RFK Ambassador Global Leadership Academies hosted 140 Middle School boys on November 22nd, representing 22 teams from across Los Angeles.
Of the 140 students present, an estimated 60 boys took part in their first ever flag rugby tournament, bringing the total number exposed to flag rugby in LA to well over 4,500.
The tournament format – based on the HSBC Sevens World Series – saw teams play ten-minute matches against four teams in their pool. All 20 teams (some teams combined to ensure they had substitutes) were then ranked based on their performance and put into various finals, matching their competitiveness against each other.
For this tournament, PRUSA mentors tasked each team with defining what one of our values in action means to them. The value in action chosen was ‘Integrity’ with all squads submitting some fantastic answers. Our staff selected El Sereno Middle School as the team who best expressed these values in their feedback.
“To be honest, even though no one else may know the truth. This feels good, because you have a clear conscious.” – El Sereno Middle School.
The tournament featured 20 teams divided into 4 pools, with each squad playing five matches in total, around 45 minutes of non-stop action.
The Bowl Final (3rd Place) was a hotly contested clash between Y.O.K.A and Burroughs. Y.O.K.A scored 21 tries in the earlier pool stages, defeating King (5-2), Vista (5-2), Fleming (4-2) and Eagle Rock (7-3). Burroughs managed to reach the Bowl Final with victories over Irving (4-1), Sutter (4-3) and Byrd (6-1), including a 3-3 tie against El Sereno.
In this Final it was Burroughs who took an early lead, but Y.O.K.A showed some great patience and go forward to secure a marvelous 4-3 win on fulltime.
The Cup Final was another nail biting finish, with some brilliant tries.
Emerson – who have won several Cup finals in recent years – continued their form in the pool stages taking out Sepulveda (7-4), Nightingale (7-1), Dodson (5-4) and Burbank (7-4). Emerson scored the most tries in the pool stages (26), conceding 13, for a point differential of +13.
Dana was one of the surprise teams of the tournament, only beginning rugby last month! To reach their inaugural Cup final, Dana defeated Harry Bridges (7-0), Obama (3-1), Olive Vista (5-2) and Maclay (4-1). Dana scored 19 tries, and were superb on defense, only conceding 4, putting them with a +15 points differential.
The Cup Final was a brilliant display of running rugby, side stepping, and excellent support play. When the siren sounding for the end of the match, the scores were tied at 4-4 in this cliff hanger. Sudden death followed, with a tense few minutes, ending in an unbelievable team try by Dana!
It was a special display from a talented Dana squad, claiming the 2014 LA Fall Cup.
The Emerson program showed it’s consistent quality, taking home the Plate trophies in both the girls tournament last weekend, and the boys tournament today.
The MVP award went to Jacob Ward, who represented Dana Middle School. The prestigious Spirit of Rugby Award for sportsmanship was presented to Jaylen McElroy from Obama Middle School. During the tournament our referees chose three students who showcased leadership and a ‘Go Forward’ attitude: Darius Purnell (Olive Vista), David Masin (Sutter) and Matthew Ramos (Sepulveda). Each of these received a Green Card, and were honored at the prize giving. All of the above recipients received a Canterbury rugby ball.
View all the tournament photos here by Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.
The remaining PRUSA LA fall tournament schedule includes –
December 6th: After-School All-Stars Co-Ed Schools (12 Teams)
December 13th: Beyond the Bell Co-Ed Elementary Schools (30 Teams)
PRUSA would like to thank the amazing LA84 Foundation for all their support, as well as the extremely well organized Beyond the Bell program and staff. Stay updated on the San Francisco and Los Angeles programs by liking our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Beyond the Bell Boys Middle School Fall Tournament Results (RFK)
Cup Champions: Dana
Plate Champions: Emerson
Bowl Champions: Y.O.K.A.
Participating Middle School sites: Burbank, Burroughs, Byrd, Dana, Dodson, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Emerson, Fleming, Harry Bridges, Hollenbeck, Irving, King, Maclay, Nightingale, Obama, Olive Vista, Pacoima, Sepulveda, Sutter, Vista, YOKA.
About Play Rugby USA: The non-profit was founded by Mark Griffin in New York City in 2003, and with it’s mission of ‘Developing Youth Through Rugby’ the program has spread to Los Angeles in 2010 and San Francisco in 2012.
The LA program has grown from 6 to 115 schools over the past five years, serving an estimated 2,500 students annually. These are exciting times for the sport, especially with Rugby returning to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio in 2016.
PRUSA works with after school programs LA’s Best, After-School All-Stars (ASAS), the Sheriff Youth Academies League (YAL), Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), Summer Night Lights (SNL), and Beyond the Bell (BTB).