USA Eagles Practice at Blaze Pitch Before Rugby Weekend
Just about every rugby fan in America is aware that this upcoming weekend has been titled "Rugby Weekend" and the Chicago Blaze Rugby Club were honored to have the United States national rugby team The Eagles hold practice at our facilities in the days leading up to their match against New Zealand's Maori All Blacks.
The Eagles donning pink practice jerseys traveled down to Lemont and put on full contact practice which was a pleasure for the Blaze's men's side, Academy and fossils who were invited to attend on the sidelines.
The Eagles took advantage of the new looker rooms & showers at the club house and a post feast laid out for them before the traveled back to their hotel.
For After 5 years of planning and since construction started in late November 2015, we are down to a week before our scheduled grand opening on Saturday August 27, 2016. Festivities will start at 10:00am with presentations and ribbon cutting 11:00am. The Blaze team will have 2 games, starting at 1:00 pm. We hope everyone can attend and festivities will run into the night.
For those of you who have not been out at the club, attached are some pictures of the new clubhouse. There are many items that are being finished up over the last few weeks and we have a tight schedule to get everything done. We've had work days on Saturday 8/13 and 8/20, so if you've donated some of your time, thank you. Chris Cobb lead a group who cleaned up all our trophies, pictures etc. and got them installed in the clubhouse.
Joe Clarkson is leading a group for the grand opening day. We are committing a large investment to make the Blaze Rugby facility one of the best in the nation, and certainly in the Chicago metro area. Our hope and goal is that once open, all of our old boy members, current members, sponsors, friends and new recruits will begin to come out on a regular basis to watch the team as well as enjoy the new clubhouse and bar.
As most of you know, our original goal was to sell enough stock to fund the improvements with no debt. But we were short in our goal of raising over $1.2 MM in share sales. We have taken on a $500 K loan to build the new clubhouse now, versus waiting several years until we had sufficient capital. There have been several changes to the plans as well as additional dirt work we have incurred to move the construction towards completion. This includes grading out a new 4th field.
We are asking all of our current stockholders, members and social members to buy additional shares. We had hoped that when we broke ground, more folks would step up and purchase shares. That has not happened. Now that we are nearing completion, we need that commitment and financial support!
So if you were waiting to see if this new building and improvements were actually going to happen, then now is the time to purchase your first share. Shares are $200 and can be sent to Mike Kanzler. Make your payment to Chicago Blaze Building Corporation, Inc.
We need to make sure we maintain sufficient reserves for operating the new clubhouse as well as finish planned improvements. In order to keep our costs contained, we have delayed building the 2nd story deck on the field side, until we have sufficient funds. I know Pete Thornley wants to see that deck added. Next spring, we will have to also final grade the new 4 th pitch, add black top soil, seed and possibly add sprinkler system to that field. We would also like to add additional bleachers to the main pitch.
Blaze Building Corporation
Buy Shares Online, or in person here
2015 was a storied year for the Blaze full of triumph and change. The Blaze ended the fall league play with a record of 3-5. With still one game to be played in Midwest D2 league play the Blaze's fate will be decided on April 9th when Indianapolis travel to Chicago to play Lincoln Park. An Indy win sees the Blaze to playoffs this spring with the 8th seed in the Midwest.
Looking forward, Indoor training begins January 7th @ 6:45 pm for men and 6:00 pm for the Academy. The Academy will be launching their second season of play and look to return to the state finals again. The Blaze Men's side have tentatively set some weekends, which include: Savannah Shamrocks St. Patrick's Day Tournament March 12th and 13., St. Louis Ruggerfest April 2nd and CARFU Ball May 21st hosted by Northwest Woodsman. The Blaze will also be hosting the Midwest Championships again this year.
However, the most exciting news to announce, late in 2015 the Blaze started construction of their new clubhouse. We are hopeful that the clubhouse will be finished near the end of the Spring.
If you are new to the area or interested in playing for the Blaze please contact recruiting Chairman Alex Binetti: (630) 336-5060
In the meantime look out for an invitation to our annual poker tournament tentatively scheduled for January 30!
At the midway point in the season the Blaze sits in second place with a 2-2 record and 13 points in the standings. The Blaze's two losses came by a total of 3 points. A slim margin that they look to correct.
The Blaze will now have to face the same competition as they did the first half of the season. The only difference will be home/away games. Here is what the schedule will look like for the remainder of the season:
Oct. 17 D2 @ Indianapolis Impalas 1pm
Oct. 24 D2 @Lincoln Park 1pm
Oct. 31 D2 Vs. South Side Irish 1pm
Nov. 7 D2 Vs. Chicago Riot 1pm
The blaze will be making their push for the playoffs over these next few weeks, and the goal of finishing in first to claim home field advantage in the playoffs. Indianapolis leads in the standing by a bonus point victory.
