First Rugby Club Founded South of the Mason-Dixon Line. Est. 1960

Our Mission Statement

Baltimore Chesapeake Rugby Football Club (“BC”) is committed to promoting and sustaining the growth of rugby in the Greater Baltimore Area by providing the environment and structure to support rugby players and spectators of all ages.

Our Vision

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In order to meet the challenge of supporting this growth, while also assuring a voice and an opportunity to participate, the Club seeks to be:

  • An advocate for players, coaches, administrators, and referees to advance the game of Rugby
  • An educational resource for the continuous evolution of players, coaches, administrators, and referees
  • A leader as we strive for excellence by providing facilities and coaching to the highest possible standard
  • A sponsor for the youth, high school and college teams in the Baltimore area

Who we are:

Baltimore-Chesapeake Rugby Football Club has a Men’s Division 1 and Division 3 Rugby team, which both compete in the Mid-Atlantic Conference of USA Rugby (MAC) and are part of the Capital Geographic Rugby Union. BC is a very competitive organization and has regularly appeared in post season play and the National Round of 16.

Recent Accomplishments:

15’s

  • 2016 MAC Semi-finalist
  • 2015 MAC Semi-finalist
  • 2014 MAC Semi-finalist
  • 2008 MARFU Champions
  • 2007 Jersey Shore Tournament Runner-Up
  • 2006-2007 2nd round of the National Division 1 Playoffs (Final 16)
  • 2005, 2007, 2008 Atlantic Cup Tournament Runner-up
  • 2004-2008 1st round of the National Division 1 Playoffs
  • 2004-2008, 2010 Rites of Spring Tournament Champion
  • 2004 & 2010 Atlantic Cup Tournament Champion
  • 2002 National Division 1 Playoffs (Final 8)

7’s

  • 2015 MAC 3rd Place Finish
  • 2014 MAC 3rd Place Finish
  • 2010 North Penn 7’s Champions
  • 2010 Lehigh Valley 7’s Champions
  • 2010 MARFU 7’s Third Place
  • 2009 Slug 7’s Social Division Champions
  • 2006 Copenhagen Tournament (Final 8)
  • 1999 National Division 1 Playoffs 6th place

Past Tournaments/Tours

  • Copenhagen 7’s
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Tours of Wales/England
  • Atlantic Cup
  • Jersey Shore
  • Can-Am Rugby Tournament
  • St. Patty’s Day Rugby Tournament – Savannah

 

Club History

Baltimore RFC was established on New Year’s Eve, 1960, by five hearty medical students. Three of them were Emory Linder, Dixon Hills, and Bill Howard (we are still trying to sort through the ‘grand ole rugby tales’ to find out who the other two were). The first “official” practice was New Year’s Day when they went outside and kicked around a beer can. These enthusiastic students formed the Baltimore Rugby Football Club, the first team on the east coast below the Mason Dixon line. The team colors were Maroon and White and the jerseys had a sash going from the left shoulder to the right hip.

During those early years Baltimore was a member of the Potomac Rugby Union. Some of their opponents were: UVA, Princeton, Philadelphia, Old Blue, Manhattan, NY, Washington RFC, Old Red, SAIS RFC (now West Potomac), and two or three other teams from the Washington area. Just like today Baltimore had an influx of college players, some run-of-the-mill crazy guys with no rugby experience and even a few foreigners working in the states who liked to get a run. Some early road trips included Montreal and a combined tour of Wales and England with some Philly players. In one instance the guys even played a match against an English submarine/ship that was docked for the weekend. Baltimore, not straying from tradition, hosted the fellas accordingly. It just happens that a young girl became smitten with one of the English fellows and followed him back to the sub. The sub sailed the next morning and a few hundred miles out the Captain got a call from the British embassy notifying him that he may have a stowaway on board. Good rugby ‘tails’ never die…

Sometime in 1969 the Club grew to a point where there were enough players to support a split among the players and Chesapeake RFC emerged. As you all know there are never any disagreements among players, coaches and administrators so we all know that this split was amicable and all parties involved remained sociable and pleasant towards one another. The choice of a name…well, Chesapeake is larger than Baltimore, but it denotes the same area. A year later Chesapeake choose the colors Kelly Green and Black because it was believed the darker colors would make the team look meaner. Chesapeake also had on their logo the Canadian Goose and Blue Channel Crab – both emblematic of the Chesapeake Region.

