A Little Club History
It all started during the fall of 1997, when a bunch of us started showing up at rugby practice at The Evergreen State College. Some of us were much older than the students, but that didn't seem to matter - we were playing rugby.
As we practiced and played with the "Greeners," a few more experienced players came out, and pretty soon we thought about forming a club free of the administrative bonds of the school. Under the tutelage of Evergreen coach Trevor Anderson, the Olympia Rugby Club was unofficially born.
Our first foray into playing as a club came at various seven-a-side tournaments during the summer. Playing some of the top clubs in the Pacific Northwest, we learned a lot about teamwork and our opponents, while finishing 4-10 in four events.
We entered the schedule for the Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union Div. II 1998/1999 season with four other clubs, and we were in business.
I thought you were Olympia Rugby? Why the name change?
Well, it really all goes back to the launch of our U-19 team, the Capital Cougars.
In 2000, Mr. Matt Hudson approached his teammates of the Olympia Rugby Club and stated he wanted to start a U-19 team. The club was more than happy to help. Matt decided to call the team the Capital Cougars, the team’s name of his high school, Capital High School in Olympia. We would rather it be Olympia U-19, but hey, this was Matt's baby. We agreed, and the Capital Cougars Rugby Club was born.
We assumed that our U-19 team, much like all other teams, would struggle to get going, and to gain members. That was until Mr. Pete Sullivan agreed to coach the side. The numbers grew quickly thanks to great recruiting by Matt, and the town being blanketed with announcements by the Men's Side. We soon had kids from all of the city's high schools, as well as a few from Shelton.
It became an issue almost immediately. Kids from other high schools did not want to play for a rival school's team, even though there was no affiliation with the school.
What about the women?
In 2002 a U-19 girls team was founded and led by Alex Goff, a highly regarded rugby analyst. The Steelheads have grown over the years into a nationally ranked force. They have, in the past, been ranked as high as 6th in the nation, and in 2006 the Steelheads and the Barbarians sported the highest combined national ranking of any U19 rugby program with both a boys and a girls team. No other program had two teams ranked in the top 16 in the nation.
So a few members of the Men's side sat down to address this issue. We quickly realized that changing the U-19's side to Olympia Rugby U-19 was not a great solution since there is an Olympia High School, and we would be facing the same problem. We brainstormed. It was tough and painful, but we did it.
And so, Budd Bay RFC was born, named after the stretch of Puget Sound that flows into Olympia.
A Brief Overview
Budd Bay Buffaloes - Men's Club, Division III
Normal playing membership: 25 players
Nationally ranked - 2009 (14th), 2010 (11th)
Pacific Northwest Division III Champions - 2009, 2010, 2011
Budd Bay Bandits - Women's Club, Division II
Normal playing membership: 20 players.
Nationally ranked - 2010 (8th)
Pacific Northwest Division II Champions - 2010
Budd Bay Barbarians - Boys U19, U16 and U14
Normal playing membership: 40 players
Four members selected to USA U19 team
One former member selected to the USA National team (USA Eagles)
Nationally ranked - 2000 (13th), 2001 (5th), 2005 (15th), 2006 (7th)
U19 PNW Championship appearance - 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
U19 Pacific Northwest Division Champions - 2001, 2006, 2007
U17 Pacific Northwest Division Champions - 2009
Washington State Champions - 2011
Budd Bay Steelheads - Girls U19
Normal playing membership: 25 players
Four members selected to USA U19 team
Nationally ranked - 2004 (7th), 2006 (6th)
PNW semifinals or better - 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010
Pacific Coast Invitational Tournament Champions - 2010
Players of Note
Scott LaValla - USA Eagles, Men's National Team Skylar Pond, Pacific Coast Grizzlies men's senior all-star team Megan Sanders, Pacific Coast Grizzlies women's senior all-star team Trevor Anderson, Pacific Northwest Loggers men's senior all-star team Jeff Macke, USA U19 boys 2001-2002 David Soles, USA U19 boys (2002) Gavin Secker, USA U19 boys (2004-2005) Eddie Haigh, USA All American national collegiate team (2005) Scott Lavalla, USA U19 boys (2005, 2006, captain), USA U20 (captain, 2007), USA Eagles (2011-Current) Kevin Erskine, USA U19 (2006), USA U20 (2007) Taylor Briscoe, USA U17 (2008) Maggie Nelson, USA U19 girls (2003-2004, later captain of MIT) Megan Thompson, USA U19s girls (2003-2006, vice captain) Sonya Cifuentes-Hiss, USA U19 girls (2004) Mitra Akhavan, USA U19 girls (2006)
The Buffalo Creed
At the beginning of 2002 fall season, the Men's side thought we needed a mascot. If anyone has ever been out to the pubs with us after a match, you would know the tradition of the Buffalo. Whenever a new player joins the ranks of our senior teams, they enter into a social contract with the other players. This tradition dates back to ancient nordic times with the vikings, in a game they called Buffalo (or so we're told). Well, since the club needed a mascot...and every BBRFC senior-side player is an inducted buffalo....we have become the Budd Bay Buffaloes. To this very day, you may hear a call of the wild buffalo at your local pub.
In 2010, the Bandits were instrumental in creating the first DII league in the Pacific Northwest, and went on to win the league title followed shortly by the Pacific Coast Championships. The Bandits went to the DII National Competition and placed 8th in the nation. In 2014, the Bandits hit the pitch again to take on teams from Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho in the quest to reach the national competition. For the 2015-2016 season, the Bandits again made their mark by making it to playoffs and taking third place in the Pacific Northwest DII division! The Bandits accept players of all levels! No experience is necessary. The Bandits are a LGBTQ+ inclusive rugby team. Players must be over the age of 18 and able to commit to two trainings per week (Tuesdays and Thursday) and matches on Saturdays. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Established 2000 Members selected to USA U19 National Team One member selected to the USA National Team (Eagles) Nationally ranked in 2000 (13th), 2001 (5th), 2005 (15th), 2006 (7th), 2011 (10th) PNW Champions: 2001 & 2006 Washington State Champions: 2011 U19 & 2012 U16 7's Washington State Champions: 2015
Founded in 2002, the Steelheads are not affiliated with any particular school, and that's a good thing. If you want to play an exciting team sports and want a new and different experience, and you go to high school in or near Thurston County, you can play for us.
Budd Bay Berserkers!
Junior Rugby 7th-8th Grade Co-Ed Budd Bay Youth Coed Rugby 1st thru 6th Grade Rookie Rugby is a fun, engaging team sport for kids wanting to "tackle" something a little different. It's non-contact, touch rugby for both boys and girls, preparing them for contact rugby at higher levels. Rookie Rugby is a fast paced, continuous play game. Great for fitness! Your son or daughter will learn how to pass the ball - sideways and backward - game concepts and develop a general understanding of how to play rugby. Hopefully they'll fall in love with the game too. Rugby culture promotes teamwork, builds confidence and everyone HAS FUN!