Category: News

3rd Annual CottonTown 7s Draws Record Crowd

CLAYTON, North Carolina – This past Saturday, the Clayton Rugby Football Club hosted their 3rd Annual CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival. The tournament, which is one of the largest in the Carolinas, took place at East Clayton Community Park. This year’s event drew 29 teams to Clayton for a fun-filled day of rugby and community. An estimated 500-600 people were in attendance between all of the teams and fans as they were welcomed with beautiful weather.

“We had one less team than we had at last year’s event, but there were a lot more people in attendance. It really felt bigger despite not adding any teams,” said Clayton RFC President and Tournament organizer Ted Hardy. “This tournament just keeps growing and growing. It’s a great thing for rugby and it’s a wonderful opportunity to show off our community.”

The day-long event culminated with the crowning of champions in the Men’s, Women’s, and High School Boys Divisions. Local sides fared well in the tournament with the host Clayton Bootleggers losing in the Men’s Championship, the Women’s Championship was taken home by the Raleigh Venom and the High School Championship saw the Raleigh Redhawks defeating the Clayton Copperheads.

The home side Bootleggers enjoyed their best finish ever at the CottonTown 7s with their runner-up finish. Last season, the Bootleggers lost in the Cup semifinals on a last minute score by Chapel Hill. The Bootleggers defeated Fort Bragg and the 7s touring team Old Toe in pool play which put them up against tournament favorite Southern Pines in the Cup semifinals. Southern Pines had won the previous two CottonTown 7s and had never been beaten on Clayton soil in 7s or XVs. Southern Pines got out to an early lead, but the home side held strong and scored just before the end of the first half to leave the score at 12-5 in favor of Southern Pines. The Bootleggers added another try midway through the second half to pull within two points. With time expiring, the Bootleggers moved the ball deep into Southern Pines’ territory. A couple of nice offloads sent Nick Russell over for the game winning try.

In the championship match the Bootleggers faced off against Columbia (SC) Olde Grey. The sides traded tries in the opening minutes, but Olde Grey finished the half strong with two more scores to take a 19-7 lead into the break. Columbia added another score to start the second half as the Bootleggers began to show fatigue. Olde Grey added another score before Clayton finished with a score as they fell in the championship by a score of 33-14.

“Our guys have a lot to be proud of,” added Hardy. “Not just for what they did on the pitch today. Most of them were here at 6am to set up for the tournament and a number of them stayed after to help break everything down. They represented our club well and we’re very proud of them.”

In the Women’s championship the Raleigh Venom avenged a loss earlier in the day to James River by shutting out the side from Virginia 34-0.

The all-local High School Boys championship saw the Raleigh Redhawks storm out to a 33-0 half time lead over the Clayton Copperheads as they cruised to a 38-5 victory.

For a complete list of all of the scores, please follow this link.

The Clayton RFC added a number of new elements to the tournament this year. At the top of that list was a live stream of the action from Field 1. All of the championship matches were also recorded. Event Webcasting, a streaming broadcaster out of Raleigh, provided a professional quality stream of the event for fans that couldn’t make it there in person.

Sponsors for the 3rd Annual CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival included:

The Redneck BBQ Lab was the official food sponsor of the tournament with their award winning BBQ to keep all of the hungry players and fans fed.

While beer isn’t allowed at the park, Deep River Brewing Company stepped up and donated water to all of the participating teams.

World Rugby Shop provided all of the balls used at the tournament as well as sponsoring the referee jerseys and donating water bottles to all of the teams.

The Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau provided gift bags for all of the teams and additional marketing support to the event.

Event photography was provided by Jamaal Porter and Tom Lighton.

The Clayton RFC would also like to thank VCB Executive Car Services, Kona Ice of Johnston County, Clayton Chiropractic, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, Johnston Now Magazine, and Sky High Sports for their support of the event.

