As I've said many times, rugby is a sport of traditions and a big social family. There are great friends you see at annual tournaments, or games you look forward to, but there is nothing quite like you're alumni weekend. "Rugby is the largest fraternity in the world,” Peter Carmine, Reed rugby coach since 1986 once said. So if you think that fraternities have a good showing for Alumni events, rugby Alumni weekends equally match if not exceed it.
I know a few clubs are getting ready for Old Boys/Old Girl games in the city and some colleges are having or just had their alumni events. My old college just had theirs and though the town has gone through quite a few changes, the team I played for remains the same. Crazy stories, lots of drama, tough games, but a team of young men and women who know how to have a good time and have a love for the game. Men usually have a stronger turn out but for those of us ladies who aren't married or with kids we can party with the best of them.
So what is it that draws you back to your Alumni weekends? Do you like to see the progression of the team, playing against younger kids, sharing your stories of glory, or just use it as an excuse to get out of town?
For me, I enjoy seeing where the club is at, watching them play and thinking how I'm so glad after college I played for a team that had a coach and knew what to do. I was a bit taken back by the lack of older Alumni but it ebbs and flows with each year. I also had friends down from different organizations who were in town for their Alumni events and wasn't surprised when the last people up at a house party were 5 people who graduated between 5-10 years ago. I missed the majority of the weekend myself because of work, but made up for it plenty with a night out and in the morning catching up with a few current players. My body felt the hangover for about three days, I totally lost my voice and left feeling my age the way only a college town can after $2 pitchers and well drinks.
On the other side of Alumni Weekends are senior clubs who have dedicated Old Boy teams like the Blaze Fossils, the Condor's have Frogs, the Lions have Grey Lions, etc. The Blaze are preparing to celebrate their 30th Anniversary as a team with a golf outing, banquet, and games. SIU-C turns 40 this year and will be celebrating down at Carbondale. For all haivng celebrated or going out to celebrate their Alumni and Old Boys weekends have fun, be safe, and do everything the 21 year old you would have done!
Lincoln Park - A v Chicago Lions
OPSB v Chicago Griffins
Fox Valley v Chicago Griffins
NW Woodsmen v NWI Exiles
Kansas City - A v Blaze - A
Kansas City - B v Blaze - B.
Battle Creek v Chicago Riot
DePaul v Chicago Riot
Manhattan Shamrocks v Illiana
Westside Condors - A v South Side Irish - A
Westside Condors - B v South Side Irish - B
Hoydens v Will County Morrigans and Sirens
Milwauke School of Eng v Lewis University Men
Chicago Dragons v U of Chicago
UIC v DePaul