In the spring of 2006, Jen Muller was teaching physical education classes for KUSD at Lakeview Technology Academy. As part of her curriculum, she taught a section on the sport of Rugby. Jen was well suited to teach this subject as she played college rugby at University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, and was a very good student of the game, as well as an accomplished rugby player.
The Rugby lessons were a big hit with the students, and they wanted to learn more about the sport. They asked Jen if there were any teams locally that they could join and play the full size version of the sport, rather than the scaled down version they learned in their school. Unfortunately, there were no high school Rugby teams locally, and the closest ones were in the metro Milwaukee and Chicago area.
Jen saw the opportunity to start something special, and with her vision, hard work, and leadership started the foundation of the club as we know it today. She first organized the club as a registered non-profit 501(c)3 group, and set up a spring practice schedule to teach her new team the sport of Rugby. With help of others in the community, and team fund raising efforts, they were able to purchase a set of teams jerseys.
As it was late in the spring when things came together, the team didn't have an opportunity to play against other high schools in scheduled matches. So the team cut its teeth during the local summer tournament season with its first appearance at the Milwaukee Black & Blue 10's tournament. The teams name was selected by player vote, and the Kenosha Vultures Rugby Football Club became a reality. A team logo was designed by Sherry's Custom T's and some team shirts were printed to be used for the first tournament. Jen was assisted by coaches Todd Streeter and Kevin Schanke from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside RFC.
Later in the year Jen had to hand over the reins of leadership of the club, and looked around for another person to take over the newly formed club. With the help of others she contacted local rugby enthusiast Joe Bullis, and he agreed to take on the coaching job.
Joe helped the team join the Badgerland Conference and play its first full season of competitive action in spring 2007. Dr. Dragos Nanul, and Dr. John Murphy assisted with coaching during the season. With the talents of local University of Wisconsin-Parkside coach Todd Streeter, a team web site was established, and e-mail group formed. Parents and players offered their time and energy in numerous ways to assist our club as well.
Many local rugby supporters showed up in large numbers to kick off our 2007 inaugural competitive season with a spring fundraising dinner. With the gifts and talents of these supporters, the dinner was a huge success and the club was able to purchase many needed items which would allow us to practice safely and be competitive, now and for the future.
We hand out several awards at the end of the season:
MVP Backs, MVP Forwards, Hardest Tackler. These awards speak for themselves.
Team Appreciation Award. Given out to individuals, businesses, or groups that distinguish themselves with special support or efforts to help our club become better.
Jen Muller Leadership Award. Given out to the person(s) on our club that best displays the true meaning of a team leader. Overcoming obstacles, and never giving up. Leading by example, and giving 100% to his team.
Eric Olson Rugger Award. Given out to the person(s) on the club that best demonstrates the passion for the sport of Rugby. Leading by example on the field with hard play, sportsmanship, and supporting his fellow player. Named after a former UW Parkside and Kenosha/Racine rugby player who has been instrumental in maintaining the passion for rugby locally for many years in our community.