PWRFC defeats PCOM in 1st Game Back 18-0
Yes, we did get a full side to play our first match back against PCOM. Yes, the newly now resurgent Philly Whitemarsh Rugby Football Club did take an early lead on a Steve Frey penalty kick right in front of the posts. But never in anyone's wildest dreams did the PWRFC players and sideline of fans expect to see the contingent of young PWRFC backs combine for a nifty 50 meter scoring play culminating with a Bobby Carroll try. The play, which went through inside center Pat Iffrig to Frey playing outside then to Carroll who dotted in the corner, gave PW an 8-0 lead and fittingly included a nucleus of young new stars. To make the moment complete Steve Frey banged home the conversion from the corner to give PW a 10-nil lead that would hold up until half time.
Mark Sanders led a fine crop of young players in the forwards including Charlie Tarloski, Justin Boehert, Mike Burns, Matt Quigg and Bob. Freddie Koniecki and Keith McLean kinda fit into the 'a little bit older' category. The forwards did a great job of retaining and taking possession from the opposition. Without a doubt it was tenasious defence all around that helped win the day. One more shout out to Mike Burns for a huge effort tackling the opposition at every turn. And two old men: a 51 year-old scrum-half named Jeff Schmidt and a 49 year-old lock and Philly-Whitemarsh Hall of Famer named Keith McLean for giving their all for all 70 minutes.
Freddie Konicki dotted down an unconverted try mid-way through the second half and Steve Frey added a penalty late in the match to seal the 18-0 victory.
We need to take a moment here and point to club history. On the sidelines for this 'reboot' of our club was our very own George Betzler who was around pretty much at the start of Philadelphia Rugby Club in the early 60's as a player and certainly right there when Whitemarsh began in the late 60's as a coach. Then there's Bobby who's father Wolfie Carroll was instrumental to the success of Whitemarsh in the 80's as a center. Sweet.
The 'moment' of the day for me happened right at the half-time whistle. Mark Sanders, yes Mark Sanders, raced off the field to his blanket to change his daugher Ella. Did he name her after the famous Australian sensation of brothers including Mark Ella? I do not know. You have to know that I'm a father of a 4 year old boy, 2 1/2 year old girl and a 7 month old boy. You see, Mark's day with Ella is Saturday since he travels all week for work. Mark came to the game Saturday with a blanket, a diaper bag, his baby girl and, of course, his cleats. A special thank you to Steve Frey's girlfriend for caring for Ella during our match.
Mark played like he's been playing every weekend for years and just one of the many bright spots on the day. I recieved so many emails from well-wishers. Here's but a few:
Michael Verrill wrote:
Steve, I am on the pitch with you tomorrow with thought and emotion, nobody ever scored a try with just those two things, but I am giving you what I have. Good luck, I will be thinking about you. Yours in Rugby, Mutt
Winters, Matthew wrote:
Good luck Steve. Ran into Freddie last week in Wayne after your practice. It was good to see him. Matt
Brown, Jim wrote:
You got the juices flowing Steve. Best of luck in the brand new moment. I'll be thinking about you guys! Jim
Doyle, Gerald (US - Cleveland) wrote:
Good Luck Stephen, it's a noble cause and I wish you much success. Looking forward to hearing the results. Jerry
Ben Spillard wrote:
Steve: I applaud all the work you and Keith McLean have done to get the PW Rugby Club back on its feet. Good luck with the new venture. You mentioned the date October 17 for a banquet. Good luck, Ben Spillard
Bradford Mills wrote:
Steve: Great email. You have laid out all the right reasons for coming out to play. I am CIPP'd. Brad
Lex McCurry wrote:
I will see you next week. Will CIPP soon. Have fun and win!
Clark DeLeon wrote:
Dear Stephen, You needy motherf***er. Just because I was "in" your first match with Whitemarsh, just because I was "at" Albany in the rain when you scored against South Africa, just because I was "crying" when Michael scored that ballsy try against the defending national champion California boys in the frigid wind after the late spring hail storm in Denver, you think I'll show up tomorrow? Well, guess again, Cornell boy. I've got better things to do than watch the glorious resurrection of Whitemarsh led by yet another overweight Siano brother. If you see me there (what, about One O'clock?) on the PCOM pitch on Monument Avenue (you should have warned them about the detour off Belmont) it's only because I was on my way to Target anyway. Don't you ever accuse me of caring. You know that's a big fat lie. Clark
Mike Badger wrote:
Stephen, Keith, Schmitty - Sorry I can't be there tomorrow to take the pitch with you, and share another fond rugby memory, but know that I'll be thinking of you and wishing the best for the new PWRFC. Thanks for not giving up on our club! Badger
Collins, Sean wrote:
Stephen, What an awesome message.....I'll be thinking of you today. ... Here's to the rebirth of what was, undoubtedly, a stretch of the greatest years of my life thus far; playing for PWRFC. It won't be long for you to enjoy another "MOMENT" when you lace up the boots with Bobby (Siano). All the best today. I'll see you at the Betzler outing next week. Sean
Cary McClain wrote:
Stevey, I was at an Indian Princess weekend camp out in cabins at a YMCA camp site with my two girls. Sorry to have missed it. Cary
1. Freddie Koniecki
2. Charlie Tarloski
3. Mark Sanders
4. Keith McLean
5. Justin Boehert
6. Mike Burns
7. Matt Quigg
8. Bob Haller
9. Jeff Schmidt
10. Stephen Siano
11. Alex Heck
12. Pat Iffrig
13. Steve Frey
14. Bobby Carroll
15. Mike Kelly
16. Rafael Zahralddin-Aravena