Early Tests for Top Teams
By Alex Goff
After defeating Dixon 24-5 in a tough midweek game , Sacramento’s Jesuit HS seems firmly in place to lead Northern California’s single-school Boys Varsity rugby division, (Goff Rugby Report).
Jesuit may only be 2-0, but with wins against up-and-comers Riordan and perennial contenders Dixon the Marauders should feel confident about their chances. Head Coach John Shorey was complimentary of Dixon’s tenaciousness in defense, and Riordan’s development, but it’s a smoke-screen – they want a national championship.
First on the list is, of course, a Northern California championship, and for that Jesuit will have to get through 3-0 Clayton Valley, who have beaten Bellarmine, Riordan, and, most recently, De La Salle.
Things get a little tougher as they face a wounded Dixon Saturday. Riordan looks for their first win when they face 1-1 De La Salle, while Jesuit takes on 0-3 Bellarmine.
Jesuit will have their top side in the other division of boys high school rugby, the club Varsity Gold. That’s because Shorey’s squad faces the imposing, and 3-0, Sierra Foothills. Tom Janis’s team is looking to make a splash at the national level, too, and their most recent win, against Mother Lode, shows they are on track.
Jesuit will field their top squad in this league against Sierra Foothills, with Christian Dyer back from a stint with the High School All Americans, they are at full strength. Watching carefully is 2-0 Granite Bay, who fielded their 2nd and 3rd sides against Jesuit last weekend. Granite Bay gets their rangy lock, Chase Bixby, back from those self-same HS All Americans. They have the week off and at 2-0 are in a good position to make a push with their toughest games further down the track.
Also of note this weekend, Hayward faces big Leki Fotu and Peninsula Green in a rivalry match that is always hugely physical.
Bay Conference leaders Danville, currently ranked #2 in the country by Goff Rugby Report, are 2-0 and face Lamorinda. So early in the season it seems Danville, led by scrappy Keanu Andrade and skillful Kyle Makaiwi at the halfback positions, is poised for another run.
Check the latest Boys HS Rankings from Goff Rugby Report here.
Boys High School rugby in America is split into two divisions – single-school, and multi-school (or club). There are separate National Invitational Championships for each, with this year’s being held at the Rugby Athletic Center in Charlotte, NC in May. Last year, Jesuit finished second to Gonzaga HS of Washington, DC by a single point. Jesuit’s 2nd team won the 2nd tier of the NIT (which accepts both single-school and club teams). In the club bracket, Danville took 3rd, and Sierra Foothills 7th.
Alex Goff is Editor of Goff Rugby Report and SportStars Rugby INSIDER (www.goffrugbyreport.com) which covers HS and College rugby across the USA.
SportStars Magazine: High School Sports Articles Online SportStars is your go-to source for the very best high school sports articles in California. Player and team profiles, game coverage, health and fitness tips and the largest Camps, Clinics & Combine resource for athletes. We're the story behind the stats.