Front Row:  Fran Rizzitano, Brian Caffyn, Jeff Johnson, Joe O’Connor, Peter McNally, Craig Tucker, Tim DeMello, George Mandt, Craig Gibson, Jim Belli, Mike Clancy, Steve Ashekian

Standing: Professor John McKenzie, Rory Veevers-Carter, Scott Hagermoser, Ken Jasper, Jerry Hanafin, John ___, John Carty, Charlie Harrington, Ken Romanzi, Kevin Maley, Jim Moriarty, Bob Moss, Randy Kerr, Dave Mackay, Jed Roth, Kevin Manning, JD White, Bill Anderson, Marian Sowinski, Jeff Bagley, Steve McDonnell, Peter Forest


After a summer of playing Rugby with the Beacon Hill Rugby Club in Boston, MA, returning Junior Tim DeMello began recruiting for a Club at Babson College during the first week of fall semester in September 1979.  While staked out in prime viewing at Trim Hall, Tim expressed his intentions and the word spread rapidly.  One night later a group of 40 to 50 curious undergrads, including a few graduate students, assembled on the Upper fields across from Coleman Hall.  Only a handful of the bunch had any prior experience with rugby.  The nature of the game, it’s equipment, formations, rules and goals were briefly addressed.  Two nights later, an even larger audience assembled again. Barely a Club as yet, Tim had the first scrimmage scheduled for September 22, 1979 with our mentoring sponsors; the Beacon Hill Rugby Club.

The result wasn’t pretty but it showed a lot of promise in certain areas.  Molding the raw talent of American-made athletes from Football, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey and Lacrosse was the biggest challenge.  Before long, Professor John “The Duke” McKenzie presented himself to Tim as a resource to help with the coaching and management.  John’s years of Rugby at Michigan State and Amherst College provided a wealth of experience to our education and the winning philosophy of college Rugby. Tim’s intensity for the game and John’s attention to detail enabled the learning curve to improve dramatically.

With fewer penalties to hamper the clubs progress, our competitiveness began to pay off.  On October 6, 1979 at Cleveland Circle, across from the reservoir on the East Side of Boston College, BURC played the Old Gold Rugby Club in two matches.  Old Gold was the BC Alumni Club and they beat the Babson A Team by a score of 12-0.  In the following match however, BURC scored its first points on a try from Ken Jasper, followed by a sideline-angle kick from Tim DeMello.  The match was won by Old Gold 18-6, but the first blood of scoring was drawn.  Try’s were worth 4 points at the time. After another loss against the Beacon Hill Rugby Club B-Side by a score of 8-0, John encouraged Tim to seek matches with collegiate teams instead. And so it was, on a sunny day near the Charles at MIT during Octoberfest Weekend at Babson, that BURC collected the first win of its existence by a score of 26-0.

Invigorated by this win, BURC entered its first official Tournament with a Round Robin contest sponsored by Miller Beer at Tufts University on November 3.  BURC lost its opening match to the eventual winners by a score of 17-0 on a raw sleeting day.  In fact the consolation match for 3rd Place was settled through a Boat Race Drinkoff between a select 5-Side of Ruggers from Babson, versus a similar squad from Trinity College.  The Babson Quintet finished victoriously and Tim DeMello accepted the first ever trophy for BURC.  This win culminated a physically punishing fall season that yielded great promise and enthusiasm if nothing less.

The winter of 1979-1980 saw great recruitment efforts and produced a solid two-team roster for the spring 1980 Season.  Consecutive A and B-Side Wins in the opening three weeks of the Season against Boston College, St. Anselms and Harvard B & C sides provided great energy for the program.  Our singing improved dramatically and our schooling via The Duke had paid fine dividends with our success.  However, returning to Division 1 play with Matches against the recent Mardis Gras Champions, Tufts University proved too much for BURC on a Saturday afternoon during Parents Weekend at the Babson Back 40.  Losing tight matches to Tufts, both A & B-Sides had little consolation to what was rapidly building expectations for an undefeated season.

The following Saturday saw an equally difficult contest against another Division 1 powerhouse, Brown University.  Proving to be the strongest collegiate club faced to-date, Brown grabbed two matches from BURC by undefeated scores of 19-0 and 9-0.  As April drew to a close and the season wound down, BURC traveled to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the New England Rugby Football Union championships. As a newcomer club, BURC played in the second division of schools.  Playing in three matches over Saturday and Sunday in the midst of 40 clubs at Umass was the crowning achievement of BURC’s first year of play.  This winning season set the Club on a roll that included many successive years of winning seasons and propelled BURC to the forefront of interest on campus.


Year Name From Position
1980 Bagley, Brian Wing
1980 Chickering, Mark Outside Center, Wing
1980 Kerr, Randall Inside Center
1980 Maley, Kevin 2nd Row
1980 McNally, Peter Prop
1980 Moriarty, James Scrum Half
1980 Moss, Robert 2nd Row
1980 Sowinski, Marian Wing Forward
1981 Belli, James Prop
1981 Caffyn, Brian Wing
1981 Carty, John Eight-man
1981 Clancy, Michael Hooker
1981 DeMello, Timothy Eight-man
1981 Gibson, Craig Fullback
1981 Hanafin, Jerome Wing Break
1981 Johnson, Jeffrey Hooker
1981 Kersten, Robert 2nd Row
1981 Mandt, George Srum Half, Fly Half
1981 Manning, Kevin 2nd Row, Eight-man
1981 McCaffrey, Vincent Inside Center
1981 O’Brien, Leo Wing
1981 O’Connor, Joseph Inside Center
1981 Petrecki, Mark Prop
1981 Tucker, Craig Fullback
1981 White, John Wing Break
1982 Jasper, Kenneth Wing
1982 Johnson, Karl Flanker, 2nd Row
1982 Romanzi, Kenneth Fly Half, Inside Center
1982 Volante, John Wing Forward
1982 Williams, Christopher Wing Forward
1983 Anderson, William Wing Forward
1983 Ashekian, Stephen Wing
1983 Hagermoser, Scott 2nd Row
1983 Harrington, Charles Fly Half
1983 Kerwin, Joseph Wing
1983 Mackay, David Prop
1983 McDonnell, Stephen Wing Forward
1983 Noel, Peter Prop, 2nd Row
1983 Rizzitano, Francis Wing
1983 Roth, John Wing
1983 Vazza, Michael Wing
1983 Veevers-Carter, Rory Wing Forward