Orca Sevens Team Captures Gold at the California State Games
Congratulations to the Orca U18 Sevens Team. The boys went 4-0, outscoring their opponents 134-40, to take the Championship in San Marcos on Sun 17 Jul 2016.
This year's team was comprised of a combination of U18 & U16s from the regular season. This represented the last match for several seniors playing their last match in the Orca jersey, but also represented the promise for next year's returners at the U18 & U16 level.
The day started off with a commanding 38-7 win over Tribe from East County San Diego. Six Orcas scored tries in the game, led by senior Timoci Tuikaba, our beloved "Fiji", using smooth cuts and amazing passes. The game was highlighted by our youngest player, Warner Curtis (U16), assisting senior Tommy Alamin for the last try of the game. Tommy was sidelined missed most of the 2016 season with an ankle injury and this was a great cap to his several year career with Orca.
Game 2 was against San Clemente. Orca started a bit slower but picked up the pace in the second half and closed out the game with a 24-15 win. Scoring was shared by four players. Returning U18 Sam Schuett showed his summer development with his first try.
The next two games would prove to be the most challenging. Coronado was the opponent for game 3 and had not yet lost. The game started with a yellow card to senior Cole Sanders, forcing Orca to play down a man for two minutes. Scrum half Kevin Brookshire would control the tempo of the game and started off the scoring. Cole returned from the sin bin and put up three tries in four minutes, Kevin added one more giving Orca going a 29-7 half time lead. In the second half, Kevin added another try and senior Ray Samoni joined in the fun, closing out the game with one of his own. The final score would be 41-7.
After game three, other teams and coaches began to ask “where is this team from.” Orca answered that question, not with words but with their play, showing that Ventura County plays awesome rugby and went into the gold medal match with confidence against undefeated Tri-City of Oceanside.
Orca would attack first, led by great passing and team play. U18 returner Ben Cantle led the first half charge with three tries. Senior Noah Hoffman stepped up all day, as he had all year in his last season, stressing their defense and opening gaps for his teammates. Orca's half time was 19-12. Tri City started the second half with a try, but that proved to be their last. Orca topped off the game with two more tries by senior Oliver Chow. Final score of the championship game was 31-21.
Orca took the Gold in a true display of teamwork and class. Scoring was spread out over 10 of the 14 players. Noah added many assists and seven drop kicks. Samir Venkatesh, returning U18, showed his improved play with great offense and the same solid defense he had displayed all year. Joey Barone and John Grant performed great and left everyone excited as they move up toU18 for the upcoming 2017 season.
This was a great finish to end the U18 2016 Rugby season, going undefeated in regular season and representing Tri Counties in the gold division playoffs, and now the gold medal at the CA State Summer Games.
Our graduating seniors will be missed, but the future looks bright. The tradition of showing class with a winning spirit was proudly continued as Orca Youth Rugby enters the 2017 season.
Well done and many thanks to Coaches Harry & Miguel for helping the boys reach this milestone.
The roster for this tourney: Graduating Seniors: Cole Sanders, Timochi "Fiji" Tuikakba, Noah Hoffman, Oliver Chow, Ray Simoni, & Tommy Alamin & Guest ; Returning for U18: Ben Cantle, Kevin Brookshire, Sam Schuett, Samir Venkatesh, John Grant, Joey Barone; Returning for U16: Warner Curtis; Special guest Cameron "CJ" Johnston from Arroyo Grande (U18), who we'd love to trade into Orca for two first round draft choices in 2019.
Stay tuned to this website and your text/email for training, registration, clinics and practice updates.
Orca has teams for kids from age 8 through high school. Players are divided into Under-18 (U18) Boys, U18 Girls, U16 Boys, U14 Boys, U12 coed and U10 coed teams.
Age eligibility is determined by the athlete's age on the previous August 31st. For example, for the 2016 season, an athlete must have been 11 or younger on August 31, 2015, to play for the U12 team.
At Orca Youth Rugby everyone is welcome. Designed to develop both beginners and experienced players of all skill levels, we train boys and girls ages 8 to 18 (high school) to play one of the most challenging and enjoyable sports in the world: RUGBY! Rugby has a place for all body types: small and fast, big and strong, tall or short. Although rugby is wildly popular around the world, relatively few people in the U.S. are familiar with rugby, so we start from the beginning so everyone can learn. Even though it looks like chaos to begin with, after a few weeks of practice and a game or two, even beginners “get it” and have a lot of fun!
Many Orcas have gone on to play regional and state all-star teams, which tour to the likes of Oregon, Miami, or New York, and have played in college, whether they started playing rugby as child or in senior year of high school. Some girls have even been selected to participate in USA National camps! We aim to give players the tools to advance to the next level, should they choose, and as rugby returns to the Summer Olympics in Rio 2016 with USA having a Gold Medal to defend, the doors are open for players who start now!
Orca Rugby is designed for beginners and everyone plays. Orca Rugby does not “cut” or drop players from the team, except for bad behavior. All we require is your good attitude and effort!