You won’t find three meaner guys than John Metcalf (scrumhalf), Dennis Murphy (2nd row) and Mat Tishincski (prop), who were some of the founding members of Chesapeake RFC. The guys recruited a flag football team out of Westinghouse (Western Electric) for a nucleus. The founding fathers pitched in to buy some Jerseys at a discounted price from Simon Harris (Simon Harris must have been a discounted athletic store), the color was off yellow and it’s believed that they were actually football jerseys. They were turned in at the end of the game because “Dennis didn’t trust us to bring them to the next game”, and Pam (Mat’s wife) dutifully washed them and brought them to the next game.

Some of Chesapeake’s first players in 1969 included: John Metcalf, Dennis Murphy, Mat Tishincski, Jim Pazourek, Ed Bocklage, Dennis Cipko, Roy Woody, Ingo Lahnemann, Bob Twardizk, Thomas Hook, Tom Peddicord, Lou Ruth, Mike Fitzmaurice, Derek Osborne, and Atley Wampler.

The separation from Baltimore was friendly enough that in 1969, the first season for Chesapeake, some of the guys played for Baltimore on Saturday and Chesapeake on Sunday. That first season’s home games were played in a variety of places; however, it wasn’t until the second season that they found a pitch at Ruxton. As for the founding fathers, Mat got transferred and went on to establish a few Rugby teams in Pennsylvania. A few years ago Dennis suffered an untimely demise. John played for Chesapeake through Sept 1977 when he took a job at Rock Island, Ill. He eventually returned to Virginia in 1983 and played with the Chesapeake Old Boys until 1993.

Sometime in the late 1970’s teams around the city began forming. There were, at one time, at least, 5 teams playing in or around the Baltimore area. They were the Towson Old Boys (or some would prefer Towson Old Men), BACON (Baltimore County), Dundalk, Chesapeake and Baltimore. Under hard times the three smaller clubs eventually merged back into the two major clubs: Baltimore and Chesapeake. Dundalk merged with Baltimore in the early 80’s. The TOB’s merged with Chesapeake in 1984-1985 season and BACON merged with Baltimore in 1988 to form the Baltimore Boars.

BACON was the first team to adopt the Boar logo. They were a strong team for a number of years. Their team colors were black and blue. When Baltimore and BACON merged the Boar logo followed. The team colors for the newly formed Boars was primarily black. For most of their existence they wore black jerseys, black collars, as well as black shorts and socks. It was an intimidating look for a rugby team.

The other merger of TOB and Chesapeake was orchestrated by Peter Brock. Both clubs had been suffering from dwindling membership. The merger helped create a new rugby powerhouse in the Baltimore area. Under Peter’s quiet and determined leadership, the newly merged club began the climb out of Division II and into the First division. The combined club, Chesapeake and TOB, would remain near the top of the PRU until the early 90’s. With a heavy influx of Towson players Chesapeake changed their colors to gold and black.

In 1997 Chesapeake and Baltimore put aside their differences and merged back together to form Baltimore-Chesapeake RFC. Baltimore, at the time, was playing in Division 2 and Chesapeake was playing in Division 1. The combined members decided to stay in the elite Divison. With an infusion of Australian players in the late 90’s, such as Scott Adlington and John Moss, the Baltimore-Chesapeake RFC took on the nickname ‘Brumbies’. A brumby is a wild horse native to Australia.  In 2016, BC dropped the nickname and returned to its roots as Baltimore Chesapeake and adopted the logo that reflects the colors which are a mix of both clubs: Gold, Black, and Green.

Please check back for periodic updates. If you would like to share your knowledge of the history of the club please email James Hale at jamespaulhale@yahoo.com.