About VYRA

WHO WE ARE:

Check out our VYRA Handbook for more information about us. 

The VYRA Board is comprised of the following Board Members:

President Tiffany Renaud trenaud@vyra.org
Secretary Candice Kalil  ckalil@vyra.org
Treasurer Tom Langan tlangan@vyra.org
Board Member/Fundraiser Susan Leckey susan@oneheartland.org
Board Member Tree Bertam tbertam@vyra.org
Board Member Charles Cisco ccisco@vyra.org
Board Member Aki Soga asoga@vyra.org
Board Member Robert Weggler rweggler@norwich.edu

VYRA Mission, Vision & Values

Mission:
The Vermont Youth Rugby Association is dedicated to the growth of the game, and the development and support of the youth rugby community throughout the state of Vermont.

Vision:
The opportunity for every child in Vermont to participate in the lifelong positive character building sport of rugby in a competitive and safe environment.

The sport of Rugby embodies the following Core Values:

  • Athleticism
  • Camaraderie
  • Confidence
  • Diversity
  • Fellowship for Life
  • Leadership
  • Respect
  • Sportsmanship
  • Tradition

HISTORY OF HIGH SCHOOL RUGBY IN THE VERMONT REGION

Youth Rugby in Vermont started with the boys team at Essex High School in 1997 under the leadership of Tom Bouchanski and Kevin O’Brien and Kevin is now the Head Coach at CVU. Kevin was also the coach of the USA women’s team in 1991 and led the Women’s Eagles squad to a World Cup victory. The Essex boys are currently the two time defending state champions having won the 2006 and the 2007 State Championship. The Essex boys team was followed by the first U19 girls team in Vermont in 1999 under the direction of Coach Amanda Eldridge. Essex has had some real success on the women’s side, having won 3 New England championships and the 2006 Vermont State Championship.

Colchester High School produced the second U19 girls squad in Vermont in the spring of 2001. With a limited number of squads there were many scrimmages against collegiate teams. That year only four teams competed in the New England Championships. A freshman on the inaugural Colchester squad later became the first member of the USA Eagle U19 Squad in 2005. Ashley DeGrasse was the first player in the state of Vermont and all of New England to accomplish this honor. The Eagles that year played in a series of matches in Minnesota against the Canadian National U19 Squad. Spring of 2007, she was named as a captain of the Vermont U23 Select-Side.

In 2004 several new teams emerged: Rutland (M&W), Mad River Valley (M&W), and Upper Valley (M&W). In the first year of existence Rutland and Mad River combined to compete in the NERFU championships (?) and finished Second. That success lead to some good recruiting and both programs flourished in the short time they have existed. The Rutland Women have finished Second twice in the New England tourney since then and are the 2007 Vermont State Champions. The Rutland Boys have also faired well, winning the 2005 New England Division 2B championship, and just finished 2nd at the 2007 Vermont State Championships.

2006 marked the first year for the Adirondack Barkeaters, a team representing Upstate NY. The Barkeaters are coached by members of the Saranac Lake Mountaineer Rugby Club. The boys team is led by Doug Ferris and the girls are led by Stacey Annis and Tammy Morgan. Both Adirondack teams combine students from the Lake Placid, Peru, Saranac Lake, Willsboro,and Westport School Districts. In their first season ever the boys and the girls teams both earned respectable 3rd place finishes in the league and look forward to continued growth in the future.

Rugby in the Northern New England region has flourished in the last several years, adding teams in Middlebury, South Burlington, Colchester, North Country (Newport) as well as Willsboro in NY, Kearsarge and Sugar River in NH. We currently have 12 U19 boys team and 8 U19 Girls teams competing for the Vermont Youth Rugby Association’s annual championship. In the 2010, we have added more than 10 teams and now our association includes several team from the border regions of NY and NH. The VYRA’s mandate is to continue the phenomenal growth the sport has seen in the last 5 years.

One of our biggest challenges as we enjoy this phenomenal growth is to find enough qualified, trained coaches and referees. As our players tell their friends how much fun rugby is, the new recruits just keep coming. So the VYRA needs to work hard to provide the new teams and new players with good coaching and a safe, fun experience. The VYRA Board is looking to revamp and reorganize Vermont Youth Rugby to be one of the most competitive and nourishing regions for youth rugby in the nation.

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