Author Archives: diegelam

Canoeing at The Slum

As told by Robbie Morris, Old Boy and original 5 Neat Guys’ Member

Key players:

Joe Patsy: Old Gaelic Founder. RIP.
Paul Meuron: Recently-passed (January, 2021) Old Boy and past Old Gaelic President
The Slum: Legendary Old Gaelic party house of ’80s lore
Denny: Old Boy and original 5 Neat Guys’ member

There was a rugby party at the slum early in the 1983 season, following a game with Wissahickon, a team from Philly that we had a good relationship with .As parties go, this one got a little out of hand.

Our team President at that time and voice of reason, Elvis, was last seen in a tree in the backyard.  I remember also a tree got pushed over in the yard, just because…

At some point Patsy finds a sled in the garage and brings it in the house and goes up the stairs with it. I tried to talk him out of it, but if you knew Patsy, when he had his mind made up there was no changing it. Sure thing, Joe lays down on the sled and down he goes. This sled really went fast and at the bottom, hits the floor, Patsy’s head hits the floor. He gets up, rubbing his head. Two guys from Wissahickon  go up the stairs and do a two man- sit down, and they came roaring down the steps and both go flying. Patsy goes back up, undaunted, goes down again. Same result. I cannot describe well enough, how fast and how hard their faces hit the floor. Now the two Wissahickon guys go back, but Jimmy Rosario’s brother wants to be top man on a three man triple. So they do a triple, laying down.

Down they go. Top guy gets up, rubbing his head, middle guy gets up, rubbing his head. Bottom guy does not get up.

When he finally turns over, he had deep cuts/ gouges, 7/8 places on his face, his nose looked broken in a few spots. Patsy rolls his face with some paper towels. Brutal.

They decided to leave, so we gave them a few pitcher’s of beer, and off they went.The next day, Sunday, Paul, Mark, and a few other slum goers are watching football, when they hear a noise,  and some guy from Wissahickon crawls out from behind the couch!

I believe Paul gave him a lift to the Turnpike. I always remember Paul telling that story with a laugh.

End of season banquet, in came the canoe!   

Epilogue


The next summer, a bunch of us rented a place in Avalon, NJ. Patsy,& Denny Melishoskis drive down late Friday night and got there at about 7am. Joe was really tuned up, waking everyone up, creating havoc. Joe decided to go visit Don Foster, who was staying in Cape May with his parents, so off they go.

Eventually, the house comes alive and, of course, everyone’s talking about Patsy. Around 10 a.m. Denny comes back in, tells us this story.  They got down to Cape May, to where Joe thinks is the Foster’s house. Joe goes in the house, and decides to change into bathing suit in the living room. Denny isn’t sure this is the right house, so he checks a pocketbook on the table… not the Foster’s, wrong house, and Patsy is naked hopping around trying to put a jock on.

Denny gets Joe outside, and they go in the next house  which was the Foster’s. Once again, Joe gets naked and attempts to change.

Don Foster hears noises and comes down the stairs to check, with his Mother right behind him, to find Joe bareass naked fumbling to get a jock on. 

Mom, mom. Go back,  go back!” So rather quickly, the Cape May visit is over, and they come back to Avalon. Patsy passes out in the passenger side on the way.

Now , it’s a very hot day, in the 90’s already, when Denny tells us this story. Many wanted to leave Joe in the car to sleep it off, but Paul felt it was too hot, and went to bring  Joe inside. Paul gets to the car, the door is open, and Patsy has crawled across the street and is passed out on the lawn of the bungalow across the street. On the porch is an angry Mother, shielding two small children.

Does this belong to you” she shouted. “Yes,” said Paul sheepishly.  I still laugh thinking about Paul telling that story, and I remember Paul as a great teammate and friend.He was quick to make you laugh, He’ll be missed. 

Joe slept it off most of the day, but was out and about hitting the clubs. They ran in to some of the guys from Wissahickon, including the bottom of the three- man-triple.

He said, “When we were getting off the turnpike at Valley Forge I woke up. I felt my face, and it felt like a glazed donut.”

