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NSRFC Hall of Fame
What does it take to be a NSRFC Hall of Famer?
The NSRFC Hall of Fame was founded in order to recognize the importance of the history and heritage of the Reds style of play, and the support that should be recognized for those to come. The function of the voting members is to recognize those players, coaches, and administrators who had a significant impact on the Reds game in their era. Every year, North Shore Rugby inducts a new Rugby Great in a prestigious ceremonial dinner.
The Hall of Fame boasts simply ‘the best of the best’ to have played for the Reds since 2002. To be inducted into The NSRFC Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of recognition for Rugby players and supporters of the Reds.
Hall of Famers
Jeff West | Matt Thibault | Bobby Moran | Mark Swan | Ken Spinale | Chris Smith | Gustavo Del Puerto
Jeff West - 2022
Teach began his rugby career in Parts Unknown (Western NY) played for several years and took a pause....as so many do. Upon moving to Massachusetts he randomly found North Shore Rugby....as so many do. His wife kind of chuckled at him when he said he was gonna play again...as so many do. Little did he know he would begin the great lineage of North Shore Rugby props.
A scrumming legend and an old school mentality. He would do whatever was required to win a game. - John Rice
He could remember a time when scrums had no cadence, tries were worth 4 points, it was okay to rake someone in a ruck, and everyone Liked Ike (if you don't get this last line please go directly to Tom Moore's history class). All jokes aside, Teach was everything you wanted out of a rugby player - tough, resilient, and an expert in Frontier Justice - Teach did all the less glamorous jobs that no one else wanted. Excitement? Adventure? Recognition? A Teach craves not these things.
For a lot of other guys I'd probably have a bunch of game stories about what they did against MIT or Old Gold. But with Teach this is so much harder because what he did you can only see if you know the game. They don't calculate how many tries are scored because a prop dominated his opposite number ALL DAY, cleared a ruck that seemed unwinnable, or took one against the head in a dire situation. They don't calculate what it means when it takes four guys to tackle you or when teams completely give up running the crash ball because "Oh, there's that fucking guy again". What Teach does in the shadows doesn't show up on a stats sheet and he did it every Saturday.
What Teach did was set a standard that others will be compared to. He taught us that a scrum is a weapon, not a punishment for a dropped ball. That you stand up for your mates on the pitch and be the first to pat them on the back when they do well. Everyone that watched him or played with him will tell you that he had an effect on them as a player.
When our team first created the NSRFC Hall of Fame we knew that with Teach it wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when. Teach, you embody everything that makes this sport and NSRFC great. You were a Hall of Famer well before this was even an idea. Thank you for your dedication to North Shore Rugby and congratulations on being the latest inductee to our Hall of Fame!
When other props go to sleep at night they check under their bed for Teach. - Rugby Proverb
Matt Thibault - 2021
What made TBo so great was his willingness to put the team before himself. He wasn't a player that needed to be too vocal or get in the spotlight.
Hard knock, lead through action type of player. That's the way TBo played and did so as a versatile player that could fill in wherever you needed him. He was a silent assassin, a guy that led by example and always left it on the pitch.
Players like him made you elevate your game because of how much he put into it. His commitment to North Shore RFC is no different. When he joined the club TBo quietly served as field secretary, probably the least desirable and most thankless of jobs.
Every now and then when there is a call to arms for extra bodies in practice, TBo shows up to help the team out. Always eager to get an occasional run in, TBo has taken the mantle of running our burgeoning Old Boys club.
Congratulations on the nomination and thank you for your tireless efforts to the club!
Bobby Moran - 2019
If there was one way to describe Bobby Moran, everyone would say Fred Flintstone. The man knows how to move his feet on the pitch, creating an illusion of prop like stature with the swiftness of a gazelle. But Bobby Moran is more than a swift prop like gazelle on the pitch. He was a leader in his own way by leading through action, creating endless opportunities for his teammates on the pitch by forcing defenses to fall apart as they scrambled to try and contain his jukes and jives. Bobby is also a man of few words, but when he spoke, everyone listened. Needless to say, Bobby is not the prototype wing.
John Rice When Bobby showed up, everyone assumed he was a prop. That was until he propped and removed all doubt. No man makes people miss like Bobby and his Flintstone feet and those who underestimated him always paid dearly as he juked and jived his way to the try zone.
Bobby still makes cameo appearances now and then and he's a bridge from the early days of NSRFC. He hasn't ruled out getting back out there someday, but for now he's raising future NSRFC legends. Bobby holds the distinction of being perhaps the most capped player in North Shore history. A quiet, fierce competitor on the field, Bobby is one of the nicest guys off it. He's a great example of what rugby means and embodies the spirit of NSRFC. And to that, we say welcome to NSRFC Hall of Fame Bobby Fred Flintstone Moran.
