Author Archives: ogrfc

Old Gaelic Opens Fall Season with 58-5 Home Victory

A week after a preseason hitout vs. local Harrisburg and Shippensburg sides, Old Gaelic hosted South Jersey for its first league match of the season. Similar the week before, the hosts were able to move the ball well but saw early-season handling errors leaves some tries on the board.

However, after some calmer sustained play prop Sergio Acala punched in the game’s first score from the right-hand corner. He was followed by veteran lock Alex Diegel who picked after a strong OG attack and found some space off the fringe to beat the defense.

Rookie lock Pat Connolly then notched the next one off a Bronze following some sustained “Tres” play deep in South Jersey territory. Next up, an OG counter off of a South Jersey clearance found Acala, who took a whole three minutes (according to The Sir’s watch) to take the ball the final 60 meters for the emphatic half-ending try.

Old Gaelic put its stamp on the match early in the second half when, following an adjustment in the lineout to counter the visitors’ “sack” defense, Townsend alertly picked and went around the ruck for the hosts fifth try of the match. With a fresh crop of reserves , OG put the game away with tries from Schaefer, Acala’s third, another from Schaef, and a fancy pair of boots from reserve center Xavier Fangmeyer to pop a low pass up and finish a crafty break from center/fly half Josh Robertson.

Acala took home Man of the Match, playing a complete game on defense. Matthew Leggett deftly did the dirty work at the back, cleanly chasing SJ kicks and calmly countering, to take home the Viking Hard Hat Award.

Congratulations to Fangmeyer, Connolly, center Conor Kelly, hooker Chris Shissler, prop Mike DeFreitas, and lock JT Hammond for earning your first OG A-Side Caps.

Next up: It’s a rare double bye week due to a scheduling quirk, then a big away match versus Philly-Whitemarsh on October 8.

Backyard Brawl is Back: Old Gaelic Hosts Local Teams for Neighborhood Friendly

Old Gaelic kicked off the Fall season with a Round Robin of Friendlies vs. Harrisburg RFC and Shippensburg University.

Following the opening kickoff, the Harrisburg 10 chose to clear the ball deep where it landed in the waiting arms of fullback Richard “Squirrel” Recordon. The fullback patiently surveyed, made a break, then dished to wing Alex Schaefer, who dusted his opposite number with a nifty inside out move, broke a tackle (#SkinnyStrong) then fed back to Recordon for the early lead.

Old Gaelic proceeded to dominate possession and territory with a strong pack and steady lineouts putting the attack on the front foot, but some rusty hands saw a number of scoring opportunities go begging. Schaefer eventually broke through on the wing again, then Lock/Resident Angry Old Guy Alex Diegel ran through some Harrisburg defenders before handing off to flanker Porter Miller who finished the job and dotted down OG’s third score.

After the offense stalled for a stand again, defense turned to offense as Schaefer poached his opposite number, scampered around the fringe of the ruck and took the ball the rest of the way into the try zone.

In closing out the first 40-minute period of the day, Recordon (moved up to 9 and Captain now) chose to strategically go for a touch and maul… errr…. practice defending the 5M dropout. It proved to be a wise choice, as Schaefer proved lethal on the wing again, returning the kick for the team’s fourth and final try.

Shoutouts to flankers Miller and Jeremy Fisher as well as centers Conor Kelly and Xavier Fangmeyer for setting the tone with big hits defensively, and Recordon for providing steady leadership from a number of positions.

With that session over, OG handed Frank Lentz Memorial Pitch off to Harrisburg and Shippensburg, who was a little short and accepted some helpful Old Gaelic hands to round out the squad. In a back and forth affair, the Shipp side sealed the deal with a 24-12 win.

In the third and final session, Harrisburg, Old Gaelic and Shipp combined to play some… 10-12s. That match was sealed dramatically as Recordon tracked a breakaway Big Rigg, who nearly broke it all the way before being caught by the speedy Shippensburg fly half who hasn’t even begun to peak. The veteran guile and still-faster-than-most-athleticism was on display as Squirrel calmly picked after what could only have resembled a pileup of industrial farming vehicles, and put the game away to end a great day for Central PA Rugby.

Next up: Old Gaelic returns to Double D Ranch for its first league match of the season, 9/17 v. South Jersey.

Scandal at The Ranch: Hoops World Cup Tainted by Late Substitution

In a scandal so grievous Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers couldn’t defend it… a move so cold-blooded it made Tywin Lannister blush… an act more heinous than a Russ Kane CrapChat after a second helping of sauerkraut…

The beloved Hoops World Cup was covered in controversy as a late roster change sparked the *winning team to victory.

“I was simply doing my due diligence, confirming with Cappy that trophy engravings were indeed within the realms of this year’s Hoops Budget when two pieces of indisputable evidence came across my desk… the *Championship photo simply did not match up with the official roster that was posted earlier in the day,” explained club President Alex Diegel. “Clearly there was some sort of malfeasance afoot.”