Best line ever…

Old Gaelic Says Goodbye to Longtime President, Beloved Teammate Frank Lentz

frank

It is with the most solemn of hearts that Old Gaelic must say goodbye to its longtime President, teammate, and cherished friend, Frank Lentz. On Saturday morning, August 22, a heart attack took Frank’s life at the age of 44. Old Gaelic extends its deepest condolences to his wife Bretni, daughter Dagny, son Frank Lentz V, his parents, and his siblings. 

Frank was known for his dedication to his family, to the team, and for alway putting others first. Almost every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for close to 20 years, he could be counted on to do anything he could to help the club. No responsibility was too big or too small, whether it was flipping burgers (that the proud vegetarian cooked for everyone but himself) at the post-match social, running touch, or stepping in to coach the team on gameday, Frank did everything that was asked of him and so much more. In short, year after year, he was the truly the team’s Most Valuable Player.

Frank was a pillar in the rugby community, extending far beyond Old Gaelic. Through the years he also served as President of our geographical governing body, the EPRU, our local youth rugby union, CVYRA, was a member of USA Rugby Congress, and a true ambassador for the game. He also filled leadership roles for his children’s sports teams, and found the time to be an EMT, which came in handy when he delivered his own son in a Turkey Hill parking lot.

For every responsibility he volunteered for, he did it all with an irreplaceable brand of wit and charm. Many of us will be looking for that familiar chuckle when one of us bullies the other during practice or our patented game of Rugby Hoops. It’s in those small moments when the laugh doesn’t come that the pain will rise anew.

In many ways Frank was Old Gaelic Rugby. And we will never be quite the same without him. El Presidente. President for Life. One last time, from the entire club: Frank You Very Much. For everything you have done, and your legacy will continue to do, for the team, and for the sport.

We’ll miss you always and forever.

Old Gaelic Wins Season Opener over Potomac Exiles

Old Gaelic hosted D1 Potomac Exiles’ Rugby Club on a chilly and sunny Saturday at Double D Ranch. The 2020 season opener did not disappoint the home faithful.

After some back and forth action that saw both teams get within scoring range, it was Gaelic that marched down the pitch and patiently executed its goal line attack. The unselfish play was rewarded when #12 Paul Sommerville found wing Kory Harris out wide for the first of his three tries on the day.

Potomac came right back and was knocking on the door when an interception attempt went begging, and PERC marched in for the tying score. With both conversion attempts missed, the two combatants ended the first 20 minute session at a stalemate, 5-5.

With subs on in the second half Shippensburg’s Chris Armbrust took the pass from Richard “Squirrel” Recordon and dotted down. Harris’ conversion gave the home team a 12-5 lead that held through the second 20-minute session.

After two tries from the visitors to open the third period, it was the OG forwards’ turn to get in on the action. First it was lock Dante Ngo dotting down a pick, then flanker Alex Diegel took a penalty tap from Hart and found a gap on the left-hand side of the defense to put one down against his old ‘mates. That was enough to give Gaelic the lead heading into the final stand, 24-19.

In the final period, it was all hands on deck and Coach Roth put on the boots to steer the ship at 10. His veteran presence was felt as he found a gap from West Shore/Mount St. Mary’s Colby Rigg, then fed Harris for an impressive 60M try. Harris then found space again, and converted his own for a 36-19 lead. PERC would pick up the last try of the day, dotting a late one down for the final score, 36-24.

Man of the Match: Kory Harris. Kory scored three tries, but was equally impressive on defense covering ground to recover and counter a number of Exiles’ kicks to space.

Old Gaelic Finishes Fall Strong with 58-10 Win

Old Gaelic took on the rival Lancaster Roses on Saturday with the Susquehanna Cup on the line. The visitors had no answer on this day, as OG secured a 58-10 home victory to end the fall standing alone in second place in the division!

The scoring started early with a good scrum by Lancaster turning into points for the Black and Gold. Lancaster stole the scrum, but an ensuing mishandle was scooped up by #10 Brady Reisman who took the ball the rest of the way for the early 5-0 lead. The roses struck back 10 minutes later and the combatants were locked up at 5-5 before the Gaelic attack took over.

