Shanahan Varsity 2019 Schedule
Date             Day                           Opposition           Location            Time                        Win/Loss
Feb 26.         Sunday                     Salesianum - scrimmage        Home             1:00 PM                           W
March 3        Sunday                     Frostbite Tournament              Away              10:00 AM                      Cancelled
March 10      Sunday                     St. Joseph Prep scrimmage    Home             1:00 PM                         W31-12
March 17      Sunday                     Downingtown                          Away               3:00 PM                        W- 50-3
March 24      Sunday                     St. Gregory the Great             Home              2:00 PM                         L - 21-15
March 31      Sunday                      Unionville                               Away               2:00 PM                        W - 60-26
April 7th        Sunday                       Media                                    Away               2:00 PM                        W - 83-10
April 14         Sunday                      Open                                     Away               2:00 PM
April 21         Easter Sunday  Bye
April 28         Sunday                      Malvern                                  Home               2:00 PM                        W - 45-23
May 3           Friday                        West Shore                             Away                6:00 PM                        L- 28-27
May 12         Sunday                             State Championship Quarterfinal             2:30 PM                        L-10-7
May 18         Saturday                           State Championship Semi-Finals                TBD 
May 19         Sunday                             State Championship Finals                          TBD                               
Sunday - February 24th Salesianum Scrimmage Match 

Shanahan opened the 2019 15's season with a practice session against Sallies high school team.  Both A & B sides played a series of 20 minute periods from numerous positional options, e g kickoff's/scrums/lineouts.  The Shanahan A side scored more often then the Sallies players and so we consider the overall play a win for Shanahan, but the intention of the day was to begin playing the game of rugby to prepare for the spring 15's season.  A standout on the Shanahan B side was Mark Rice who made numerous key tackles to protect Sallies from scoring when they had broken out into the open field. Mateo Bien was also a standout for the B side, but unfortunately in the last minute of play in the match suffered a completely broken arm just above the elbow.  Mateo's injury was the worst in 28 years of Shanahan rugby and we ask for your continued prayers for Mateo.  Numerous other B side players contributed significantly to match play including Patrick Schaeffer, Billy Leardi, Joe Manning, Vincent Mirenda, Christopher Moran, Mateo Bien, Luke Fardone, David Mullen, Brendan Pappas, Andrew Schaeffer,  Zachary Schultz,  and James Spaulding.  
On the A side excellent play was shown by flyhallf Dalton Muscleman who excelled on breakaway runs and setting his team up for open field space to allow them to run the field. When the backline moved the ball well it enabled the wings -Tucker and Patrick to break open field runs and move the ball significantly closer to the try line. Patrick Elisi was particularly strong on defensive play with numerous key tackles.  The forwards showed  a strong team effort and were led by Ian Wybranski & Sam Rudisell.  More to follow...
Links for the Sallies match Tube videos are:
A Side B Side

