RFK Ambassador Global Leadership Academies hosted 225 Beyond the Bell (BTB) Middle School boys and girls on Saturday January 24th, representing 33 teams from across Los Angeles.
An impressive 116 girls and 109 boys played in their second flag rugby tournament of the fall season – the delayed event was due to BTB having so many other sporting events on the limited weekends. One of the PRUSA goals is to have 50% female participation, and with 52% this weekend, that’s an extremely proud moment for the organization and our main supporters – the LA84 Foundation.
The tournament featured 33 teams divided into 6 pools, with each squad playing around 45 minutes of non-stop action. The match format – based on the HSBC Sevens World Series – saw teams play seven-minute matches against five teams in their pool. All 17 girls teams and 16 boys teams 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 means to them. The value chosen was ‘Commitment’ with all squads submitting some great insight. Our staff selected three teams who best expressed these values in their feedback.
“Attending practice everyday and giving your all at the games. Give 100%, communicate with your friends, and always show good sportsmanship” – Sutter Middle School Girls.
“Doing something not because you have to, but because you want to. Our commitment is strong as we have a good group of guys that pull for each other through positive and negative times” – Nightingale Middle School Boys.
“Commitment is having dedication, devotion and loyalty to a special cause or activity. My teammates are my sisters/family and we respect and help one another” – Burroughs Middle School Girls.
Bowl Final: 3rd Place – Boys
Pool Statistics – Burroughs: defeated Harry Bridges 11-0, defeated Obama 3-0, defeated Pio Pico 3-1, defeated Dodson 8-4, lost to Dana 4-2. Tries Scored 29, Tries Conceded 9, Points Difference +20. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 13 Points.
Pool Statistics – King: defeated Irving 6-1, defeated Burbank 4-1, defeated Nightingale 3-1, defeated El Sereno 4-3, lost to YOKA 5-4. Tries Scored 21, Tries Conceded 11, Points Difference +10. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 13 Points.
The Bowl Final was an exciting match-up between King and Burroughs. It was Burroughs – using their replacements very effectively – who opened the scoring. King came back brilliantly and touched down 3 unanswered tries, leaving it too late for Burroughs in the end. Final score: King 3 Burroughs 2.
Cup Final: 1st Place – Boys
Pool Statistics – Dana: defeated Obama 3-0, defeated Dodson 5-2, defeated Harry Bridges 8-0, defeated Burroughs 4-2, defeated Pio Pico 4-1. Tries Scored 24, Tries Conceded 5, Points Difference +19. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 15 Points.
Pool Statistics – Pacoima: defeated Olive Vista 5-0, defeated Byrd 3-2, defeated Sepulveda 3-2, defeated Hollenbeck 3-1, defeated Sutter 3-0. Tries Scored 17, Tries Conceded 5, Points Difference +12. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 15 Points.
Both teams in the Cup Final went undefeated in their pool rounds, setting up a cliff hanger of a match. Dana showed some brilliant skills to score first, following that up with a magical team try. Pacoima struck through some great interplay, but some errors cost them valuable possession. Dana then scorched through for two more sensational tries, proving too much for Pacoima. Final score: Dana 4 Pacoima 2.
Dana have had a remarkable 2014/2015 season winning back-to-back LA Fall Cup titles!
Bowl Final: 3rd Place – Girls
Pool Statistics – Pacoima: defeated Sepulveda 4-1, defeated Hollenbeck 1-0, defeated Sutter 1-0, tied Byrd 1-1, tied Olive Vista 1-1. Tries Scored 8, Tries Conceded 3, Points Difference +5. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 13 Points.
Pool Statistics – Byrd: defeated Sepulveda 5-0, defeated Hollenbeck 3-0, defeated Olive Vista 3-1, defeated Sutter 4-1, tied Pacoima 1-1. Tries Scored 16, Tries Conceded 3, Points Difference +13. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 14 Points.
The Bowl Final was a superb defensive display, with both teams entertaining the crowd with back-and-forth action. Eventually it was Pacoima who sliced through for the match winner. Final score: Pacoima 1 Byrd 0.
The Pacoima program can be extremely proud of both their boys and girls squads who were the only school to walk away with two trophies from the tournament!
Cup Final: 1st Place – Girls
Pool Statistics – Burroughs: defeated Harry Bridges 4-1, defeated Obama 3-0, defeated Pio Pico 3-1, defeated Dodson 4-0, defeated Dana 5-4. Tries Scored 19, Tries Conceded 6, Points Difference +13. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 15 Points.
Pool Statistics – Nightingale: defeated YOKA 6-3, defeated Irving 3-2, defeated King 3-1, defeated Burbank 2-1, defeated El Sereno 3-0. Tries Scored 19, Tries Conceded 7, Points Difference +12. Total Points from Win / Loss / Tie = 15 Points.
Nightingale began the scoring in the Cup Final, using some excellent handling and speed on the outside. Burroughs tied it up moments later with some great side stepping moves. Both teams then traded tries, leaving it tied up at 2-2 with seconds remaining on the clock. With the crowd on their feet it was Burroughs who produced a moment of brilliance, cutting through to seal a famous win! Final score: Burroughs 3 Nightingale 2.
The really interesting aspect about the high standard of play is that the finalists from both the boys and girls divisions had four matches in their pools where they just managed to defeat the opposition by 1 score.
The MVP awards were presented to Chris Tyler (Dana) and Belen Ferra (Burroughs), while the Spirit of Rugby Award for sportsmanship went to Nathan Diaz (Hollenbeck) and Cecila Zavala (YOKA). All of the above recipients received a rugby ball.
View all the tournament photos here by Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt. Thanks to Rene for capturing some beautiful team photos – all of which can be downloaded for free using the code PlayRugbyUSA at checkout (select your photos then ‘digital download’ and add to your shopping cart).
PRUSA would like to thank the wonderful LA84 Foundation for all their support, as well as the superb Beyond the Bell program and staff.
Beyond the Bell Middle School 2014/2015 Fall Tournament Results (RFK)
Boys Cup Champions: Dana
Boys Plate Champions: Pacoima
Boys Bowl Champions: King
Girls Cup Champions: Burroughs
Girls Plate Champions: Nightingale
Girls Bowl Champions: Pacoima
Participating Middle School sites: Burbank, Burroughs, Byrd, Dana, Dodson, El Sereno, Harry Bridges, Hollenbeck, Irving, King, Nightingale, Olive Vista, Pacoima, Pio Pico, Sepulveda, Sutter, YOKA.
The 2015 PRUSA LA Spring Tournament Schedule Includes
February 21: Beyond the Bell Co-Ed Elementary Schools (30 Teams) – Eagle Rock
March 28: Beyond the Bell Middle Schools (36 Teams) – RFK
April 18: Beyond the Bell Co-Ed Elementary Schools (30 Teams) – Eagle Rock
May 2: The LA Rugby Cup (60 Teams) – Santa Monica
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.
These are exciting times for the sport, especially with Rugby returning to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The LA program has grown from 6 to 125 schools over the past five years, serving an estimated 2,500 students annually. With a High School pilot season beginning now in 2015, programming is now available for Elementary, Middle and High School participants. 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).