D4 is also still undefeated in league play! They will finished up league play this weekend against the south side Irish, then begins playoffs the following week. Here's what's up and coming there:
Oct. 10 D4 Vs. South Side Irish
Oct. 17 D4 Playoff TBD
Oct. 24 D4 Playoff TBD
Oct. 31 D4 Playoff TBD
Nov. 7 D4 Semi-Finals TBD
Nov. 14 D4 Finals TBD
The Chicago Blaze fall season has begun. As it stands the D2 team is 1-1-1, only losing its first league match by 2 points to the Indianapolis Impalas. D2 look to even the tilt against the Irish on 9/19. D4 is off to a better start going 3-1 and winning its first league match against the Riot. D4 will also square off against the Irish on 9/19. In other news the Blaze Store is open!!! The pioneer brand Rugby Athletic has designed some wonderful gear please be sure to check it out. It will only be open for a couple weeks, then the only way to get your gear will be in person from the team stock.
Wish us luck in our upcoming games:
Sep. 19 D2 @ South Side Irish 1pm
D4 @ South Side Irish
Sep.26 D2 Vs. Lincoln Park 1pm
D4 Vs. BYE
Oct. 3 D2 @ Chicago Riot 1pm
D4 @ Chicago Riot
The Chicago Blaze Rugby Academy burned through most of the competition, but the one team that was able to extinguish our flame was Chicago Hope Academy in a 44-5 home defeat April 17th. In our other matches we outscored our opponents 265-5 including our 44-5 victory in the state semi-final over Elmwood Park. We now face a team that stifled any offense we could mount by controlling the ball with great ball skills, powering runs, swift moves and quick darts through our usual wall of fire.
We now face Hope in a rematch for all the marbles in the Rugby Illinois State Championship on Memorial Day May 25 in Rockford at Sportscore Two - Wedgbury Stadium kick off at 11 am.
As coaches Nolan Day, Ryan Stoddard, Jason Brusa and myself Academy Director we could not be prouder of these fine young men we started mentoring this January on Lemont’s Park District Core basketball court. Our freshman thru our seniors play their hearts out and we’re sad to see our seniors play their last game for the Blaze Academy. Win or lose, we mentored a solid core of young men that are already champions in the whole Blaze family of past and present Men’s Club minds.
We are proud to teach the core values of rugby, camaraderie, teamwork, brotherhood, lifelong friendships, hard work and dedication.
Rugby is America’s fastest team sport and with its inclusion in the 2016 Olympic’s and USA Rugby’s chance to defend our 1924 gold medal, the last time rugby was played at the Olympiad, it is getting more backing and exposure in media then ever.
Yesterday in London USA Rugby 7s won their first ever World Sevens Series Cup at Twickenham going 6-0 over the weekend and now must face Canada in June to see which team from North America will qualify for the Rio Olympics.
The Chicago Blaze is proud of the young men we are growing through this great sport of rugby and are happy to announce that we will be breaking ground on our new million dollar multipurpose facility this June. This facility and our property was a vision of the club when after 3 years of existence they purchased land on the Cook County border in the southwest suburb of Lemont in 1985. The vision of the building corp, the men playing on the field along with the club officers our fire is burning brighter.
This past weekend we hosted the Division 1, 2, & 3 Men’s and 2 Women’s Championship and the Blaze men’s club won the Inaugural Thaddeus Hupp Memorial Cup vs. Des Moines.
Please come on out and support the Blaze Rugby Academy in our mission to light the Rugby Illinois State Championships a Blaze.
Academy & Alumni Director
Chicago Blaze Rugby Academy
The Chicago Blaze Rugby Academy has been gearing up for this Saturday’s scrimmage vs. the Glen Ellyn Ducks and upcoming inaugural season since we got indoors this January at Lemont Park District’s Core. The team is ready to follow in the boot marks placed on the pitch by the founding and current members of the Chicago Blaze Rugby Club which formed in 1982.
The Men’s Club will travel to Nashville this weekend to compete in one of the largest tournaments held in the USA during the spring.
Rugby Illinois’s All State select-side the Tornado’s coach Nolan Day will lead on the pitch. With the addition of backs coach Jason Brusa, forwards coach Ryan Stoddard & myself as Academy Director doing recruiting, marketing and administrative duties, we’ve gotten off to a great start for our inaugural campaign.
The Blaze Academy will draw players from a radius around the Chicago Blaze Complex including Lemont, Lockport, Stagg, Sandburg, Andrew, Lincoln Way East, Lincoln Way North, Lincoln Way Central, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Joliet West, Joliet Central, Joliet Catholic and Providence High Schools.
Our goal is to grow our local youth through the great sport of rugby and teach them the core values of Brotherhood, Camaraderie and Sportsmanship. As rugby has become the fastest growing team sport in America more and more colleges are offering scholarships. We are developing a program within the Academy to help assist in college placement and career goals. We plan on mentoring the Academy players by taking field trips to businesses, visiting colleges, and with the college admissions process.
Our goal is to have the men’s club mentor the players in their positions, education and career goals.
Rugby will be played in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 7s format and the boys that play for us this season have a chance to earn gold for the USA in the 2020 Tokyo Games. The USA is the current Olympic gold medal champion in rugby having the ribbon placed around their necks the last time it was played during the games in 1924.
