Bermuda 2016 Easter Tour 
Daily Updates Below

The 2016 tour will be to the island nation of Bermuda!! This tour will mark the fifth time Shanahan has played in Bermuda. We will play against the Bermuda National U-19 side to help them prepare for the Caribbean Championships in July. The team will leave Tuesday March 22nd and return Monday March 28th. We will be flying on American airlines direct from JFK  and returning directly from Bermuda. The first Shanahan international tour to Bermuda was in 2000 when we won our 1st international tournament!!! Flight schedule is: 

 1 Leave JFK: 1428G 22MAR T JFKBDA HK30 1200N 304PM 
 2 Leave Bermuda: 1428G 28MAR M BDAJFK HK30 359P 529PM 

The rugby team will be housed in the military barracks at Camp Warwick sitting atop the best beach in Bermuda - Horseshoe Bay!!. Camp Warwick will provide three meals per day and all players are expected to be at each meal. Curfew will be 10:00PM for juniors and 11:00PM for seniors. The team will complete a service project for Camp Warwick while in Bermuda.

The tour schedule will include two matches and three practices. Matches will be Thursday and Saturday with a joint practice with the Bermuda team on Friday. Wednesday will be the only free day for team members to tour the island without either a practice or a match. Shanahan practices will be on Horseshoe Bay beach with special drills 1st developed in 2000. Rugby beach invaders being one special drill which includes kicking, passes, and tackling while dealing with the surf. 

Players will tour the island on their weekly bus pass which will allow for unlimitted trips on the buses and ferry from ports on the island to other island destinations. A trip to the caves of Bermuda and other activities will be included. 

Expected total cost of the trip is $1,500/player. Passports are required. Participation on the tour is through invitation and is for juniors and seniors based on their length of time with the team. Traditionally the tour has been for the starting 15 players and the next five players. Any sophomore starters are however not eligible for the tour.

Participation on the tour is by invitation and is not a "right" to be exercised. Past commitment to the team; behavior; maturity and an acute understanding that the tour's objective is first and foremost to play rugby is required for participation. Any behavior on the tour deemed inappropiate or unacceptable can result in an immediate plane ride home. 

   Parents Information for 2016 Tour

Players invited to the 2016 tour are: Seniors- Bahara, Robert; Bruecks, Tristan; DePompeo, Andrew; Goggin, Michael; Hall, Kevin; Hennessy, James; Jensen, Kevin; Johnston, Daniel; McClure, Matthew; McGrogan, CJ; Moran, Brian; Muir, Michael; O'Brien, Aidan; O'Donnell, Michael; Paiva, Anthony; Pfanders, Ryan; Queppet, Jason; Rice, Eric and Vaye, Fabert
Juniors -  Heary, Colin; Rice, Ryan; Scheuermann, Jack; Smith, Noah.
All players are to travel in school pants; shirts and ties.  They will wear this attire for Easter Sunday Mass in Bermuda and return dressed properly as well.
First $100 check payable to Shanahan Rugby is due this Thursday -18 February @ practice.  2nd payment of $400 is due 25 February @practice. Next payment of $500 is due 6 March at the St. Gregory's scrimmage and the final payment of $500 is due at the match on 20 March at Shanahan.  

Tuesday 21 March 2016 - Daily Updates 
All started out promptly for the tour with players on time for the 6:30AM boarding of the bus at Bishop Shanahan. The parents and players are to be commended for their prompt arrival which allowed an extra ten minutes for the drive to JFK.  We arrived at JFK without incident and the players were gentlemen and disciplined as they were ticketed and processed through security.  The plane was a bit delayed but we boarded and after a brief 2+ hours landed in Bermuda and shortly after were unloaded at Warwick Camp in a barracks and the young men were off to the beach for a 1 mile run and some rugby drills before going off exploring.  Dinner at 6:00PM was lasagna with spinach and all were satisfactorily satiated.  Turns out also that the camp has peanut butter/jelly and bread for a late night snack in the mess hall.

Wednesday 22 March 2016 
Wednesday started out with breakfast of pancakes/potato's and bacon in the mess hall. Seems that the lads had read the web site which allowed them Wednesday as their only full free day in Bermuda and while Coach Karabin wanted to schedule a run and practice the honorable thing to do was allow the free day.  The AM scene seemed limited to the beaches near the camp but then after lunch players scattered out to the beach; Hamilton; Dockyards and elsewhere as they had the time to explore before being due back at 6:00PM for dinner. The reunion at dinner saw many players with a bit more sunburn then should have occurred but no incidents of any serious nature.  Plus they all returned on time for dinner which was a major plus.  Also all players are learning to use the clothesline for their web bathing suits and clothes.  We will get into barracks cleaning tomorrow and eventually learning how to run a washing machine. Seems that Noah smith and some others have found a local store or two near the camp for buying extra food.  Why they need any extra food is puzzling but their many trips of discovery around  this island must clearly be that they are looking for their present to bring back home to mom.  All are currently asleep in the barracks and tomorrow will be the first match to be held at 5:00PM.  I  expect that they will start tomorrow focused on their rugby tasks at hand. 
Wednesday also saw the "clothes line" rule being put into effect so that all wet clothing/towels must be on the clothes line and not strewn about the barracks on the ground and out windows or hanging from bunk beds.  Thursday the "make you bed daily" rule will go into effect and cleaning the barracks from debris has been in effect from day one. 

