Dayton Area Rugby Club
|Founded||1973 (Men) & 1979 (Women)|
|Location||Dayton, Ohio, USA|
|Ground(s)||Eastwood Metropark/Dayton Rugby Grounds|
|Coach(es)||Bob Borgerding (Club Coach); Shane Stachurski & Chris Schreel (Men's Coaches); Tom Kraemer & Kristen "KJ" Pertner (Women's Coaches); David King (Sevens Coach); Richie O'Donnell, Kevin O'Donnell, Matt Tracey, Frank Harris, Steve Butler, Larry Morris, and Dale Kellis(U19/HS Coaches).|
|Captain(s)||Nick Manfred and Matt Rutledge (Men); Bonnie Shields & Jen Butler (Women)|
|League(s)||Midwest Division II (Men)|
Dayton Area Rugby Club is a rugby union football club based in Dayton, Ohio, United States. The club currently fields Men's, Women's and Under-19/High School squads and play their home games at Eastwood Metropark, until the new facility at Dayton Rugby Grounds is ready.
As well as running three squads, the club also provides support of other area Under-19/High School sides and volunteers for various local events. As well as a number of players also coaching at various levels, there are also a few club members who have gone on to continue their involvement in the sport by becoming referees.
Rugby first came to Dayton, Ohio in the fall of 1969 when a group of University of Dayton students, led by Bob Borgerding, played their first rugby match. The University of Dayton continues to play rugby to this day, fielding both a Men's and a Women's squad.
Club rugby came onto the scene in 1973 with the founding of the Dayton Triangles RFC, named for the first champion of the National Football League, the Dayton Triangles. This name was soon changed to the Miami Valley Rugby Football Club (RFC), later changing its name to Dayton RFC. At the same time, Wright State University RFC spun off the Gem City RFC. Unfortunately, Wright State’s squad folded soon after Gem City RFC was established, Wright State was able to reestablish its club later. At the same time the Wittenberg University RFC and Wright-Patt Jets RFC developed from the Dayton RFC.
In the early 1980s, the Dayton RFC and Gem City RFC merged to form the Dayton Argylls RFC. This arrangement lasted until the early 1990s, when the Dayton Argylls RFC and the Wright-Patt Jets RFC merged.
Over the years, rugby squads in the Dayton area have been very successful. In fifteens competition, the Wright Patt. Jets were Military National Champions. The Argylls, in their final season, placed third in the Midwest Division II Championship. The Flying Pigs qualified for the Midwest Division II Championships in both 1994, 1995, and 2011, placing second in 1994. Dayton has had success in rugby sevens as well, qualifying for the National Championship in 1984 and 1985.
The first women's squad was started in 1979 and lasted into the next decade. The Women's squad was reformed in 1999 by Lola Akinmade. The squad has been very successful, winning the Midwest Division II Women’s Championship and finishing third in the nation in 2002. During part of its existence, the squad was merged with the women's squad of the Cincinnati Kelts; after a few years as the joint Cincinnati-Dayton Women's squad the team split in 2006 to rejoin their respective city clubs.
Under-19s (High School) Squad
High school rugby in Dayton began in the early 1980s with two teams: Centerville, (coached by John Guhde and Joe Mitolo), and Fairmont, (coached by Ron Flohre), which soon combined. There was a restart of high school rugby in 1993 with the advent of a Chaminade-Julienne team, (coached by Kevin Kavanaugh). In the late 1990s, a combined Dayton High School team, (coached by Chris Schreel), had two second-place finishes in the Ohio High School Championships.
The current squad incarnation was started in the mid-2000s and has already seen some of players selected to the Ohio U19 squad and the Ohio South Select squad. In the 2009 season, the squad took the SW Ohio Cup, advancing to Ohio finals.
In 2012 Dayton U19 (now called High School) expanded to Springfield (started by Matt and Nancy Tracey).
For play in Spring 2013, the organization expanded to four High School squads in the Dayton area that are all to be affiliated with the Dayton Area Rugby Club. The four teams are Dayton, Springfield, Miami County (started by Frank Harris), and South Dayton (started by Kevin and Rich ODonnell).
The club has lived up to its current name over the years, using many different venues around the Greater Dayton area. Before the team secured the use of green space for the permanent placement of at Eastwood, in 2007, venues they have used have included Dayton's Carillon Park and Centerville's Leonard E. Stubbs Memorial Park.
In January 2012, the independent Five Rivers Youth Rugby Foundation, (FRYRF), was formed in Dayton. Lead by Chris Schreel and Frank Harris, FRYRF purchased the Fenner Fields baseball complex in north Dayton, renaming the facility as Dayton Rugby Grounds (DRG). The rugby community of the Dayton Area worked to turn the seven baseball diamonds into rugby pitches. Much of the work was carried out by volunteers from the club, which has established a Use Agreement with FRYRF to use DRG as their home pitch and beginning Fall of 2013.
In 2013, DRG finish leveling their second pitch and is planning to begin use in the Fall of 2015.