BHSAAs finish off 2016 Canadian opposition in British Columbia

VANCOUVER - The USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans finished their second two-match tour of Canada in three weeks with an undefeated record, conceding just three points in 160 minutes of play to BC Rugby's under-18 team at University of British Columbia.

The BHSAAs, full of student-athletes predominantly scouted from the Great Northwest Challenge and Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge Regional Cup Tournaments held in the final weeks of June, were brought up to speed quickly by Head Coach Salty Thompson and assistants Scott Bracken and JD Stephenson in the four practices leading up to match No. 1.

Stephenson, head coach of the USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans, joined the staff on tour following a separate BHSAA assembly in Ontario two weeks prior. The 'east' BHSAAs defeated Ontario Rugby's under-19 Blues team twice in three days on the campus of Appleby College.

In British Columbia, Thompson's focus on the attack - which produced high, 48-0 and 54-3, scorelines - left Bracken and Stephenson to set pieces and defensive strategies, respectively. Working in tandem with the group of 1997-, 1998-, and 1999-born athletes, the coaching staff will have helped to grow the young men's skill sets as well as identify players that will continue through the age-grade programs in the future.

"It was a challenge, time-wise, to scout the Regional Cup Tournaments and select the BHSAAs 'east' and 'west' so quickly," Thompson said. "The product was encouraging. It gave us a blend of seniors who will challenge for MJAA consideration and returning high schoolers providing continuity for the next cycle."

Photo: Nick Duvall

The All-Americans overwhelmed their Canadian counterparts Wednesday, July 13, and Saturday, July 16, with a wide-ranging attacking game plan that kept the BC defense from adapting across both games. Hosted on the world-class facilities of University of British Columbia, the first match was streamed live on SportsCanada.tv.

BHSAA-eligible student-athletes will reconvene at the Winter Camp in December.

Boys High School All-Americans | British Columbia Tour

Name Club Position Year RCT
David Ainu'u Liberty Prop Junior Northwest
Ben Broselle Chuckanut Center Junior Northwest
Brendan Curle Union Fly half Senior Northwest
Taylor Damron Back Bay Sharks Utility back Senior West
James Downey San Diego Mustangs Scrum half Junior West and North West
Owen Duvall Cathedral Catholic Prop Senior West
Carlos Gomez Danville Oaks Wing Junior Northwest
Benny Gonda Santa Monica Prop Senior West
Anton Grigoriou Back Bay Sharks Fly half Senior West
Ryan James Young Aztecs Wing Junior West
Justin Johnson Mira Costa High School Flanker Senior West and North West
Sean Lumkong La Costa Canyon Center Junior West and North West
Nafitalai Maafu Tempe Lock Senior West
Patrick Madden Young Aztecs Full back Junior West
Sosefo Mailangi-Ray Back Bay Sharks No. 8 Senior West
Sim Mander St. Paul's, London Center Senior None
Lia Monis Rainier Junior Highlanders Lock Senior Northwest
Jeremy Ockomichalak Santa Monica Prop Junior West
Oscar Ockomichalek Santa Monica Hooker Senior West
Justin Oles Granite Bay Grizzlies Flanker Senior Northwest
Cutler Pons Peninsula Green Scrum half Junior Northwest
Kevin Saunders Danville Oaks Center Junior Northwest
Devin Short Blackhawks Lock Senior West
Elijah Tafao-Braganza Danville Oaks Flanker Junior Northwest
Halleluiah Tiauli Rainier Junior Highlanders Hooker Senior Northwest
Joshua Warnock Peninsula Green Lock Senior Northwest