McGill, Jeffrey||All purpose Back|
|1984||Mucklow, Russell||Scrum Half|
|1984||Popper, Stephen||Scrum Half, Hooker|
|1984||Roth, Mark||Wing Break|
|1984||Vivas, Carlos||Inside, Outside Center|
|1985||Gaffney, John||All purpose Back|
|1985||Gordon, David||Hooker, Flanker|
|1985||Kageleiry, Paul||Wing Break|
|1985||Simpson, James||2nd Row, Flanker|