Scranton Norseman Rugby
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|Full name||University of Scranton Norsemen Rugby Football Club|
|Union||Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union|
|President||Blaise Casillo '18|
|League(s)||EPRA Men's College Division II|
The Norsemen were chartered and founded as a club at the University of Scranton in 1985. The Norsemen enjoyed success through the 1990s and developed a reputation as a tough and physical team.
In 1999, due to off-field incidents and parental complaints, the Scranton Rugby team was stripped of its privilege to wear the school color, purple, and changed their uniform color to forest green.
The team originated from students but was not "officially" affiliated with the school until it joined the EPRU in 1988/89, as the affiliation with a school was required even for NCAA club sports and it was the only way they could schedule games against other colleges. The colors were green and black, reverse quarters.
As Division II probationary status in 1988 the team played extremely well. So well, in fact that by the Fall of 1989, by winning the EPRU Division II, they earned the right to move up to Division I, which they did. The early 1990s proved to be a rather successful period for the team. Turning out almost 100 players each season. Defeating the likes of Delaware, Princeton, Lafayette, Lehigh, Rutgers, Fairfield, Fordham, U. of Georgia, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, St. Johns, St. Joes, Georgetown, Villanova, Temple, Penn, etc..
Arguably their most successful season was in the Spring of 1991. They finished the season 11-2-1. The 2 losses both occurred at an invitational tournament (Cherry Blossom) to eventual winner U. of Maryland by 4 points and to the US Naval Academy, losing a halftime lead to fall by 6 in the Plate Final - Navy won the tourney the following year. The tie was against PCOM, who at the time had not lost a match to a college or men's club in 2.5 years. This all occurred with players acting as coaches and administrators responsible for securing their own field, maintaining it, renting cars, buses and or vans for transport, buying uniforms etc... All the while receiving $50 per semester from the University. This may come as a shock, but $50 is a good deal less than what the other Division I competition was allocated from their respective institutions.
Players achieved Select Side Status, All-American honors and many continued to play both domestically and internationally at the highest levels - Men's Club Div I National Champions, as well as National representative sides at venues such as the Hong Kong 7s, Dubai 7s, Wellington 7's etc... I will leave it to individuals if they care to place their names here. I refrain because at least one has requested such omission.
Records & Highlights
The Norsemen went to their first playoff game in the fall of 1996, (see above - 1989 Fall defeated Millersville 27-18 in Harrisburg, PA) competing in Men's College Division I. Former team captain Robert P. Meuser '03 went on to play with USA Division I team Long Island RFC.
Academics & community service
Although it competes at intercollegiate level, Scranton Norsemen Rugby is officially a club sport. In addition to their many academic accomplishments, the Scranton ruggers fulfill regular service commitments to Habitat for Humanity, Lackawanna Housing and Development Corporation, and Hand-in-Hand.