High Country Rugby R.F.C. was founded in 1975 by the gentlemen proprietors of the outfitting store and adventure escape that bear the same name. Denny Mays, Bubba Sloan, Tim McNally, and Gerald Marshall organized an odd collection of misfits and malcontents from other local clubs to begin play in the fall of 1975.
The club’s philosophy centered around the concept of fun, with serious play reserved for occasional outbreaks of brilliance. From 1975 to 1980 the team conquered few other competitive clubs but developed a reputation as great party hosts and enjoyable lads. The unofficial motto of the team (and definitely its Old Boys side) is “I may be getting older but I refuse to grow up.”
As the years passed and the sport continued to grow in popularity the team’s level of play increased all the while its members always held to its core sense of honor and brotherhood – with plenty of humor and stories for the ages thrown in for good measure. In 1980 a visit by the touring side of Henley, England, gave the team an opportunity to raise its level of play a notch. For several years the team was undeniably the second best in the city, winning the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament in Savannah as well as touring England, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. From 1985 to 1990 the team worked to reestablish its direction, having retired many of the original players and recruiting a new stable of regulars. In 1988 High Country elected to compete in Division II, and it has been a contender for top honors since 1990. After a successful campaign in 1990 the team went on to win the Southern Regional Championship and competed for the Eastern title. In 2000 High Country returned to championship form by winning the USA South Georgia Division III Championship. In the 2000s the club continually was at the top of the Georgia Rugby Union’s DIII with several trips to the playoffs mixed in with a couple of deep runs to glory.
Today, High Country aims to provide the best of both worlds just as it has in the past; playing an entertaining brand of winning rugby under head coach Nicolas Ambrosini and providing its members a great network. We consider this to be a highly competitive club that embodies the sportsmanship and friendship consistent with the ideals and values of our founders.
For a brief history of the club, check out these videos.
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