Annual General Meeting
Date | time 16 Sept 2018 3:00pm | Meeting called to order by John Dacey
The club continues to grow, and we are achieving more success. As such, and because we are a one-year program not a season, we need to increase annual fees, moving toward at least $300 within three years, maybe more. The Gators have a new head coach.
Lang Family: Kara, Scott; Hughes Family: Jennifer, David, James; Rob Lagow; Dennis Family: Jennifer, Michael; Genie McCreery; Sean McDowell; Katherine Aversano; Carpenter Family: Mark, Nicole (Duritz), Dylan; Jared Nugent; Dale Roach; Kari Smith; Ana Orellana; Ed Elfmann; Shanice Williamson; Clare O’Reilly; Dany Jimenez; John Dacey
John Dacey indicated the club is in good financial standing and is solvent.
FHR has good representation with Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association (FHYAA) and Rugby Virginia (RV).
2017/18 was Fort Hunt Rugby’s most successful year ever, both on and off the pitch. We traveled more; the boys to Charlotte, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Indianapolis; the girls to Cape Fear and several locations in the Carolinas.
The Warriors JV was ranked #7 among ALL STAR teams in the USA.
We had an information booth at the Wales/South Africa game at RFK Stadium “Tailgate Party,” and John manned this booth solo the whole day. In future, we’d like to see more volunteers to help with an activity like this.
FHYAA really likes our community stewardship. We are still working on getting a container for equipment storage to be located at West Potomac High School. FHYAA is willing to cover the approx. $20,000 cost for purchase and placement, we just need approval from the school administration.
NEW THIS YEAR: ALL coaches and parent volunteers MUST register (for free) as volunteers through the FHR website!!
The club needs more referees. FHR currently has two club referees CIPP’d with USA Rugby, Andy Vonada and John Dacey. It is recommended for players to get qualified as refs as it will help make them better players as well. Several of the High School Boys expressed interest in referee certification.
Other Officer Reports
Secretary (Kara Lang): The Warriors changed communications programs from Wiggio (free) to TeamSnap ($130/year), it took the length of the season to really learn the nuances and capabilities of the program. We ran one “season” all year long for 2017/18 but the program has the ability to break the year into seasons (Spring 15s and Summer 7s). The Gators use TeamApp, which is free. It has similar capabilities with a few exceptions such as player availability tracking and a few other options. An FHR Newsletter was published 2-3 times, with an emphasis on Warriors activities but including some Gators news. It was well received but short lived. We would like to try again for 2018/19 but this will take a club effort for content submissions. Some ideas for content: Coach’s Corner (an interview with a different FHR coach each month), Where are they now? (a spotlight on FHR alumni), Fort Hunt Rugby in the news (links to media mentions of the teams/club), fundraising efforts with hotlink buttons for donations or to the fundraising pages, game schedules, etc. Kara noted the website is in desperate need of updates and suggested up to date coaches’ biographies at minimum.
Treasurer (Jennifer Hughes): Jennifer noted she was more active as a treasurer for the Gators team than for the Warriors or the club as a whole. Jennifer initiated a club fundraiser through Yankee Candle Fundraising as it is an easy and passive way for the club to earn money. Forty percent of all sales (before tax and shipping) through the YankeeCandleFundraising.com website with the Club group number is pure profit for FHR. Last year we earned over $360 through this effort.
Warriors Coach (Dale Roach): Warriors have received invitations to some new tournaments, including the High School Boys National Invitational Tournament which will be held in Salt Lake City in 2019, and a University of Kentucky tournament in Louisville, KY in early 2019. We have at least four big trips planned for the Warriors for the upcoming year due, in part, to our success in 2017/18. Warriors teams traveled to Charlotte, NC for what turned into the Frozen Mud Bowl and Philadelphia, PA to play Xavier who came down from New York to face us at St. Joseph’s College. Warriors Varsity traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to attend the Boys High School National Invitational Tournament (NIT) where they finished 3rd. They were ranked 4th overall in the USA among High School Club teams on FloRugby.com. The Junior Varsity (or U16s) traveled to Indianapolis, IN to play in the Midwest Regional Cup Tournament facing off against four all-star teams comprised of players from 6 different states. They finished 2nd in their division (Junior Varsity) and were ranked the #7 Junior Varsity All Star team in the USA! We would also like to do a tour in spring 2019, possibly to Ireland, but that is still undecided.
