2002-01-26 / Sports

Rockaway Rugby Football Club 2001 Summary

Rockaway Rugby Football
Club 2001 Summary

(This is the first installment of the 2001 summary. It will continue in next week’s edition.)

The year 2001 has come to an end for the Rockaway Rugby Club and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the year and look forward to your continued support in the New Year.

Our club has made some improvements both as a club and as a team in 2001 and the future of the Rockaway Fisheads looks brighter than ever. The club has extended President Bob Johnson contract through the 2003 season with an option for 2004, since Bob has not finished the goals set by him self, when he took the helm. He has committed himself to presiding over the Fishead organization until all goals are accomplished. After being the 1999 Irish Parade grand marshal honor and November 2001 Rugby Magazine cover boy, Bob has set his sight on the 2002 Met. N.Y. RFU Division Championship for the club. A "goal" that is well within his grasp.

The March St. Patrick Day College Tournament was a success with four teams competing with Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute capturing the 2001 title. A Queens County parade and party at the rugby clubhouse followed the tournament. Over 1000 guests enjoyed the bands, D.J. and the police department. The party raised money for the club and their charities.

The Spring Season was highlighted with wins over Manhattan, Long Island, Princeton, Village Lions and a close match against Div.1 New York RFC. Many of the young guys who joined in the fall were introduced to Fishead Rugby and have made an immediate impacted on our A & B sides. Chris C, Brian Nache, Rick Finkel, Pete ‘Shady" Brady, Pete Haggerty and imports Jarrod Gould & Luke Joseph.

The Rockaway Rugby Club was the feature article in the November 2001 issue of Rugby Magazine, the leading rugby publication in the USA. The cover illustrates club members and FDNY firefighters John "Ghetto" McMorrow, Bob Johnson and John ‘Oakie" O’Connor. The story evolved around the Sept 11th tragedy and the relationship our club has with the Rockaway community.

Aside from the "Rockaway dream" comment, the article is a good read and promotes the club very well. As one old boy, Matt Guiliano stated, "it makes us look like "choir" boys". We fooled them.

George "Rocket" Johnson and Dan "Slaughter" McWilliams have been immortalized with their Firemen Raising Flag photo featured in every news story throughout the country. A coin has been minted, U.S. stamp and Sept. 11th memorial are in the works. These guys are modest about the national recognition but deserve all the praise along with all the other NYC firefighters on our club. This was after turning down numerous offers to appear on Nightline, Oprah, Letterman, Leno, etc…. and receiving awards. George finally caved in and appeared as grand marshal of a small town Christmas Parade in Munfordville, Kentucky. This is the hometown of a little boy named Forest Nichols, who George had become friends with in 1995. His next honor will be "head bead thrower" on the Rockaway Rugby Irish Parade float in 2002. A little known fact: George, Ratman, Tim Kelly and Jim Mona hold the record for the most consecutive parade appearances, walking or floating for the rugby club.

The Rockaway Rugby Football Club will hold their annual general meeting on Saturday, Jan. 26th, 2002 at our Rugby Clubhouse on Beach 113th Street, at 10 a.m.

Agenda: Spring Season, St. Patrick’s Day, elections, Shareholders $, Club Finances, Deadbeat list, Foreign Players, Rockaway Gear for sale, Clubhouse Report, College Tournament, Over 35 Tournaments, Old business, New business, Old ideas, New Ideas, Tyrone’s Fishead Ski Trip. Also, Football, Food, Beer & Superbowl Boxes will be discussed.

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