Bucks County Sharks
|Full name||Bucks County Sharks|
Rugby League Football Club
|Competition||USA Rugby League|
Originally known as the New Jersey Sharks, the team was founded in 1997 and joined the now-defunct American National Rugby League (AMNRL) for its inaugural 1998 season. Despite the name, the team was based not in New Jersey but in nearby Levittown in Bucks County. They adopted their current name for the 2007 season. The Sharks suspended operations and did not compete in the 2010 season, but rejoined in 2011 and remained in the league until it folded in 2014. Subsequently, they joined the USARL for the 2015 USARL season.
The team was formed in 1997 by Fred Backhaus and Phil Shipos. The Sharks were one of the charter franchises of the AMNRL, competing in its inaugural season. Though they played under the name New Jersey Sharks, they were actually based across state lines in nearby Levittown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Many players were drawn from the local Hibernian Rugby Football Club, or "Hibos".
Throughout their early years the Sharks were consistent playoff contenders, advancing to the Grand Final in 1999 and winning a minor premiership in 2002, though never winning a championship title. In 2007 they changed their name to the Bucks County Sharks, reflecting that they played in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a result of internal factors the Sharks suspended operations following the 2009 season, and did not play in the 2010 domestic competition. They remained active outside of the competition; they played a replacement game against the New York Knights after their scheduled opponents, the Northern Raiders, forfeited before the match. In December 2010, the Sharks announced they intended to return for the 2011 season. On January 31, 2011, they announced they would be committing to the AMNRL, rather than the upstart USA Rugby League.
The Sharks competed in the AMNRL until it folded in 2014. The following year they joined the USA Rugby League, along with two other surviving AMNRL clubs.
Uniform and colors
For their inaugural American National Rugby League season the club adopted the colors of blue, black and white but their uniforms were predominantly blue. Their uniforms are similar in style to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks of Australia's National Rugby League, with whom they have a team partnership association. For the 2006 season the club changed their home kit to include a darker blue strip with predominantly black socks and shorts. In 2010, the club, along with other AMNRL teams, adopted a new badge.
- Phil Shipos
- Steve Thompson
- Zach Padgett
- Justin Zadnik
- Sal Ranniello
- Tim McCall
- Brian McCall
- Ryan Sodano
- Steve Tormey
- Jeff Pesature
- Dean Schofield
- Pat Mason
- Todd Mason
- Steve Gill
- Frank Grey
- Joe Mullen
- Mike Romeo
- Dan Johnson
- Viasia Korosetta
- John Logan
- Kyle Gibbons
- Todd Kelly
- Jon Vella
- Rob Gimello
- Andrew Shultz
The Sharks currently use Falls Township Community Park (alternatively referred to as Shark Park) as their home ground located in Levittown, Pennsylvania.
- John Gleeson (July 9, 2012). "RUGBY: Zach Padgett satisfies competitive spirit with Bucks County Sharks". Bucks Local News. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2011-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Tim McCall (January 31, 2011). "Sharks commit to AMNRL for season 2011". www.pitchero.com/clubs/buckscountysharksrlc/. Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "USA Rugby League Season V announced with 14 teams". www.usarl.com. USA Rugby League. January 23, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-02-02. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Bucks County Sharks - AMNRL - Media
- AMNRL - American National Rugby League
- Official website