Ridgewood Rays Youth Rugby

 

 

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Ridgewood Area Youth (RAYs) Rugby is now in it's 13th season. The program has expanded from a flag only program to include tackle for boys U12 to U19. The flag club plays in the Morris Flag Rugby League.

The game we play is called American Flag Rugby, a coed, non-contact form of rugby using flags. Players build and utilize the skills of running, kicking, passing, space strategy, and teamwork. It game for all shapes and sizes and is firmly focused on developing self-confidence and having fun.

Biographies

Mark Caron

Mark discovered Rugby at Dartmouth College, where he eventually became the Captain/Coach of a program that fielded as many as five teams a weekend, and made the Elite 8 in the Collegiate National Championships. After Dartmouth, Mark played briefly in New Zealand with the Ponsonby District Rugby Football Club before moving to Philadelphia and joining the Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Football Club. Mark worked his way onto the first side and eventually became Captain in the year the club went to the Final Four of the USA Club Championships. Mark later played for and captained the Harvard Business School side and has stayed active with the occasional alumni and old boys games ever since. He is also on the Alumni Board of Governors that oversees the Dartmouth College rugby program.

Ken Ekert

Ken started playing rugby in NYC for Manhattan RFC and Old Maroon/Essex (OMEX) RFC in 1978 till 1995. Has played for the Met NY selectside from '80 thru '92. Was also selected to the ERU Colonials (east coast allstars) from 1981-1989. Has played rugby across the US and in England, Ireland, Wales, Canada, Bermuda, New Zealand and Austraila.

Tom Krenn

Tom began playing rugby at Fairfield University in 1967. While at Fairfield, Tom played in the Bahamas, Bermuda and England, Wales and Ireland. After graduation, he and several others players formed the Essex Rugby Club that played in Essex County, New Jersey. Essex merged with the Old Maroon Rugby Club and formed the OMEX Rugby Club in 1980 and played their games at Randall's Island in NYC. Tom represented the Metropolitan Rugby Union for many years and played against teams from France, Ireland, England, Scotland and South Africa. Playing for OMEX, Tom played extensively in the northeast, as well as, in Chicago, New Orleans and San Diego. Playing A side rugby until the age of 42, Tom retired in 1990 and played old boys until his 50th birthday in 1998.

John McCrudden

Born in Englewood, NJ, John began his Rugby Career at Boston College. He continued playing rugby for over 20 years for the Manhattan Rugby Club, the premier Rugby Club on Randals Island, NY. On the Manhattan Rugby Club John served many team roles including Vice President Grounds and Kit Manager (both thankless positions). He has played in the UK, Bermuda, Canada and the USA surviving two tours to New Orleans and one to Miami that He'd rather forget. John says, "Rugby's been very very good to me!"

Matthew S. Rogers, Esq.

Matt started playing rugby with Columbia Business and Law RFC at the collegiate level. At the men's level, Matt has played for multiple clubs including, Hartford Wanderers RFC, Connecticut Yankees RFC, Manhattan RFC and OMEX RFC. In 1981 Matt was selected for the Metropolitan New York Rugby Union Select Side for the 15s team and again in 1986 for the 7's team. He has played extensively overseas including Australia, Bermuda, Ireland, England and New Zealand. Matt began his rugby coaching career in 2005 with the RAYs flag program and moved into coaching the U19 tackle team following that. In addition to rugby Matt has been very active in coaching football with Ridgewood Junior Football beginning in 1997 and serving as president from 2001 to 2006. Matt serves as Ridgewood Village Attorney.

Ed Simpson

Born in Australia, Ed began playing rugby in high school(Conestoga HS in Berwyn PA) at the age of 15. Ed continued playing at Dartmouth College where he also played football. After college, Ed played rugby for 1 year with Warringah Rugby Club in Sydney Australia and 15 years with the Old Blue Rugby Club, one of the premier teams in the country. At Old Blue Ed was elected Captain 4 times, served as Club President, was recently elected to the Old Blue Hall of Fame, and continues to serve as Treasurer of the Old Blue Foundation. Ed played Select Side (all-star) rugby for NY and the East Coast and Coached Columbia University. He has played rugby in England, Scotland, France, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Canada, Australia, and the US.

Kevin R. Swords

Kevin R. Swords was a standout rugby player and captain of the Holy Cross rugby team. The Holy Cross rugby team had a winning season in each of Swords' years with the team. He went on to play in the dominating Washington Rugby football Club. Swords is considered to be one of the greatest rugby players in U.S. history serving as a long-time member of the United States National Rugby Team. During his career Swords was the most capped player in U.S. Rugby history. Caps are awarded when a player competes with a national rugby team against another country's national rugby team. Swords was also a member of the United States World Cup Rugby teams in 1987 and captained the team in 1991. Kevin was inducted to the United States Rugby Federation Hall of Fame in 2014.

Skip Cox

Skip started playing rugby in 1989 while at the Ellesmere College in Shropshire, England. He continued while attending Lehigh University and played briefly for the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union Collegiate Select Side. After leaving Lehigh, Skip played in Kentucky for the Ft Campbell Rugby Football Club.

John O'Farrell

John began playing rugby at Xavier High School (NYC) and was selected to the Metropolitan New York Rugby Union High School Select Side his senior year. In college John was a four year starter for Saint Joseph's University (Phila PA). At the men's level John has played for Bay Ridge RFC, London Wasps, Ealing RFC, Norfolk Blues and the New York Athletic Club. He has played throughout the United States, England, Bermuda and Barbados. John began coaching youth flag rugby in 2008 for the RAYs and currently is the flag program director. He also serves as an administrator for Bergen Rugby/Ridgewood Rugby Association. In non-rugby life John is a digital strategist and marketer. You can read his thought on the digital space at AllThingsInteractive.com

Jim Blottman

Growing up in Kansas City, MO., Jim started playing rugby with the Kansas City Blues from 1984-1987. He then went into the Marine Corps, playing in Hawaii both for the Kaneohe Bay Marines and Hawaii Harlequins from 1987-1992. During his time in the service he played for the All-Marine select team 2 times. Currently he plays with Montclair RFC and the Marine Old Breed. Jim began coaching youth rugby in 2012.

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