Photo credit: Casey Bollinger

Photo credit: Casey Bollinger

This past weekend kicked off the PRUSA California fall season in the city of Angeles with Eagle Rock High School hosting 30 Elementary schools from the fantastic Beyond the Bell program.

The tournament format – based on the HSBC Sevens World Series – saw teams play six-minute matches against five teams in their pool. All 30 teams were then ranked based on their performance and put into various finals. This lead to those finals often being decided on the final play of the game!

Besides the physical activities of flag rugby, PRUSA’s focus is infusing rugby’s values into the coaching curriculum. These values in action are showcased at the various tournaments, with teams tasked at Saturday’s event to create a poster board explaining what ‘Go Forward’ means to them on the field, and in life. PRUSA staff were extremely impressed with the feedback, and selected the students from Buchanan Elementary to receive special ‘Go Forward’ bracelets for their responses.

On the field it was Lorena who impressed in their final, scoring a 4-2 victory over Cahuenga to claim the Bowl trophy (3rd place). Veteran teams Mayberry and Bushnell Way went head to head in the Cup final, with the match going into sudden death over-time! Bushnell Way scored a brilliant team try to claim the 2014 fall tournament title.

The Girls MVP was Misty Garcia (Bushnell Way) and the Boys MVP was Leo Jacinto (Mayberry) who were both superb on the field, and combined nicely with their team mates.

Photo credit: Casey Bollinger

The prestigious Spirit of Rugby Award for sportsmanship was presented to Sara Gonzalez (Monte Vista) and Matthew Wolanski (Yorkdale), with them being a shining example to all. The ‘Go Forward’ award for leadership and effort went to Jesus Quevedo (El Sereno) and Ally Chavez (Micheltorena). Each of the above recipients received a Canterbury rugby ball.

“The collaboration between Play Rugby USA, Beyond the Bell, and the LA84 Foundation continues to excel. These proactive organizations provide students the opportunity to Go-Forward, not only in Rugby, but in life. Play Rugby USA is doing an excellent job encouraging our Los Angeles youth to gain the confidence to experience a new and exciting sport. I am beyond ecstatic to be part of this amazing collaboration.” said Valene M. Molina, Elementary Unit Traveling Program Supervisor.

The remaining PRUSA LA fall tournament schedule includes –
November 15th: Beyond the Bell Girls Middle Schools (18 Teams)
November 22nd: Beyond the Bell Boys Middle Schools (18 Teams)
December 6th: Beyond the Bell Co-Ed Elementary Schools (30 Teams)
December 13th: After-School All-Stars Co-Ed Schools (12 Teams)

PRUSA would like to thank the fantastic 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 program by liking our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Beyond the Bell Elementary Fall Tournament Results (Eagle Rock)

Cup Champions: Bushnell Way
Plate Champions: Mayberry
Bowl Champions: Lorena

Participating Elementary sites: Albion, Allessandro, Annandale, Bright, Buchanan, Bushnell Way, Cahuenga, Clifford, Dahlia Heights, Dorris Place, El Sereno, Euclid , First Street, Franklin, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Ivanhoe, Lockwood, Logan, Lorena, Malabar, Mayberry, Micheltorena, Monte Vista, Mount Washington, Norwood, Second Street, Sierra Park, Toland Way, Yorkdale.

For more information visit Play Rugby USA (www.playrugbyusa.com), Beyond the Bell (http://btb.lausd.net/home) and the LA84 Foundation (www.la84foundation.org)

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