Sunday 10 March St. Joseph Prep Scrimmage Match
Shanahan opened spring 2019 15's season with a strong showing against a well trained St. Joseph Prep squad. This was the first test for the A side to play a regular season 70 minute match with 35 minute halfs.The final score was 31-12 with St. Joesph's scoring in the last 10 minutes of the match.  Shanahan dominated the first half of play scoring three trys (Elisi (Magic)/Markowski (The Shadow)/Scheuermann); three conversion kicks (Musslemann) and one penalty kick (Dalton Musselman).  Of particular note was the cohesion of play - Shanahan players were in constant support of each other and this allowed Shanahan to dominate the first half.  In particular Brett Neulle was a tackling machine taking down some of the strongest of St. Joseph's running backs and forwards while Ian Wybranski (aka James Bond) was a very forceful player both offensively & defensively with key runs and tackles. Brian Whiteford  and Jake Dyke were other forwards who were consistently in the action supporting team play.  Scrum half (#9) Andrew Barber, arguably the most improved player on the team from 2018, handled his responsibilities with speed, aggression, support and endurance throughout the entire match.  Andrew was constantly aware of his new responsibility to aggressively look for openings to run and kick the ball  while with exacting speed deliver the ball from all rucks and scrums. Andrew played a courageous match while being hammered all day by the St. Joseph defense.  Dalton Musselmann showed off strategic kicking, positioning Shanahan on the attacking side of the field and allowing Shanahan's defense to win back the ball. Dalton also had one of the best tackles of the day when in a Catholic Christian manner he drove a St. Joseph player with force onto the pitch. The rucking was very strong by both forwards and backs with exceptional scrummaging by Dominik Venuto; breakout running by Tucker Pippin (aka Friar Tuck) and brother Gavin. 
The 2nd half showed continued dominate play by Shanahan until the last 10 minutes when St. Joseph's scored twice with one conversation kick. #10 Dalton Musselmann had an outstanding breakaway open field run of about 65 meters before being tackled just short of the try line. Of particular note was the fact that wing Tucker Pippin ran with Dalton the entire way in support and was calling to Dalton for the ball. Unfortunately Dalton was not able to make a good pass but the significant support by Tucker is to be commended.  Speed, support, aggressive play and endurance are key attributes that all Shahanan players look to bring to a well played match.
Rugby is a fluid game and requires constant and, many times, immediate adjustment by multiple players simultaneously.  To play the game with 15 players there needs to be constant and at times unspoken communication.  An example of adjustment by the players, on a conscious level, were the line-outs.  St.Joseph Prep, to their credit, pressed Shanahan and won initially all the line-outs whether or not they were throwing in the ball. Shanahan adjusted by mixing up the calls as to where/when the ball would be thrown in and Shanahan began to win our line-outs. It was a beautiful thing to see, not necessarily because Shanahan now was wining our line-outs, but because the players used their innate intelligence & knowledge of the game to adjust to adversity. Junior Sam Rudisill who throws in the ball for Shanahan is to be complemented on making the adjustments with some timely advice from coach Ireland.  
More to follow...

​Sunday March 17 Downingtown Match
Shanahan opened the 2019 district match season with a significant win over long time rival Downingtown RFC.  Downingtown had just played a top Va team the previous day in Va but came to win against Shanahan.  The final score ended up 50-3 for Shanahan with Trys scored by Ian Wybranski (1)/Tucker Pippin (3) and Dalton Musselman (3). Dalton also completed five two point conversion kicks and one penalty kick. Ian scored first for the team with a strong 7 meter run while Dalton finished the scoring for the team in the 2nd half.
The team once again played a full match from beginning to end as a unit coordinating their efforts both offensively and defensively.  As the fly half (#10) Dalton Musselman had a very good day with kicking for territory( e.g. placing his team on the attacking side of the field); short chip shots and grub kicks to help the teams offensive attack.  Patrick Elisi was quite instrumental in the teams victory with setting up several of Tucker Pippin's trys with excellent breakaways and superior passes to Tucker.  Pat (Magic) Elisi  and Andrew Scheuermann were an example of selfless play supporting the primary team objective - scoring trys!  The back line players were supported with quite a few strong runs/crashes by Ian Wybranski who lived up to his nickname of James Bond as he did not wilt under the pressure of performing  consistently all match. Two other forwards Bobby Monaghan (new to the game from other Shanahan sports teams) and Brett Neuelle  excelled in the line out with outstanding catches on well timed throw ins by junior Sam Rudisill and wining a few Downingtown line outs. Sam Rudisill also was able to manage a few poaches from the Downingtown team in tackle situations.  The teams line out performance was a significant improvement over the St. Joseph match and as a very real strength in this match helping propel Shanahan to a win. Colin Johnston also played very well upon his return to the Shanahan rugby program.  Congratulations Colin!!
Junior Dyke (aka Percy Weasley) showed great strength of character with his hard runs and tackles while fellow junior Gavin Pippin did the same from his back line position.  Senior Will Markowski - who had to leave the match with a shoulder injury - again showed courage under pressure and continued his significant effort to help the team win.
Finally Chanda/Joe Manning & Pat Schaeffer played very well in this 1st A side appearance this season.
The last comment on the days events must be the significant cheers exhibited by Coach Irelands young daughters from the sidelines!! Hopefully they will be cheering there for many years to come.