Thursday 23 March 2016
Thursday started out fine with a full breakfast in the mess hall with all players arriving on time and somewhat in a state of being awake. The players chose to simply go to the beautiful beaches for the day and spent time after lunch in their bunks preparing for the afternoon match. This brings us to the actual match which was on the whole a very poor showing by the Shanahan players against a highly motivated Bermuda team.  From my perspective the teams were equally capable of playing a competitive rugby match with each other; however the Bermuda squad executed much more effectively and consistently against Shanahan while Shanahan was intermittent in its defense and offense. The final score was about 64 -21 with Shanahan scoring three try's and Michael Muir making all three conversion kicks. The fisrt Shanahan score was from new 8 man Adin O'Brian who took the ball off a scrum and drove aggressively into the goal to score. The 2nd try was scored by Noah Smith who carried three Bermuda players over the try line and touched the ball down.  The final try was scored by 30+ meter run by James Hennessy with support from his teammates to touch the ball down between the posts.  
Shanahan had difficulty passing and catching the ball multiple times; did not consistently play as a unit of 15 players; seemed bewildered about their position on the field and playing with speed/aggression/support and endurance.  From the endurance perspective Shanahan held their own but the mistakes badly hurt the team. 
 We returned to the camp after match and for an hour practiced simply passing and catching the ball.Then we had a pizza dinner and a successful return of CJ from the hospital who was determined to have had a separated clavicle but who can return to play in 2-3 weeks. CJ was looked after by the O'Donnell's who took him to the hospital to be checked out and  then brought him back to the barracks. The captains made certain that pizza was saved for CH. most players stayed at the barracks relaxing and watching he Villanova game.  More to follow...

Good Friday 24 March 2016
Good Friday started out as any other here in Bermuda since the tour began with a great breakfast and no complains from the team members about being woken up to start a new day. The morning was short on travel as we had a practice from 11:00AM- 12:00PM with simulated play on the parade ground.  The focus was on understanding all aspects of playing the game and seeing the field and re-positioning team members based on the flow of the match.  Communication between team members was also emphasized and using the open side of the field in most cases for continuing to advance the ball while retaining possession of the ball.  Rucking and tackling and getting into support your teammates were also reviewed along with line outs. After lunch most of the team members were off traveling again looking for that elusive mother gift; problem is that Good Friday in Bermuda is a national holiday and most shops were closed. However it is also a national kite day will people all  over the island flying kites to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus and freedom from death. At least that is my understanding of the national kite flying day. All were well behaved for another day and the evening ended with all in for their curfew.

Saturday 25 March 2016 
Saturday was supposed to be rainy all day but fortunately the weather took a turn for the better.  After the standard wonderful breakfast the team was off to the Crystal Caves discovered in 1907 by two boys who went off looking for their cricket ball.  Seems that never found the cricket ball but discovered the caves which today host thousands of visitors wandering into look at the wonders of natural erosion of a lime stone cavern with perfectly clear water down to depths of 50 feet and which connects to submerged caverns over 1.5 miles.  The caverns water table is feed by the tides and remains year in/out at ~70F.  Our guide has been giving tours sine 1959 and he had quite a few stories to regale us with in the caverns. After this adventure the boys were naturally hungry and it just happened that the caverns had a refreshment stand that offer ice cream/milkshakes and a wide variety of other foods. The lads spent some cash to handle the ride back to Warwick Camp and of course LUNCH.
All this was a simple prelude to the day as the team prepared for a rematch with the highly motivated Bermuda U19 national team. The match had very good news and not as good news.  The very good news is that Shanahan came out to play and stunned the Bermuda side with their intensity and aggressiveness. Bermuda scored first playing sound rugby but they were taking hard hits and paid physically for their score.  Shanahan then scored and Mike Muir put up an additional two points with a conversation kick and the half ended 7-5 with Shanahan leading. The Bermuda U19 team took advantage of the mid match break and came roaring out to put up another score within 6 minutes with excellent ball movement and speed which took them past Shanahan defenders. The battle continued with Shanahan playing as a team through the 2nd half, but the match ended with another Bermuda win and a score of Shanahan19- Bermuda 31.Oaken Shield Noah Smith had a remarkable match both offensively and defensively with one try; Noah took the ball into space and drove forward with defenders hanging on as he ran on down the field.  Anthony Pavia and Adien O'Brien helped lead the forwards offensively with strong runs and defensive tackles. Goggin played his heart out supporting the team all over the field and Matt McClure is having songs composed of his play by the young women of the island. Ryan Rice did a stellar job as hooker for the injured CJ and Mark Hall was a splendid prop and defensive player until he had to leave the field with an injured rib cage.  Michael O'Donnel and the team wings played a strong game with aggressive runs and containing the Bermuda side defensively from getting an overload and an easy score. Bahara "Ernest Hemingway" took the ball on over 12 runs weaving his way with speed through defensive players trying to catch his body. It is his Bohemian appearance on this tour and attitude which earned him him his new nickname. Bruecks and Moram filled out our wing positions with strong play and our forwards DePompaneo/Eric Rice and scrum half Collin Heary toiled tirelessly on the pitch trying to gain a win for Shanahan.  Collin even got a quick try at Fullback while O'Donnell went into the #9 position.Our "Quidditch" Queppet stood in for the injured Ryan Pfanders and just a a very strong day all over the field.  Queppet was playing as both a back and forward throughout the match.  Most important the team played together as unit and The team only broke down toward the last 10 minutes of the match against the superior quality of the Bermuda side when they scored two quick trys, with one being scored at the final whistle.
After match pictures were taken under the posts as a team and with the Bermuda squad.  All shook hands and exchanged team prepared gifts.  The Bermudians awarded "Man of the Match" for Thursday match to Michael Muir and Saturday's match to Adien O'Brien.  James Hennessy accepted the Captains gift on behalf of the team.  Coach Karabin also received a Bermuda Team golf shirt for referring the match as the scheduled ref was unable to make the event.  The balance of Saturday was spent in leisure time  traveling the island and buying final gifts prior to leaving Sunday after attending mass. 
More to follow...

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