The New Zealand All Blacks the world’s #1 ranked team just played to a sold out Soldier Field audience Nov. 1 in the most attended game on US soil. The USA Eagles were defeated that sunny fall day, but it showed the world that a beast has awoken and we plan to compete for the gold in 2016 and beyond.
The Chicago Blaze Rugby Club as whole has set some major goals in 2015 with the addition of the Chicago Blaze Academy and the breaking ground and grand opening of our new Clubhouse. We are growing on the grounds of an old corn field that our Blaze Founders purchased and envisioned a rugby mecca more than 30 years ago.
New Players are always welcome to join the club and academy throughout the season.
Our inaugural Blaze Academy league match will be under the lights at the Chicago Blaze Rugby Club 13011 Smith Rd. April 3 at 7pm vs Barrington. We invite all members of the surrounding community to see what all the hype I’m spouting is all about.
This season we are ready to spark the Blaze and grow from the ground up. Please click on these links to learn more about club and how to join the Academy or Men’s Club out on the pitch.
Chicago Blaze Academy & Alumni Director
Help us Reach 2000 in the year 2014!
As 2014 continues to wind down, we're now sharing rankings of Men's Division 2 clubs according to their number of 'likes' on Facebook. Is your club in the top 25? Do you cross-promote your sponsors and post promotional items on your page?
#1 - 2,832 - Tulsa Rugby Club*
#2 - 1,876 - Chattanooga Rugby Football Club
#3 - 1,790 - Atlanta Renegades Rugby Football Club
#4 - 1,759 - Charlotte Rugby Club*
#5 - 1,681 - Blaze RFC
#6 - 1,678 - Rochester Aardvarks Rugby Football Club
#7 - 1,540 - Kansas City Rugby Football Club
#8 - 1,535 - Portland Pigs Rugby Club*
#9 - 1,449 - New York Rugby Club*
#10 - 1,434 - Omaha G.O.A.T.S Rugby
#11 - 1,369 - Katy Lions Rugby
#12 - 1,340 - OKC Crusaders
#13 - 1,324 - St. Louis Bombers Rugby
#14 - 1,284 - Village Lions Rugby Football Club - New York*
#15 - 1,260 - Park City Haggis Rugby Football Club
#16 - 1,212 - New Haven Old Black Rugby Football Club
#17 - 1,192 - Boulder Rugby Football Club*
#18 - 1,180 - Oregon Sports Union (ORSU) Rugby*
#19 - 1,130 - Monmouth Rugby Club - New Jersey, USA*
#20 - 1,065 - Snake River Rugby
#21 - 1,018 - Chuckanut Bay Rugby Club
#22 - 1,010 - Tempe Rugby Club*
#23 - 969 - Life West Rugby The Gladiators*
#24 - 964 - @Albuquerque Aardvarks Rugby Team
#25 - 962 - Red Mountain Rugby
Pat Caulfield - #9 Scrum Half
Height 5' 8" 1.52m
Weight 170lbs 77kg 12.14st
First played rugby: 2009-10 Naperville Warriors High School RFC
College Rugby: NIU Northern Illinois University 2010-2014
Blaze rugby: Fall 2014 - present
Notable accomplishments: Pat was elected NIU men's rugby club president for the 2013-14 season.
This week's Blaze Player of the Week is brought to you by Athletico, the Mid-west's leader in Physical Therapy.
Chicago Blaze Rugby Club Fossil of the week (FOTW) is Alumni Director Norm Smyth, who had one of the greatest weeks an American Rugby player/fan could have.
Not only was Norm on the field for the Haka, he had the honor in meeting both USA... Eagles and New Zealand All Blacks players and coaches as he conducted interviews, Coached at the All Blacks adidas Rugby activation at Chicago Union Station - The Great Hall, went to trainings, press conferences, emceed the CARFU Masquerade Ball and launched Beach Rugby America at Reggies Rock Club
Norm's Vitals: Short and Stocky
SIU Mens Rugby Club: 88-92 IRFU and Midwest Selectside
Chicago Blaze RFC: 93-98 CARFU AND Midwest Selectside
Santa Monica Rugby Club: 99-00
Los Angeles Rugby Club: 01-07
Chicago Blaze RFC: 08-present Alumni Director
Norm is taking Rugby to the Beach this summer, has ran the Illinois Youth Rugby Association State Championships from 10-13, is helping start our Blaze youth program with Nolan Day this spring, set up our Thirsty Thursday's, started a blog to document Blaze History, hosted Blaze Bus trips to watch the All Blacks at Reggies and Soldier Field and hasn't missed a home game all season. You might say he Bleeds Blaze Rugby!
Here are some links documenting Norm's week as he promoted the great sport and this great Club of Ours!
Rugby is a Blaze in Lemont Blog: Growing Rugby, Going Rugby and the Haka
Was interviewed by Chicago Magazine
Link to photos
https://www.flickr.com/photos/normsmyth/sets/72157649151257035/ See More