Link to Rose Venuto match photos: 

Sunday March 24 St. Gregory's Match

Shanahan lost a very hard fought match to St. Gregory's for the 2nd time in under twelve months.  The team played quite well with the exception of losing way too many balls in offensive rucks to St. Gregory's suborn defense.  Shanahan had two excellent scores with Captain Dalton Musselman kicking the ball with a grub kick and then another soccer style kick through the defensive line and falling on the ball in the in-goal area.  Unfortunately the conversion kick was not deemed through the posts and at that point Shanahan was behind 5-7. St. Gregory's first try was unfortunate in that it was scored on a clear forward pass of 2-3 feet with the referee in position to see the forward pass. However Shanahan did not get the call so St. Greg's went up 7-0 at that point.  This try ended up being the difference in the match. 
Shanahan's 2nd try was scored on a breakout from Shanahan's defensive 22 meter line with Dalton making a break through St. Greg's defense and then two follow on passes which allowed Andrew Scheuermann to score.  Dalton completed the conversion and at that point Shanahan led 12-7.
One of the stars if the Shanahan game was new comer Bobby Monaghan at 2nd row.  Bobby had an outstanding match until he had to leave the match in the 2nd half with a broken collar bone ending his season. Bret Nuelle had another outstanding day tackling and running the ball in support of this team.  Dyke, aka Percy Weasley also once again played an extremely tough match from beginning to end.  The junior duo of Dyke and Neuelle along with junior Sam Rudisill are key players for the team.  Sam has the great responsibility of managing the line-out calls and professionally throwing in the ball when on offensive.
The real difference in the match was once again the very tight St. Gregory's defensive alignment and in particular St. Greg's ability to poach the ball from tackled Shanahan players.  Coach Ireland believes that Shanahan last the ball 30+ times from tackled Shanahan players.  This is a significant problem and one which Coach Ireland intends to resolve at practice.  More to follow...

Sunday March 31 Unionville Match
Shanahan picked up their second District win on Sunday 31 March at Unionville with a score of 60-26.  The team overall played as a unit and scored primarily on breakaways by gaining space on the edge of the field and sprinting with support to the try line.  Trys were scored by Tucker Pippin (3); Dalton Musselman (2); Andrew Scheuermann (2); Jacob Dyke (1) and Ian Wybranski (1). Dalton Musselman then converted two conversion kicks and one penalty  kick.  Perhaps the most controversial try of the day was when Tucker Pippin was able to retrieve a kicked ball near the side line and the Unionville players thought the touch judge had raised his flag.  However after consultation between the referee and the touch judge Tucker was deemed to have stayed in bounds and the try was awarded.  With 30 players on the field there always is the possibility for mis-communication and confusion; Tucker is to be congratulated for staying focused and running the ball into the try zone. All of the time the team was on the field of play they were being guided and inspired by the prayers of Gunther and Andy who were at Kairos #49. More to follow...
Link to Rose Venuto match photos:

Brett was a man on a mission as he continuously tackled Unionville players who tried to escape his treacherous ​tackling grasp; Ian (aka James Bond) took a pass from Dalton and thundered through Unionville defenders as he dragged them forward to the try line bashing aside players with a calm but determined demeanor. Andrew Scheuermann ran like a galloping gazelle with the speed of a thousand sparrows. We believe the sign witnessed by all the players on the pitch before the Unionville match of a thousand sparrows was a premonition of Andrews run...or perhaps the entire teams level of play. Tucker Pippin (aka defrocked Friar Tuck) showed his true commitment to the team by playing through the match with a sprained ankle which Tucker did not allow to interfere with his astonishing speed. We must also complement sophomore Joseph Manning, our esteemed intellectual rugby strategist, for playing in his first A side match with speed, spirit and vigor!
Chandra played unimpaired by his field vision to contribute with a fierce and tenacious spirit by aggressively and being a force in rucks and mauls and handling the hard work of running crash balls. Ian Wybranski/Jacob Dyke/Sam Rudisill/Collen Johnston also continuously pounded Unionville with hard running crash balls and some open field runs to support the team moving continuously toward Shanahan's try line. Dom continued his aggressive play with excellent skills as hooker and open field runs.
The back line consistently offers the speed and passing prowess to offer defenders and difficult task of stoping the Shanahan open field style of play.  Congratulations to the entire back line for their consistent performance,

