Grand Traverse Rugby Club is a not for profit organization set up to help grow rugby in Northern Michigan. The 501 (c) 3 organization concentrates on Youth Rugby while also helping our Senior Men’s and Women’s side.

High School Girls

Traverse Bay Blues High School Girls became a part of the Club in 2005 have been top contenders in our league with five time State Championships. We look forward to bringing home the title again this year.

 

Blues Rugby allows many high school girls to play a team sport that gives them confidence in life; it teaches them teamwork, discipline, and respect.  Many of the High School Girl's players go on to play in college and on a women’s team after graduating.  Several of our players have also been selected to play at higher levels of rugby, such as Michigan Select Side, Midwest Select Side, and even for our National Team, the United States Eagles.  Rugby will give them the self-confidence and assertiveness that will be necessary after leaving high school.

High School Boys

The High School Boys program has been around since 1999. We are always recruiting players in the five county area and beyond.

Blues Rugby allows many high school boys to play a team sport that gives them confidence in life; it teaches them teamwork, discipline, and respect.  Many of the players have gone on to play at multiple levels in college, including D1A.  Several of our players have also been selected to play at higher levels of rugby, such as Michigan Select Side, Midwest Select Side, and even for our National Team, the United States Eagles.  Rugby will give them the self-confidence and assertiveness that will be necessary after leaving high school.

Women's

The Traverse Bay Blues Women's team was founded in 2016 by Therese and Lauren Panian. Made up of many former high school Blues players as well as some players coming to our team from college rugby teams. There are also many women discovering this sport for the first time! Since founding and playing on the team, both Therese and Lauren Panian are now playing semi-professional women's rugby in Denver, CO working towards trying to get onto the Lady Eagles National Team for the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The women's team also hosts a "Prom Dress Rugby Match" every year on Father's Day weekend to celebrate our founding and pride in participating in this sport. It is a friendly match where everyone is welcome to play. 

Men's

The Traverse Bay Blues Senior Men’s side was founded in 1973 and currently competes in USA Rugby’s Midwest Geographic Union’s Division III Northern Conference. Through the years over 2,000 players have played for the Blues, including players that have gone on to play internationally, in the MLR, and earn multiple caps for the US national team, USA Rugby’s Eagles, Phil Thiel and Angus McClellan II. The current Blues Men field a team comprised of a mix of experienced former high school and college players, senior men’s players, and an infusion of talented new players from all across the 6 county area. The Blues Men also founded the Cherry Pit Rugby Tournament that will be making its return in 2020.

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Board of Directors

Josh Benghauser - Club President
Trina Girardin - Secretary

Mike Amon - Treasurer

Bob Brick - Co-Fundraising Chair
Tim Brick - Co-Fundraising Chair

Derek Braun - Men's Head Coach

Tania Santos- Women's Head Coach

Cornel Olivier - HS Boys Coach

Paul Fitzsimmons - At Large

Anthony Dell'Acqua - At Large

Andrew Smith - At Large