History

The History of the Greensburg Rugby Club

In 1996, when Chris Kolbosky returned to his native Youngwood, Pa. after a 4-year stint in the Navy where he played rugby two seasons for the USUHS Fighting Docs, his desire to continue playing remained strong. However, the closest organized men’s clubs were all based in and around Pittsburgh, and not wanting to commute a great distance, Kolbosky toyed with the idea of forming a local club. He ran the idea by a few old high school friends, CR McCauley, Craig Parsons, Joe Ostrosky, and Kevin Macey to name a few. After receiving a positive response from his friends, and after a networking recruitment blitz, Kolbosky notified the Allegheny Rugby Union that he was organizing a club in the Greensburg area. Without a ringing endorsement from the union, Kolbosky went forth with all the necessary steps to begin a club: player recruitment, local and national union membership, sponsorship search, equipment, gear, and liability insurance requisition, and completion of the fall 1996 fixture. Player recruitment was aided greatly by refugees of the Westmoreland RFC who no longer wanted to commute to Verona. Fellows like Hank Strohm, Bob Dupree, Jim Miller, and Mark Sperotto made the jump to the fledgling club.
By August, The Greensburg Area Rugby Club had been born. Initially called the Lancers, a name chosen by CR McCauley, the club, by consensus, changed it’s nickname to the Gorillas by mid-season. That moniker has since been discarded. In it’s first ever match, Greensburg lost a heart breaker in the last minutes to South Pittsburgh. Kolbosky, Craig Parsons, and Pete Pacienza scored the first club tries, and subsequently did the first “Zulu’s” at the Rialto Café following the match.

original-team

Greensburg RFC continued their successful run of the ARU up to and including 2006. In 2007 the club had to close the doors due to lack of recruiting.

In 2012 after playing with several other local teams, Jason Saunders decided to start Greensburg Rugby back up with the help and commitment of some old boys. Learning from the past, this group was determined to build a strong club for the future. Greensburg RFC was reborn and debuted at a B side match vs. Pittsburgh Highlanders in April 2013.

In the fall of 2013, Greensburg was added to the Division 4 fixture with the likes of Youngstown, Canton and North Central WV. Greensburg RFC didn’t win any matches outright but ended the fall season 2-4 with both victories coming by forfeit (something GRFC wouldn’t do). The team showed a lot of promise and a ton of heart, often playing with only 12-13 guys.

During the 2015-2016 season, the teams hard work and recruiting paid off. GRFC went 8-2 for second place in the division and earned a trip to the playoffs. The team headed to Findlay, OH to take on the undefeated Findlay Scars who had only yielded 15 points all season. Greensburg gave it everything they had but came up short  31-19.

For the 2016-2017 season Greensburg will make the jump to some tougher competition in Division3.