With the tournament finished, work begins on next year’s CottonTown 7s and new challenges await as the event moves from East Clayton Community Park to the Johnston County Rugby Park.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” said Hardy. “We’re very happy with how the tournament went this year, but there is always room for improvement. We’re going to sit down and look at what went well and look at areas that need improvement. We’ve received some great feedback from coaches, players, fans, and referees that we plan to put to use.”

“To add to the challenge, we’re moving to the Johnston County Rugby Park next year which will change our layout for the event and our traffic areas. The new park will definitely make some things a lot easier for us, but until we get out there and give it a test run we have no idea how it will all play out.”

The 4th Annual CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival is scheduled for Saturday July 13, 2019 at the Johnston County Rugby Park. Registration is set to open in April of 2019.

Clayton RFC Names 2017/2018 Award Winners

CLAYTON, NC – This past weekend, the Clayton Rugby Football Club hosted their annual End of Season Banquet to celebrate another great season. Hosted at Boulevard West in Downtown Clayton the festivities included the announcement of club playing award winners and special recognition awards.

go to link 1st XV Most Valuable Forward: Ed “Prop Kicker” Dixon

Dixon posted a banner season, starting 14 of 15 matches during the 2017/2018 season. Dixon scored a team high 93 points during the season as he took over kicking duties for the 1st XV. On top of anchoring the Bootlegger’s scrum, Dixon scored two tries, went 7 for 8 on penalty goals and 31 of 51 on conversions.

http://communicatebetter.net/services/executive/ 1st XV Most Valuable Back: Brian Anderson

Playing in his first full season with the Bootleggers, Anderson filled in multiple roles in the club’s back line. Anderson played in 12 matches scoring six tries while putting in time at center, scrumhalf, flyhalf, and fullback during the campaign.

http://oceanadesigns.net/envira/blue-jeans/ 2nd XV Most Valuable Player: Jim Bartles

A brand new addition to the club’s annual awards, the first-ever 2nd XV Most Valuable Player led the 2nd XV to their best season to date. While also putting in solid minutes for the Bootleggers’ 1st XV, Bartles made six starts for the 2nds bringing his leadership and strong carries to the pitch.

Rookie of the Year: Aaron Sisler

After getting his rugby career off to a good start in the Fall, the lock/flanker suffered an injury that put him out for most of the season. Sisler worked hard at practice and off of the pitch to return to the pitch just before the end of the season. He played a total of four matches this season making one appearance for the Bootleggers’ 1st XV.

Coach’s Award: George Allen

One of the club’s Old Boy stalwarts, the second rower can always be counted on to put in hard work at practice and strong minutes during games. During the past season, Allen appeared in five 1st XV matches and six 2nd XV games.

Davies Award: Mike Keese

Named after Philip “Paddy O” Davies, it is a non-annual award given to the Club Member that goes above and beyond in service to the Clayton Rugby Football Club.  After stepping away from playing on the pitch, Keese stepped up to the plate this year serving as the club’s Volunteer Chair. Keese aided in organizing volunteer management for the club’s many events and games. On top of that, he also assisted with the execution of home socials. 

Special Recognition Awards

Paul Auclair – 5 Year Sponsorship Award

Lynn Auclair – 5 Year Sponsorship Award

Dr. Karel Lloyd – 5 Year Sponsorship Award

Philip Davies – Club Service Award – Club Chef

Ted Hardy – Club Service Award – Club President

Simon Potter – Club Service Award – Club Captain

Rich Munro – Club Service Award – Club Head Coach

Ted Chapman – Club Service Award – Club Assistant Coach

End of Season Leaders and Milestones

The 2017/2018 campaign was a banner year for the Clayton RFC as the 1st XV reached the D3 playoffs in only their second season at that level. The club’s 2nd XV also played a record number of matches and posted a winning record for the first time in club history. Here are the club’s 1st XV and 2nd XV statistical leaders along with some milestones that were reached by players during the season. The club’s annual Award Winners will be announced at the Annual End of Season Banquet in two weeks.