B Side Match
The B side gentlemen took to the field from Shanahan and Unionville with all team members part of the traditional captains responsibility for determining which team would receive the kickoff and which side of the field they would defend.  Instead of a Marine Corp oorah cheer they started with multiple Pirate Aarah's filled with menace and passion.  Taking the pitch for Shanahan were: Vince Mirenda (scrum half); Dillon Staso, aka Godzilla (prop); Chris Moran (fullback); Patrick Shaeffer (hooker); Phil Chenard (inside center); Louis Acyuna (2nd row); Mark Rice (2nd row); Andrew Shaeffer (wing forward); Billy Leads (prop); Dave Mullen; Brendan Pappas (wing); Will Capelli (wing) & Luke Fardone (fly half). Match play was fast and aggressive throughout the entire time on the field.  Chris Moran in his position as fullback had multiple try saving tackles; Luke Fardone from his #10 position had numerous long open field runs and a few strategic kicks; Louis was a significant force in making tackles until his unfortunate tendon injury removed him for. the field of play; Phil from his position as inside center was the consummate team player as he  provided guidance on strategic play due to his innate ability to understand the constantly changing game flow of rugby.  All teammates applauded Will for competing in his first rugby match as he walked off the field of play unscathed! Shaeffer the Elder ruled his piece of the pitch with an iron fist reminiscent of the Romans ruling their empire with courage, intelligence and force. Meanwhile two other heroes of the match were field captain Dylan Staso who led the team in tackles and forward tuns and freshman scummy Vince who scored a try with a fake pass and brilliant run. Vince is to be commended for his intelligent play in his first year of rugby.  
All of the time the team was on the field of play they were being guided and inspired by the prayers of Gunther and Andy who were at Kairos #49.

​Sunday 7 April - Media RFC
Rose Venuto's picture link:
Shanahan came out to play against a strong Media RFC team and for the first 20 minutes the match was close.  Shanahan scored first in under three minutes of play with excellent passing and support from all team members.  However Media then scored with a breakaway run by their flyhallf and the match was tied until Shanahan scored again to take the lead which the team retained for the balance of the Match. Scoring trys for Shanahan were Sam Rudisill (1); Dalton Musselman (3); Tucker Pippin (2); Collen Johnston (1); Gavin P{pippin (1); Brian Whiteford (1); nd circle man of the day  Kyle Stine with four trys! Captain Dalton Musselman added to the scoring with 9 conversions (18 points)  and one penalty kick for an additional three points.
Overall Shanahan defeated Media with speed and support.  The bulk of Shanahan's trys came from getting the ball outside which is represented by the six trys scored by wings Stone and Pippin. #10 Mussleman scored his three trys on breakaway open field running.  The reality of Shanahan rugby play is that when the team - as a single unit - works together to get the ball to open space we win matches. This style of play is something that the team needs to accomplish against tougher competition.  Although the backline handled the majority of the scoring it was the Shanahan forwards who again came out to play aggressively, especially on defense.  While all forwards are to be complemented  junior Brett Nuelle led the way in most tackles flowed closely by senior Ian Wybranski who has been a dominate force for the team in 2019. Brett is a complex fellow whom I have been trying to understand better as a rugby player.  At this point I believe he will become dubbed an ENT from Middle Earth for his absolute durability and perhaps even the Ent leader Tree Beard. Fellow junior Jake Dyke remains an impressive wizard on the field of play and remains a revered Percy Weasley family member from the Harry Potter world of wizards. Hooker Dominik Venuto is also once again to be complemented on a terrific ability to win opposition scrums.  This is no small feat with the new law which allows the scrum half to place the ball into the scrum behind their hookers foot.  More to follow...

