In 2006 several individuals of the Men's and Women's Erie Rugby Clubs set out to develop a youth rugby program in Erie. This program focused on high school boys and girls to play competitively with other high school aged teams. At that time, youth and high school rugby were very uncommon in the State of Pennsylvania and across the United States. The first several years were difficult in gaining members as well as having other teams to play matches against. The founders of the Erie Youth Rugby worked very hard to schedule matches against teams in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. There were no divisions or playoffs.
Then in 2010 the Erie Youth Rugby program joined the Rugby Pennsylvania organization. Rugby Pennsylvania is a State Based Rugby Organization that oversees youth rugby teams both club and high school. When the youth program joined Rugby Pennsylvania it was decided to find a name and mascot for the youth program.
It was at this time the Erie Colts Rugby team was created. The club grew from just a few players into a team over of 25 players. The first couple of years the Colts underwent growing pains. Then in the Spring 2013 the Erie Colts made it to the state semi-finals.
The coaches and administrators of the Erie Colts and Erie Youth rugby hope to see the sport continue to grow with the hopes of changing from a club sport to high school teams. In the past, the Colts had players from Cathedral Prep, Collegiate, McDowell, Central, Strong Vincent, General McLane, and Harbor Creek. After the 2013 season, 4 of the Erie Colts were awarded rugby scholarships. This is a growing sport and more and more colleges are providing scholarships. We would like to continue to recruit players from these and any other high schools in the area.
In the fall for 2013, the Erie Rugby Foundation was approved for 501c3 status. This allows any contributions to be tax-deductible. We are hoping this designation will allow for further growth of rugby in Erie.
The Colts are traveling to Pittsburgh on Saturday April 5th to play Kiski Valley. We will be meeting at 8:30am at Tops on 26th St and leave by 9:00am for the 1:00pm kickoff.