“This goes past gamesmanship, and into completely new territory,” said Tournament Director Curtis Brillhart. “The damage to The Shield won’t soon be forgotten. We’re clearly going to need to look into some refreshed registration standards. I’ll look into what USA Rugby does for rosters and… ya know. Not do that.”

“I just wanted to play with my brother,” proclaimed an undeterred Jude Olivetti.

“Curtis woke me up at 3 p.m.(!) and I was there at 3:28 and I’m fat and old and I didn’t ask for a sub,” ranted Danny “The Ambassador” Reisman.

“Dinner was great,” chimed in Departed Teammate Ben Sykes, source of the controversy.

“Eat shit, Diegel,” added Russ Kane.

One thing that can’t be disputed is the self-proclaimed World’s Great Hoopster/World’s Fastest Gaelic/World’s Most Humble Gaelic Alex Schaefer didn’t come close to winning. Like at all. Suck it, Schaefer.

Boys Outta The Hood: OG Returns to West Shore Safety

And so it was that Old Gaelic’s trainings in the terrible and treacherous East Shore came to an end. All it took was a little mid-training shootout amongst the locals to bring the Gaelic boys home.

So it was on a warm Tuesday evening when a team run was interrupted by a spray of gun fire that fortunately hit nothing but air. That didn’t stop squirrely fullback Matt Leggett from reacting accordingly.

“I can remember sitting on the couch as a boy with Ernie, watching Lawrence Fishburne’s fourth-best film (behind Matrixes 1-3 because duh), Boys in the Hood,”he explained. “And when it came to that scene… you know the one.” Leggett paused to choke back a tear and offer a thousand-yard stare.

“Ernie said to me, ‘son. If you’re ever practicing in Harrisburg and you hear gunfire, don’t be like Ricky. Zig zag, m’boy. Zig Zag.’ I really took that to heart. Any time I run, really. Just to be safe from any mean old forwards or other threats.”

When quizzed about their reactions, dem Fisher boys had different thoughts. “By the sounds of it, it was only a .22. Hell I could take a couple of them slugs and finish the match,” quipped Jeremy.

“A .22 is no proper defense weapon,” chimed in elder brother RJ. “You’re gonna want something like this,” he said before he pulled a Colt M1911 out of the back of his waste band, popped a round out of the chamber, removed the clip, and displayed proudly. “That’s a bad item right there.”

Still, decisions had to be made, and safety was of the team was paramount, Club Leadership decided.

“As I often do when faced with a tough decision, I weighed out the pros and cons when I thought about asking Don if we could train at our match field, Frank Lentz Memorial Park,” club President Alex Diegel explained. “And I thought, well, on the one hand, the worst Don could say is no. On the other hand, one of us could get shot in the face. It was a tough call, but I think we made the right choice.”

Practices will now resume at 260 Willow Mill Park Rd. Mechanicsburg on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:30.

Author’s note: Please do know this was taken very seriously and we are incredibly grateful to Don for getting us back on home soil.

Sergio’s note: “I told y’all.”

OGREs Drop the Boogie, Gear up for 2023

All good things must come to an end and so it was with the boogie board domination by Old Gaelic Rugby Emeritus (the OGRE’s). Each August for the past decade or so (it’s certainly more than that), the OGRES have traveled to Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware for the Over 35’s tournament within a short walk (per Russ) of the crashing waves of the Atlantic. If there were hardware, it would be plentiful. The old guard has been content to merely win games, usually in a one-sided way.

Last year’s squad was so skilled that Wilmington threw up the white flag rather than face a squad they had seen demolish the two teams the hosts struggled with in pool play. The OGREs were unscored upon and seemed to have a stranglehold on the title.
Wilmington hit the recruiting trail — hard. They got younger and better.

Plagued by a dearth of depth on the roster (not to mention a poor performance receiving kicks and response to penalties against us), the OGREs fell in the final to the host team, 15-7. Wilmington led at halftime, 8-0, after a penalty kick and a try on a quick tap (we usually victimize opponents with this heads-up ploy).

The tables were turned. Team Orange skirted the right wing (touch judge Chet Runkle had raised his flag to no avail) to go up 15-nil at the midpoint of the second half. Curtis Brillhart pinned the whole back line then passed to Brian Ogle, who took it to the house. Skipper Roth’s kick was good but the erstwhile champions were out of time.
In pool play (it should be noted that OG played three games in succession while Baltimore-Chesapeake and Wilmington had breaks between contests), the OGRE’s went 2-0 by the smallest of margins.

In the opener, Mark Olivetti scored then dished to Brother Jude for another five. Both kicks were good (or was there a penalty try awarded to Curtis on a scramble in goal? It was foggy then so there is no certainty now). Either way, we eked out a 14-12 win over Wilmington to give them hope and serve evidence of our mortality.

The next match featured a cavalcade of scoring by both clubs. When the smoke cleared, the OGRE’s had prevailed, 33-29. Curtis dotted down once and new recruit Ryan Saupee (one of the Reading brothers) tallied twice from his #8 position to set up a frenetic finish. The favorites trailed by 10 points with six minutes left. Mark Olivetti twice weaved his way through the Baltimore-Chesapeake defense to seal the unlikely come-from-behind triumph. The substitutions provided by Senior Old Boys Jeff “Cappie” Cook and Dano Morris proved key in this comeback.

