The All Deaf Rugby Club, North America's only Deaf adult's rugby club, is the brain child of Deaf rugby pioneer Mark Burke. Mark founded a rugby program at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, in Washington D.C., in 2009. In the summer of 2012 he decided to throw together a Deaf men's team to enter a couple of summer sevens tournaments. Later, Mark enlisted the help of MSSD assistant rugby coach Roberto Santiago and the All Deaf's 15s squad was born. Soon after the pair were joined by David Rice and the team had a board, with Mark as President, David as Vice President, and Roberto as Secretary.
The ADRFC started fall practice under the wing of the Washington Rugby Club. The WRFC provided needed experience, structure, and coaching while the Deaf team went about recruiting enough players to spin off on their own. During the fall campaign the board welcomed Kyle Larson as the social chair.
The team played their first 15s match against the Washington Renegades on September 29th, 2012. The first try in 15s club history was scored by Zane Noschese. This, after the first potential try in club history was knocked on in goal by Zane Noschese. Though the game did not result in a win for the club it was considered a success, the first time a Deaf men's team had taken the field in a 15s match in at least 25 years.
The team collected sponsors and debuted their own kit November 11, 2012 against the US Combined Military Veterans team at the Ambassador's Shield event. The first fall ended with the ADRFC involved in another first for Deaf rugby. The club entered two teams in the Turkey Trot Sevens. The day ended with the ADRFC playing against a team made up of MSSD Alumni in the first known match between two American Deaf sides.
The club is looking forward to a bright future, including joining the Potomac Rugby Union. We are continuing to recruit Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and ASL fluent players of all experience levels.
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