Mark Swan - 2018
If there was anyone you could say that put it all out there no matter what number he wore, you would think of no other than Mark Swan. Swan is as much of a North Shore OG as they get. From center, to lock, back to center, back to lock, Swan was a cruise missile in the North Shore arsenal. Swan was the blueprint for the big, hard charging center, breaking tackles and gain lines along with the spirits of the opposing team.
Zac Cook Swanny is the person who defined the #12 jersey for me. Big enough to power through, agile enough to go around and loud enough to keep everyone in line. Though his skills shined it was always the emotion he played with that inspired the team around him. Probably the most influential NSRFC member on my rugby development. As far as I’m concerned #12 in the red jersey will always be Swanny.
As durable as they come, he was a player you could always count on, providing leadership on and off the field. Despite hanging the boots up as a regular player, Swan still makes time to make the occasional appearance around the team and is usually first in line to join the Old Boys games.
Alicia Swan A multidimensional badass
Although the post game singing culture seems to be a dying art in rugby, Swan was always one of the first to join in or lead the team in song. His rendition of Barnacle Bill with Devo might be one of the most entertaining pieces of music we've ever seen.
Ian Nichols My favorite Swan memory was the Seacoast game in Danvers the night after a deluge of rain that basically ruined any chance of using that pristine pitch ever again. Swan got moved to the pack late in the game after an injury to our 2nd row. We are closing in on 40 scrums for the day. We get three in a row as soon he comes in, he furiously turns to the back line, as if he never knocked on that day and yells “Will you fucking backs stop dropping the fucking ball?” Immediately endeared himself to the pack.
Swan was a great teammate and captain for many years. Durable, tough as all hell, and an underrated tackler. He was a force for sure whether he played forward or back. That is why it the pleasure of North Shore Mens Rugby to have Mark Swan in the Hall of Fame.
Ken Spinale - 2017
Ken was always selfless and fiercely loyal to North Shore.
One of the NSRFC originals, Ken was without a doubt the club’s emotional leader from our inception. Ken brought intensity, fearlessness, and grit to each and every breakdown as well as in open play. Tireless around the pitch, Ken made everyone around him better.
Though a natural #8 Ken was always selfless and played anywhere he was asked. Whether it was second row, back row or even in the back line. Ken always made an impact. Known for his low, aggressive work in the breakdown, Ken was actually penalized once for rucking an opponent too savagely.
He was also a weapon on offence, gaining hard yards among the pack or jumping into the back line with ease. Ken scored his share of tries and was a key man supporting the backs who pissed off by themselves.
Ken’s booming voice could be heard anywhere on the field. It served as a beacon to all forwards that “you should be here!” Ken was once referred to, by the captain of the Shannon RFC side NSRFC played in Ireland, as “The loud fella.” Whether on tour or in a local dive bar, you can always find him with a wide grin.
Ken always will be a North Shore rugby player, and his induction into the NSRFC Hall of Fame is well-earned.
Chris Smith - 2016
Chris Smith is a North Shore club legend who epitomizes the expression "leave it all on the field." Never has one of our players played through so many injuries and still made such an impact on the pitch.
Earning the nickname "Captain Crunch" for his bone-jarring tackles, Chris also did all the dirty work in rucks and mauls with a combination of experience, technique and grit. And he scored some tries along the way.
Two notable "CLS" moments: He scored the first-ever try in NSRFC history in spring 2002 against Wentworth. And a few years later, he took on a monster of a loose forward from our then-rival Middlesex in a huge open-field collision, asking "how YOU doing" before delivering one of his textbook tackles.
Chris was one of the hardest workers we've ever seen on the pitch, and he bled North Shore red. He also contributed greatly off the pitch, procuring our first home pitch at Cherry Hill Park and giving his time and energy in various executive committee roles.
A true rugby junkie, Chris could talk for hours about international rugby, and did just that whenever he encountered a new accent at a drinkup.
He was a true leader, selfless contributor to the club, and mentor to many young players who joined the club along the way. We thank Chris for the countless ways he has helped the club over the years.
Gustavo Del Puerto - 2015
In the winter of 2001-2002, Gus del Puerto recognized the need for a rugby club to represent the North Shore of Massachusetts. There were established clubs in Boston and to the south and west. Despite a rich athletic history, the North Shore had no rugby club to call their own.
Gus put the word out, and among those who joined up were rugby journeymen Liam Brady, Cam Williams and Dan Solomon. They would become core members of NSRFC, and a new club was born...
In addition to being the founder of NSRFC, Gus led the team in battle as our scrum half for much of the club's first decade, stepping in at fly half or hooker as needed. He was known for calm decision making mixed with his fiery Argentine spirit, helping NSRFC field a strong side each season.
In addition to his time on the pitch, Gus spent countless hours contributing to the club's administration as President and in other executive committee roles, a living legend. Gus still takes the field for the occasional b-side or old boys match and took part in our recent Montreal tour.
We thank Gus for his dedication and for laying the groundwork for so many NSRFC ruggers that have followed.