B Side Match vs Malvern Prep
To Be written..

Thursday 25 April B Side VS Salesianum - W 38-17
Thursday 25 April started off on shaky ground as the Shanahan squad prepared for a face off with the Salesianium jv squad. With only ten players, one who was injured and still unable to play, Shanahan gallantly started to form their team with Mark Rice as the team field captain. Mark was stoic as he overlooked the field and the Sallies players while he prepared the team for the match. In the final moments before the match Shanahan had a three man front row of Ted Battista, Andrew Shaeffer and Billy Leardi with Vince Mirenda as #9; Luke Fardone aka The Fonz #10; Chris Moran inside center; Mark Rice outside center; and David Mullen wing while Pat Shaeffer agreed to handle fullback #15. Sallies players , converted to the Shanahan green, played 2nd row and two wing forwards. They clearly bonded with the Shanahan teammates and for the balance of the match were true combatants for the Shanahan squad. We had two red header Weasley brothers (from Harry Potter fame) with their magical rugby powers; one adopted Weasley; one Middle Earth Hobbit and a Middle Earth youngish ENT. Brendan Pappas, still recovering from his concussion, supported the team from the sidelines carrying water to the team and yelling encouragement.
 A very strong running, tackling, and rucking performance by Ted and Billy was initially quite strong but only improved as the match progressed. Luke handled the #10 quite well and strategically kicked the ball for both offensive attacks as well as defensive positioning. In particular in the first half the kicking was for defensive purposes which the team used to run onto the ball and while Sallies usually obtained the ball Shanahan was in a much improved field position.  Inside center Chris Moran with outside center and team captain Mark Rice consistently tackled the Sallies players and positioned Shanahan to win the ball back in the ensuing ruck.   

Anyway when the play began it appeared that the advantage was going to Shanahan as Salesianum players made multiple errors, but Shanahan was unable to gain any significant advantage from their mistakes. Sallies went ahead 5-0 on a strong drive down the pitch for about 65 meters before scoring off primarily forward play. Sallies then was able to put together another scoring effort after Shanahan ran the ball successfully by getting the ball to the wings but was unable to score. Finally Sallies completed another try and conversion on an open field breakaway run for over 60 meters to bring the score to 17-0 in favor of Salesianum. Throughout the Sallies scoring spree Shanahan actually outplayed Sallies with significant tackling and rucking efforts by Andrew Shaeffer, Ted Battista, Luke Fardone, and Vince Mirenda with substantial support from the Sallies turned Shanahan forwards. Shanahan did finally score in the remaining moments of the 1st half and with a conversion kick by Vince brought the score to 17-7.

Halftime was brief but focused on discussing the importance of playing with speed, making good passes, consistent team support - both offensively and defensively - and most importantly playing with aggression and passion.  The 2nd half turned out to be all about Shanahan rugby with our new teammates adjusting to a Shanahan fast pasted style of play which requires a consistent full team effort. Shanahan broke open the score with excellent passing, bursting onto the ball offensively and working the ball into open space.  The ball traveled frequently our to David Mullen and outside center Mark Rice with ensuing breakaways by inside center Chris Moran who followed the play and was consistently available to get the ball.  Luke set up several trys with strategic kicking while Chris converted at least three trys with blazing speed.  It must be noted that freshman Vincent Mirenda showed great skill with his conversion kicks which were mostly completed.  While Chris Moran in the 2nd half was the tip of the spear for scoring it must always be remembered that any score is the result of team play. 

Mr Ciliberiti, a Sallies graduate, EE (electrical engineer), past Shanahan rugby team Committee Chair and certified refereed and touch judge was once again on hand to support the team as a touch judge. Also manny thanks to Alana Pappas, a senior at Shanahan who is off to Penn State in the fall for bio-chemical engineering and then perhaps off to a career as a Naval officer?  Future is as yet undetermined but Alana was an outstanding contributor as she cared for coach Karabin's two grand daughters aged 7 & 5 who while previously interested in observing the rugby game seemed happier playing cards ands building dandelions bracelets and wreaths.
To be continued...