Eagle Alumni Spotlight: Meet John Buchholz

When and where did you play rugby?

I started playing in high school at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, CA in 1997. I then played 4 years at UC Berkeley from 1997-2001. I played for the Olympic Club in San Francisco from 2001-2003. For the 2004 season I played for Brothers Rugby Club in Brisbane, Australia. After moving back from Brisbane I started law school in Sacramento and continued playing for the Olympic Club from 2004-2006. I've played sporadically since 2006, including games for the Olympic Club old boys side and the Classic Eagles.

When did you play as an Eagle?

I was a 15s Eagle from 2001 to 2004, and a 7s Eagle in 2003 and 2004.

What is your favorite rugby memory?

My favorite memory as a player was playing in the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia. We were a hair away from beating Fiji, and later we beat Japan and that was the first game the US had won in a world cup since 1987.

What are you doing now?

I work as an attorney in Sacramento, Calif., specifically as a public defender. For five years now I've coached the Land Park Motley, a youth rugby program based in my neighborhood.

What do you believe is the most important factor in growing the game in the United States?

Getting kids playing the game early. When I was a kid the earliest I could have played rugby was high school. Now there are Under 10 teams, Under 12 teams, and Middle School teams. My generation didn't have those options. Growing the game at the grassroots, youth level will ultimately translate into a higher quality of rugby at the higher levels.