In the Spring of 2004, Kenmore West social studies teacher Bill Conrad, with the help of Robert Jenkinson, Gene Adams, and John Strong formed a rugby club at Kenmore West High School joining Kenmore East, City Honors and McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester) as WNY schools offering rugby.
Over 45 student athletes responded to Coach Conrad’s announcement and came to the initial practices to give it a try. With Bill's leadership and the support of a fledging parents committee, Kenmore West quickly developed a reputation for skilled and uncompromising physical play. Led by co-captains Kyle Larson and Andy Pluff the boys played their first ever match in April of 2004 besting a strong City Honors side.
By 2005, new teams in Orchard Park and Fairport had joined the fledgeling league and the rivalry between Kenmore West and Kenmore East had added rugby to the tradition. Anyone who witnessed the epic battle between the Blue Devils and the Bulldogs in the finals of the 2005 Batavia Tournament would agree that rugby’s future in WNY as a competitive athletic contest was assured.
Natural rivals and tough competitors, the teams from West and East combined that summer to host their first touring side, the Cleve School from England. The next year Ken West experienced their first tour to Maryland. The tradition of touring and hosting has continued ever since. Kenmore Rugby has hosted teams from Wales, England, and New Zealand. More recently the team has made three tours to England, Wales, Scotland, and in 2014 Ireland.
In 2013, Kenmore West and Kenmore East combined to form the Kenmore Rugby Football Club. Later that season, Kenmore Rugby took 2nd place in the RugbyNY Boys Division 1 Championships, a feat they would repeat in 2014. Kenmore Rugby has been to the RugbyNY Boys Division 1 Championships four out of the last five years.
Since their start in 2004, Kenmore Rugby has been well represented on various all-star teams at both the high school and college levels, and the rosters of all the local college teams and senior mens clubs are dotted with Kenmore Rugby alums. Recently, many of our alums have moved into coaching including Kenmore Rugby alumni Mackenzie Doolittle who joined the Kenmore Rugby coaching staff in the Spring of 2017.