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

NameClubPositionYear RCT
David Ainu'uLibertyPropJuniorNorthwest
Ben BroselleChuckanutCenterJuniorNorthwest
Brendan CurleUnionFly halfSeniorNorthwest
Taylor DamronBack Bay SharksUtility backSeniorWest
James DowneySan Diego MustangsScrum halfJuniorWest and North West
Owen DuvallCathedral Catholic PropSeniorWest
Carlos GomezDanville OaksWingJuniorNorthwest
Benny GondaSanta MonicaPropSeniorWest
Anton GrigoriouBack Bay SharksFly halfSeniorWest
Ryan JamesYoung AztecsWingJuniorWest
Justin JohnsonMira Costa High SchoolFlankerSeniorWest and North West
Sean LumkongLa Costa CanyonCenterJuniorWest and North West
Nafitalai MaafuTempeLockSeniorWest
Patrick MaddenYoung AztecsFull backJuniorWest
Sosefo Mailangi-RayBack Bay SharksNo. 8SeniorWest
Sim ManderSt. Paul's, LondonCenterSeniorNone
Lia MonisRainier Junior HighlandersLockSeniorNorthwest
Jeremy OckomichalakSanta MonicaPropJuniorWest
Oscar OckomichalekSanta MonicaHookerSeniorWest
Justin OlesGranite Bay GrizzliesFlankerSeniorNorthwest
Cutler PonsPeninsula GreenScrum halfJuniorNorthwest
Kevin SaundersDanville OaksCenterJuniorNorthwest
Devin ShortBlackhawksLockSeniorWest
Elijah Tafao-BraganzaDanville OaksFlankerJuniorNorthwest
Halleluiah TiauliRainier Junior HighlandersHookerSeniorNorthwest
Joshua WarnockPeninsula GreenLockSeniorNorthwest