Frostburg State U. Rugby Club and Alumni Association: Welcome
Welcome to the Frostburg Rugby Club & Alumni page. The current team management at Frostburg has asked that we set up a site for Alumni to keep them informed and throw some change their way!
Please pass this on to all of your old teammates and have them sign up for the site.
Monday, April 11
In January of 1974, on the frozen tundra of the old soccer field, Frostburg State held its first practice. Since then Frostburg has had a men’s College Division 2 & 3 rugby team completing against some of the Nations best. We field 2 men’s teams in the spring and fall. We are members of the Mid Atlantic Rugby Union and USA Rugby Union. We have had players join us from High School teams (Cambridge, St. Johns, North Bay, etc) and go onto to senior men’s rugby (Rocky Gorge, Frederick, Washington, etc) all the way to National and International honors.
Frostburg has also had in the past a women’s team, which is in the process of rebuilding and anyone interested to play should contact us.
Here are some of our achievements:
1976 State Collegiate Finals Appearance
1978 Allegaheny Rugby Union Champions
1993 Potomac Rugby Union Division 2 Champions
1993 USA College Divison 2 National Finals
1997 Undefeat Regular Season
2000, 2003, 2004 Gorge Cup Champions
2009 Potomac Rugby Union Division 3 Champions
2009, 2010 Frederick RFC Invitational Champions
2010 MARFU Div. 3 Appearance
2010 UPJ Blood Tournament Champions
Terry Lee Gaston (1947-2003) - Frostburg State Rugby Team Founder The Rugby team was the brainchild of Terry Gaston who joined Frostburg State College, in 1973 as a Business Professor. Posters were hung in all the buildings on campus in January of 1974. The poster announced a meeting for anyone interested in organizing or playing rugby. Terry had learned to play while he served in the Peace Corp in South America. Terry was a professor at Frostburg until 1984. He moved to Southern Oregon University where he stayed until his untimely passing in October 2, 2003 after 2½ months of battling complications stemming from a ruptured brain aneurysm. He was 56 years old. They had about 20 guys show up for that first meeting, which was held on the soccer field, at that time it was located where the baseball stadium now sits. Terry had a Rugby ball. It was the first time any of us had ever seen one. We trained and learned and drank on a regular basis from early February until March. Greg Slick was elected/appointed the first president of the Rugby club. Terry and Greg put together a schedule of games. The first game was against Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmittsburg and they were well beaten. Terry scored our only try of the game on a penalty kick near the end of the second half. However. They started a grand tradition by winning the party. That first year Frostburg played Galudet U, Turkey Thicket, WVU and a couple of others, compiling a 11-8-1 record. The club was finally became a recognized club at Frostburg in 1975.
Throughout the 1970’s Frostburg grow into a powerhouse of local College rugby. Appearing in the first State Collegiate Rugby finals in 1976 and winning the inaugural Allegheny Rugby Union final in 1978. Several players from the team went onto start the Maryland Old Boys Rugby Club, which is now Maryland Exiles. From that club Shaun Western, Mark Miller and John Redmond were members of the MOB sevens team that won the National 7’s Tournament 1987 & 1989. Mark Miller also represented the USA in sevens aside rugby in 1994. Greg Slick went onto to establish the Rock City Reds Rugby Club in Hagerstown MD.
During the 1980’s the club continued to be a force in the developing rugby competitions here in the US. They continued to play a mix of Division 1 and 2 schools, such as Navy, Penn State, Maryland, WVU, Towson, Catholic, and archrival Salisbury State. They always get the best of these teams except for Navy. In 1983 Navy, defending national champions at the time, came to Frostburg. Frostburg held them to only 3 points in the first half, but Navy kicked it into second gear and ran in 49 unanswered points to win. The school wasn't too fond of the team in 1985-86, so they played off campus, but prior to that we played on the field down cross from the campus police station. The first ever Alumni game was held in 1986. It took some time before the club was allowed back onto campus. Alumni Tom Owens went onto establish The Rocky Gorge Rugby Club in Laurel MD.
As the 1990’ s started off, tragedy stuck the team. They lost Bill Horak and Jonathan Berkowitz to a car accident in late 1990. Today Jonathan Berkowitz has his name on the Wall of Remembrance, which is located outside the performing arts building. Finally the club was able to get back onto campus. In 1993 Frostburg won The PRU Division 2 College championship and went onto the to the National finals, going down to LaSalle 10-7. In 1996, again the team featured on the National stage again. Losing 1 game during the regular season and getting the PRU championship game. 1997, they went one better by having an their first undefeated regular season and again making it to the RPU Championship game. Both years they made it to the final four in the MARFU championships. Rob Balnis became the second player from Frostburg to represent the United State as a member of the seven-aside team in 1999.
The Rugby Club continued on at the turn of the century. We had a couple of off field issues to deal with but overall the school left us alone for the most part. We continued to make PRU College Division 2 playoff appearances but have not been able to get to the championship game. We won the Gorge Cup in 2000, 2003 and 2004. The Club restarted the grand tradition of holding an Alumni weekend with the first one being held in 2006. In 2008 and 2009 we made the finals of the PRU Division 3, winning it in 2009. The fall of 2009 and the spring of 2010 were the most successful seasons we have had since 1993. Not only winning the College Division 3, but also winning the Division 2 West, and also going undefeated in Division 3. The spring of 2010 started slowly but we finished strong winning the UPJ Blood Tournament and also the Frederick Invitational for the second time. Allistar Roper was the third Frostburg Alumni to be selected international duties. In 2008 he was selected to play for Trinidad and Tobago.
Monday, April 11
After 35 years of being the Club Faculty Advisor and highly supportive to the rugby club, Tom Hawk retired in 2009 from Frostburg State. Luckily there is Phil Allen; a native of England and huge rugby supporter stepped in to take his place. The accumulated history of the club, though not complete shows that this club has been one of the most successful sport teams at Frostburg State. Which is a huge accomplishment due to the fact that the school does not provide a large amount of support in the terms of field space and funding. Everything that this club accomplished they have truly earned through their own hard work and commitment to the game of rugby. It has also opened the doors to travel around the world playing rugby: Sri Lanka, Argentina, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji, and The Cayman Islands just to name a few countries our Alumni have traveled.