Club Milestones

  • The Bootlegger’s 1st XV set a club record with 98 points scored in a win over Camp Lejeune on March 24, 2018
  • The club’s 1st XV reached the Carolinas Rugby Union Division III Playoffs for the first time in club history

Individual Milestones

  • Ed Dixon set a 1st XV and club record with seven penalty goals kicked
  • Cam Grim and Gareth Davies set a 1st XV and club single season record for tries scored with 11 apiece
  • Eric Hile set a 1st XV single match record when he scored four tries in a win over the Charlotte Barbarians on March 10, 2018
  • Deven Howard set a 2nd XV single match record with four tries scored in a win against Wake Tech on November 4, 2017

Longevity Milestones

Half Century Club

On February 10th, 2018 Ted Hardy became the first player in club history to take the pitch 50 times for the 1st XV. As of the end of the 2017/2018 season, Hardy has played in 57 1st XV matches and nine 2nd XV matches for a total of 66 games for the Clayton RFC. Next stop… 100?

Quarter Century Club

The following players have each played at least 25 matches for the club’s 1st XV. A few of which should join the Half Century Club next season.

  • Ed Dixon – 45 (has also made 12 appearances for the club’s 2nd XV for a total of 57 games played)
  • Jeff Cosgrove – 39
  • Gareth Davies – 38
  • Nick Taylor – 38
  • Brendan Fitzpatrick – 34
  • Simon Potter – 34
  • Manosh Premachandra – 32
  • Connell Smallwood – 29
  • Eric Hile – 29
  • Anthony Crumity – 28
  • Paul Castellana – 26
  • Anthony Bevelacqua – 26

2017/2018 1st XV Leaders

Games Played No. Tries No. Conv. M/A
T. Hardy 15 G. Davies 11 E. Dixon 31/51
E. Dixon 14 C. Grim 11 B. Beauregard 11/24
D. Parker 14 S. Potter 9 T. Chapman 2/5
S. Potter 14 B. Anderson 6 B. Anderson 1/1
G. Davies 13 T. Hardy 6 B. Fitzpatrick 1/2
N. Taylor 13
Penalties M/A Points No.
E. Dixon 7/8 E. Dixon 93
G. Davies 55
C. Grim 55
B. Beauregard 37
B. Anderson 32

2017/2018 2nd XV Leaders

Games Played No. Tries No.
J. Rogers 8 D. Howard 8
G. Allen 6 A. Crumity 5
J. Bartles 6 S. Nash 5
P. Castellana 6 W. Ashley 4
D. Howard 6 E. Hile 3
Conv. M/A Points No.
J. Rinehart 9/17 D. Howard 40
Z. West 6/10 A. Crumity 27
T. Chapman 2/3 S. Nash 25
E. Dixon 2/3 J. Rinehart 23
A. Crumity 1/1 Z. West 22

1st XV All-Time Leaders

Games Played No. Tries No. Conv. A/M
T. Hardy 57 G. Davies 30 B. Beauregard 54/95
E. Dixon 45 T. Hardy 26 E. Dixon 32/53
J. Cosgrove 39 S. Potter 19 B. Fitzpatrick 20/57
G. Davies 38 S. McKenzie 17 S. Potter 14/20
N. Taylor 38 B. Beauregard 16 Multiple Tied W/ 3
Penalties A/M Points No.
E. Dixon 7/8 B. Beauregard 197
B. Beauregard 3/4 G. Davies 156
T. Hardy 130
S. Potter 123
E. Dixon 105

2nd XV All-Time Leaders

Games Played No. Tries No. Conv. A/M
A. Crumity 19 A. Crumity 20 E. Dixon 11/20
J. Rogers 16 E. Hile 10 J. Rinehart 9/17
G. Allen 15 D. Howard 8 Z. West 6/10
L. Haskins 15 S. Nash 5 D. Braun 3/7
E. Tansey 14 W. Ashley 4 E. Hile 3/5
C. Crumity 4
Penalties A/M Points No.
J. Rinehart 1/1 A. Crumity 102
E. Hile 56
D. Howard 40
J. Rinehart 26
S. Nash 25