As we bid farewell to another remarkable year, it is with immense pride and joy that we reflect on the achievements and memorable moments that defined our journey. The Fox Valley Rugby family has once again proven its resilience, skill, and camaraderie, making 2023 a year to remember.
Undefeated Spring Season:
Our journey began with an undefeated spring season that showcased the dedication and hard work of our players, coaches, and support staff. The commitment to excellence and the pursuit of victory set the tone for an exceptional year on the rugby field.
Lakefront 7s Championship:
We proudly emerged victorious at the Lakefront 7s Championship, the largest tournament in the country. This triumph not only demonstrated our prowess on the rugby pitch but also highlighted the unity and teamwork that define Fox Valley Rugby.
Fall 15s Season Improvement:
Building upon the success of the spring, our fall 15s season saw significant improvement. The team’s resilience, adaptability, and continuous pursuit of excellence were evident in every match, showcasing the relentless spirit of Fox Valley Rugby. We saw a lot of improvement from individual players as well as our continuity as a team.
Tasman Cup Victory:
The acquisition of the Tasman Cup, our new rivalry trophy with the West Des Moines Wombats, stands out as a defining moment in our spring season. The ambiance of the night match under the lights at Mooseheart Stadium, scoreboard, locker rooms, and announcer created an awesome atmosphere. Winning the match made it even better. Hopefully this is an a new tradition.
Kentucky Derby Pub Crawl Success:
Off the field, our social events were as triumphant as our matches. The Kentucky Derby Pub Crawl was a roaring success, bringing together players, supporters, and friends for a night of revelry, laughter, and shared camaraderie.
Hall of Fame Inductions:
We take immense pride in honoring and recognizing the contributions of four outstanding individuals who have played pivotal roles in the history of Fox Valley Rugby. Their induction into our Hall of Fame is a testament to their enduring impact on our club. Each of them have contributed greatly to the success of the club. For all of the current members, we say thank you for building this club and leaving it in a stronger place than you found it.
As a player, Tom’s versatility was apparent. A hooker and multi-position player, he brought a dynamic skill set to the pitch. His great love for the game was infectious, fostering a sense of unity on and off the field. Tom’s involvement extended to club leadership, serving on selections and assuming officer roles, where he played a key part in organizing many club events.
Tom joined our club with a wealth of experience and became an instrumental figure in coaching. His guidance played a crucial role in the club’s development and success. Notably, Tom was pivotal in the move to St. Charles and took a lead role in establishing and coaching the St. Charles high school. team.
Beyond his coaching prowess, Tom showcased his commitment by actively participating in various club activities. He was always ready to help set up the field, and his home became a hub for hosting numerous club events. Tom’s generosity, both in time and resources, significantly contributed to the vibrant spirit, culture, and camaraderie within the club.
Tom Butterworth’s legacy is a testament to the selfless dedication and passion that defines the spirit of our rugby family.
Dan’s teammates describe his as a paragon of fitness and leadership who elevated the game for everyone around him. His dedication and skill not only set a high standard but inspired teammates to play better, just to keep pace and rally behind him. Dan’s influence extended far beyond his individual performance; he had the unique ability to make everyone around him better, fostering a culture of excellence within the team.
Beyond the pitch, Dan’s impact was equally significant. He played a pivotal role in publishing our club paper, featuring stories about our club, advertisements (a significant revenue generator), field preparation, and travel coordination. Dan’s contributions made him a linchpin for the success and cohesion of our club.
Dan was the person you could always rely on, both on and off the field. His commitment and reliability made him a cornerstone of our club’s success, earning the respect and admiration of all who had the privilege of playing alongside him. Dan was not just a teammate; he was a driving force behind the camaraderie and excellence that defines our rugby community.
Bruce, who played as a Center from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, is a true legend whose impact has left an indelible mark on our team and the sport.
Bruce’s prowess as a running back, passer, and kicker, combined with his fearless demeanor on the field, marked him as an outstanding player. His leadership in the backline and selfless teamwork were crucial to Fox Valley’s successes during his tenure. Bruce’s influence extended beyond the game, as he recruited key players, such as Steve DuVall and Brent Doden, contributing significantly to our club’s triumphs.
In the words of his fellow Hall of Famers, Bruce was often described as “one tough SOB” and “so easy to play with; it was like he could read my mind.” These quotes encapsulate the essence of Bruce’s character and playing style, highlighting his resilience and the seamless connection he shared with his teammates.
As a former captain, he exemplified leadership qualities that guided our team to incredible achievements, including a memorable nationals run as captain that culminated in a remarkable 5th place finish in the nation, an undefeated regular season, and CARFU championship.
Ryan’s roots in the Fox Valley rugby family run deep, having started his rugby journey in the Fox Valley youth program before transitioning to the men’s club. His commitment to the growth of the sport was not limited to the field; Ryan initiated and successfully led several of the team’s most lucrative fundraisers, ensuring the sustained success and development of our rugby community.
Over the course of his last four years with the club, his teams secured an impressive 31-1 regular season record with three CARFU championships.
We extend our sincerest congratulations to Ryan Crawford for this well-deserved recognition. Join us in celebrating his induction into the Fox Valley Rugby Hall of Fame, and let’s honor the legacy of a player who has left an indelible mark on our rugby community.
Arcada Theater Fundraiser:
In May, Fox Valley Rugby took over the iconic Arcada Theater for a special evening featuring a Pink Floyd cover band. The event was not only a spectacular dinner and show but also marked the inception of a highly successful new fundraiser for our club. The Arcada Theater Fundraiser was a testament to our community’s creativity and resourcefulness in exploring innovative ways to support our beloved rugby family.
New Sponsorship with Superior Beverage:
We are thrilled to announce that Superior Beverage has rejoined Fox Valley Rugby as our title jersey sponsor for 2023. Little did we know, Superior Beverage was also our primary sponsor back in 1979. For those who recall the iconic Michelob picture taken at their distribution center, the nostalgia is palpable. Head over to our sponsorship page to relive this historical connection.
Fox Valley Rugby extends heartfelt thanks to the Deufel family for their continued support, reinforcing the enduring partnership between our club and Superior Beverage.
A Heartfelt Thanks to Our Sponsors:
We extend our gratitude to our invaluable sponsors and “Old Boys” whose support has been instrumental in our success.
Graceful Ordinary, Marty Richards, Joe Campos, and Nelson Voldeng– your commitment to Fox Valley Rugby goes beyond financial support. It is a testament to the belief you have in our mission, values, and the positive impact our club has on the community.
Mark your calendars for May 2025. Fox Valley will be heading to France and Spain in a two country European tour. You are invited to come play or just take part in the festivities. Expect costs to be about $2,500. More details to follow.
Annual Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony- I’ll end with a call to register for our banquet as soon as possible. The banquet will be held at a new location this year as we move to Shannon Hall in downtown Batavia.
We will likely sell out again this year. This is a great time for the different generations of our club to mingle and swap stories. I know what the other clubs in the area do and I’ll say hands down we throw one of the best banquets of any rugby club in the Chicago area.
What: Annual Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony
When: Saturday Jan 27th. 5pm-11pm
Where: Shannon Hall, Batavia