Rugby NorCal today announced the launch of their new Premier Division in Boys High School Rugby across Northern California.
“This has been in the works for some time now, and we are extremely happy with the way the new league is shaping up”, said Mark Carney, Executive Director for Rugby NorCal. “In previous years, there was a clear divide amongst the clubs in the existing divisions, which is why we wanted to make a move to establish an elite level of competition so that our best clubs could challenge themselves every week”, said Carney. This new division pits clubs from the Sacramento Area against teams from the greater Bay Area on a weekly basis. “Rugby is extremely popular here in Northern California, we have over 5,300 registered players from Under 8’s through to Boys and Girls HS Varsity”. In fact, on the boys HS side of things, Rugby NorCal had four teams who spent time on the National Rankings last year, and three who finished in the Top 5 in the Nation including Sacramento local clubs, Jesuit High School, and Granite Bay! On the Girls side of things, Rugby NorCal had three teams who also ended up being ranked in the top 10 in the Country, including the Sacramento Amazons U19 program. “We are actively looking at ways to improve and the Girl’s league here too, and the creation of a Girls only Middle School Division will hopefully pave the way to an increased number of HS girls playing the game” says Carney.
Rugby NorCal is actively looking to attract local sponsors to get behind the new Premier Division. “Our goal is to eventually get our top High School games broadcast either live or on tape delay on public television and Comcast channels throughout the region. We are investing in our youth members now to give them the best opportunity to move on to the collegiate or professional rugby ranks in the future. We also hope to host super site weekends where we can invite local and national College coaches to come and see some of our best talent all in one spot” said Carney.
“The recent announcement of PRO Rugby coming to Sacramento, and just today another team announced in San Francisco has provided a much needed breath of fresh air to the sport and the region. Suddenly our kids are thinking about a life as a professional rugby player; a goal that was almost scoffed at six months ago” said Paul Kessler, Rugby NorCal President. “Our hope is to be able to forge a great working relationship with these local professional teams so that we can showcase our player’s talents to the coaches at the next level”.
Rugby NorCal will now host three High School Divisions that will have accompanying Junior Varsity Divisions. The other two also got a revamp this season and have been renamed. What was previously called the Gold Division will now be known as Division 1, and the previously know Silver Division will now be Division 2.
“Our hope was to level the playing field in all three Divisions for this season. Last year, we experienced a number of lopsided results across the board, and that doesn’t do any of the teams any good. By matching the strengths of the teams in each division, our hope is that every match is extremely competitive, improving the overall standard of play”, said Jon Straka, Rugby NorCal’s Vice President of Competitions.
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.