Gators Coach (Katherine Aversano: 2017-2018 Summary: The Gators run both high school and middle school programs. Fort Hunt had the most MS girls athletes playing per single team in VA. Across VA, girls teams are losing numbers. We are one of only two teams standing on their own (not having to combine). The Gators helped build up two new (started spring 2018) out-of-state girls programs: Delaware Diamonds and Raleigh Venom HS Girls. We hosted international Ridley College HS Girls team from Canada (March). We played in following tournaments: NC Ruggerfest, Furies Ruggerfest, Inaugural HS Girls Bracket of Cape Fear 7s, Inaugural Oak City 7s, winning the Oak City 7s tournament in August. Ubaida Ahmed and Coach Kat traveled to England on the Inaugural Premiership Scholarship immersion program (March). Ubaida Ahmed traveled to New Zealand to play for six weeks with the Inside Running Academy. She trained as a full time athlete under Black Ferns athletes (NZ Women’s National Team). We had two 2018 graduates starting for NCAA Varsity rugby. 2018-2019 Plans: The Gators will have a new Head Coach, Shanice Williamson, who comes to Fort Hunt from Jacksonville, Florida women’s rugby. We plan to participate in Rugby VA spring 15s and summer 7s seasons. Fall 7s tournaments: HS and MS Baywatch 7s (MD), MedStar 7s (VA), Rugby VA 7s (VA), NC round robin to play Raleigh and Charlotte. Spring 15s tournaments: NC Ruggerfest, Furies Ruggerfest. Summer 7s: Cape Fear 7s, Oak City 7s
Election of New Officers
President: John Dacey indicated he was willing to continue in the position.
Treasurer: Jennifer Hughes elected to step down from this position. John Dacey indicated he was willing to take it on as a secondary role to the President duties.
Secretary: Kara Lang indicated she was willing to continue in the position
The membership in attendance conducted a voice vote for the entire proposed slate, which passed.
Committee Chairs are appointed by the Executive Officers and Coaches: Jennifer Hughes volunteered to look after fundraising for the club. Jennifer Dennis volunteered to act as webmaster.
Plans to acquire a container to be installed at West Potomac High School for storage of gear is in the works. There is a new principal at West Potomac HS so we need approval from the new principal. We will need parent volunteers for the set up when we are ready to install the container.
John Dacey purchased blade flags for each team
The Club needs new balls each year
A new banner was purchased
As usual, in the fall we will purchase 100 magnets for free handout.
We will purchase 50 FHR recruiting yard signs, to be deployed in the spring.Ideally, these will be reusable for the next few years, so we can get continued use out of them.
Proposed: Gradual raise of fees over next 3-5 years, with a goal of $300/year by 2021. 2017-18 fees were $170 for HS and $50 for MS. Propose 2018/19 fees of $200/$125 with the intent to raise fees by increments of $15-$25 in following years to help maintain solvency of the Club. The 2018/19 fees of $200/$125 were approved unanimously.
Coach Lang discussed the success of the “new” revisited Summer 7s program. The Summer Warriors went into the VA State Championship tournament with an 8 and 1 record, but with a valiant show of Warrior pride and determination in the heavy downpour rains, finished 3rd overall, behind Legion 1 and Legion 2. Summer Warriors hosted an exchange student from Toulouse, France who planned to play with us for our games and tournaments through the month of July, but was injured in his own final championship tournament in Southern France just prior to his arrival in VA. He, instead, was our primary touch judge and came out to all our practices.
The Lang family announced their posting to the Embassy of Canada has been extended until summer of 2021, which means Coach Lang can continue to coach with the Warriors for 2-3 more seasons, and Kara is available to remain as a parent volunteer with the Club and the Warriors.
Kara Lang inquired if we could host a Referee Clinic and, potentially, a USA Rugby Level 200 coaching clinic as it would be beneficial to the club to have members certified both as coaches and refs and it would be minimal cost to us, as USA Rugby covers the cost of the instruction. This would be a good service to the Rugby Virginia community.
Potential Community Service opportunities to have FHR seen and heard were discussed, such as Marine Corps Marathon: Wear Blue mile.
Meeting adjourned at 4:29pm