That turned out to be the high-water mark — until next year, where the OGREs will be bolstered by a fresh core of Young Old Boys… Bring on the ’88ers!

Central Penn 7s Program Takes a Pause for Friendship

In the midst of the Qualifier season, the Central Penn Golden Roses joined forces with Old Gaelic at the local Harrisburg 7s tournament. There were no fewer than 40 Old Gaelic players and supporters in Pavilion Greyskull, which was complete with its own DJ Booth.

Both teams were upended in the quarterfinals after undefeated runs through Pool Play. OG1, which was actually OG3, but always #1 in our Hearts made its “mark” throughout the day with its beloved brand of BullyBall.

Old Gaelic Rugby. #1 in Friendship since 1975.

Ganglez Breeding Program a Success for Old Gaelic Duo

In a story more shocking than a David Young short film, a phenomenon rarer then a Brady Reisman “cycle,” Ganglez Twins Jase Martin and Alex Diegel welcomed daughters just days apart from one another.

Amelia Michelle Diegel was born on Tuesday, June 28 at 11:59 a.m. at 6lbs. 12 oz., 20 inches long.

Teagan Julia Martin was born on July 2 at 10:35 a.m. at 8lbs. 15 oz., 21.25″ long.

They will join the 2040 Old Gaelic women’s team, led by a core of Quinn and Josie Dettorre, co-captained by Eleanor Brillhart and Vivian Recordon.

Amelia Michelle Diegel
Teagan Julia Martin

Missing: Old Gaelic Fullback Lost in Time Travel Misadventure

Whether it’s been team workouts, winter hoops, or social Tours, one question has flooded the team like hurricane waters through New Orleans: “WHERE’S LEGGETT???”

The assumption was the elusive fullback was just busy. Or choosing his social interactions carefully amidst COVID. However, while trying to distract himself from the depression of this missing Friendship, club President Alex Diegel made an Earth-shattering discovery.

“I was just trying to cheer myself up, reading through the old Noses when I made the observation of a lifetime.” Diegel took a deep breath, sipped on a Double Nugget Nectar, looked around to make sure they weren’t being watched, then continued. “Leggett’s a time traveler,” he whispered. “And I think he’s stuck in the year 1987.”

Diegel proceeded to call Captain Brian Hart, Leggett’s longtime friend and fellow Millersville Rugby graduate. “I couldn’t deny, it made perfect sense,” Hart said with a sigh. “The last time we talked, he kept bringing up Old Gaelic after parties of yesteryear. it seemed like he really wanted to go back and experience it himself, but I didn’t think he’d take it that far. Then, Diegel showed me The Photo. And it hit me. He’s gone.”

Matthew Leggett, caught in time in 1987. Apparently, in addition to time travel wizardry, he also became a bird aficionado. Perhaps trying to find answers as to why his is so small.

Has there been a mechanical malfunction? Is he just having too much fun in the ’80s Old Gaelic lifestyle? Any leads are welcome. Please, homeowners of Mechanicsburg, take a close look at your appliances. The going theory is he’s crafted an HVAC Time Machine of some sort. We just want our friendship back.

Diegel COVID Be Damned, Tuesday Team Workouts Back On

While Diegel’s habit of licking doorknobs and sniffing butts finally caught up to him and caused a one-week pause to the team workouts, they are back on for Tuesday nights.

Join our very own Porter Miller at Crossfit717 (836 Market St, Lemoyne, PA BEHIND the Dollar Store/Little Caesar’s your gps will take you to) on Tuesdays at 6:45 for an intense hour of rugby-specific exercise. We’ll be doing these workouts until we are back outside on Tuesdays and Thursdays this March.

We’ve got a great opportunity to do some special things this Spring. Let’s make the most of it by putting the work in now that our rivals aren’t.

In all seriousness, as to not downplay a worldwide pandemic, Diegel and family are fine.

A Home for Wayward Ruggers: Old Gaelic Seeks New (Long-Term) Practice Pitch

As you have likely heard by now, Old Gaelic’s 20-year lease at Swank Field runs out at the end of the month. While OG has secured a location across the river at 7th and Radnor Park, we are still in search of something that can feel a bit more like “home.” Now’s the time to pull out all the stops.

Your wife’s cousin’s rich uncle? Give him a call. A property with a drainage ditch, or other space that looks like it could be used in exchange for maintenance? Stop by and ask. The shotgun-wielding farmer you see on your way home from work? Drop in and see if he’d be willing to rent out some space. I’m sure he’s friendly when you get to know him.

In all seriousness while we are grateful to have secured field space and can likely continue to rent it out for as long as we need, we are seeking a more stable long-term solution.

Please send your contacts, thoughts and half-baked schemes to Alex Diegel at diegelam@gmail.com.