A well-executed 8-9-11 play from Curtis Brillhart to Captain Brian Hart, finished by Man of the Match Austin Waugh sparked a 46-0 run to dazzle the home crowd. Next it was big #12 Lee Townsend who crashed across the line at 31′, then Waugh’s second two minutes later, then prop Sergio Acala finishing off a series of pick and goes just before halftime.

The score held for 10 minutes into the second stand before flanker Alex Diegel spotted a gap top open things up in the second half. Reisman’s boot was well on display as he followed up with a penalty kick and a drop goal to go with his four conversions. Wing Kory Harris got in on the action with try at 70 before Lancaster got one in. At 76′ Hart dished out his fourth assist of the day for Townsend’s second try, and hit the conversion for the game’s final score, 58-10!

The win puts Gaelic at 4-2 and in position to finish the Spring season strong and secure a first round home playoff game. It was an injury-plagued season that saw games without its most experienced scrummaging prop, a big try scorer at 13 and other key players in and out of the lineup throughout the season. Lesser teams would have found itself outside of playoff contention, but OG’s “Next Man Up,” team-first mentality rose to the occasion time and again.

Well done by all Gaelic players, coaches, administrators and supporters! Keep an eye out for the Holiday Party, team award votings, get togethers at Evergain, and team workouts.

Old Gaelic Rugby Back on the Winning Side with 48-27 Victory over Whitehorse

Old Gaelic hosted Phoenixville-Whitehorse in its second home game of the season and gave its fans plenty to cheer about, early and often.

The scoring started just a minute in with wing Richard “Squirrel” Recordon picking off a pass and taking it back 80 meters for the early Gaelic advantage. Hooker Nick Dettorre scored next, at the back of a perfectly-executed lineout maul, followed by Birthday Boy Curtis Brillhart at 20′ after a little scrum down razzle dazzle.

With the forwards enjoying a standout day, locks Sergio Acala Dante Ngo dotted down at 27′ and 33′, respectively and fly-half Brady Reisman’s conversions made it 29-0. Just before half, Man of the Match Dettorre scored his second, with the conversion making it 36-0 good guys at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, Shippensburg alum Larry Madden broke the ice for the visitors, and old friend Brian Calaman’s boot made it 36-7. Center Jase Martin broke through six minutes later, however, and there would be no comeback on this day. Whitehorse fought to the end to get a league point, but Dettorre put this one on ice with his third and final try at 74′, as Gaelic cruised to the 48-27 win .

Old Gaelic Takes Home Opener, 39-24

Old Gaelic faced off against a hungry South Jersey team in front of a full crowd in the 2019 home opener. An early stumble saw the visitors take a 7-0 lead, as Old Gaelic struggled to click in the early going. The home faithful were soon rewarded, however as #13 Jase Martin got the scoring started off an assist from Captain Hart to tie the game at seven apiece 30 minutes in.

Fly half Brady Reisman extended the lead to 10-7 with a PK, then it was prop Frank Weaver who benefitted from a patient Gaelic attack deep in South Jersey territory, scoring a pivotal try just before halftime. With the good Reisman conversion, the opponents headed into the break with the home team up 17-7.
Gaelic seized firm control in the first series of the second half, showing there would be no upset on this day. The stolen kickoff was offloaded to Weaver, who barreled forward to put Jersey under pressure. The ensuing forward hit-up was then offloaded to veteran flanker Curtis Brillhart, who took it the rest of the way to make it 20-7 Gold.
Now halfway through a commanding 39-0 run it was eight-man Lee Townsend who crashed across the try line next, followed by Austin Waugh at 60′. Before South Jersey could recover, Reisman dotted one one down, and it was 39-7 to the home team with 12 minutes to go.
Unfortunately from there the Gaelic defense cracked, giving up three tries in the final six minutes as South Jersey left with a closer scoreline and bonus point. But the victory was sealed and OG won the day, 39-24!