The After-School All-Stars (ASAS) took part in yet another exciting Flag Rugby season in Los Angeles with 9 of their sites hosting one of the latest Olympic sports. This superb program partner was our first to kick off Flag Rugby in California in 2010!
The school sites included: Bret Harte Middle, CRMA #12, DVS Elementary, DVS Middle, Edison Middle, Mulholland Middle, Mount Gleason Middle, Stella 5/6 Elementary and Southeast Middle.
PRUSA sent Youth Development Mentors (YDM’s) to all 9 locations for one 90-minute rugby session per week to co-coach with all on-site staff delivering the ‘Give Rugby A Try’ and ‘Team Rugby’ curriculums. Leading up to this tournament – PRUSA attended 63 sessions with over 200 students experiencing the culture of rugby and it’s values – with the average attendance being 20-25 young boys and girls in grades 6 through 8.
Due to popular demand, the Woodcraft Rangers program joined us this fall with a staff training for 8 of their excellent Elementary sites. These staff members went on to host several Flag Rugby sessions at their schools, and brought teams to the December 10th tournament. This exciting event was held at Temple Intermediate School in Rosemead, California. The 8 teams were: Bitley, Dewey, Emerson, Hillcrest, Monterey Vista, Rice, Sanchez and Willard.
It’s wonderful to partner with the Woodcraft Rangers again, following a very successful pilot season in the summer of 2014.
The December 10 co-ed tournament – based on the format of the HSBC Sevens World Series – saw round robin matches in various pools with all teams making various finals depending on their rankings.
Matches were 10 minutes in length, with each team playing 6 pool round matches, followed by some thrilling final clashes. Two divisions saw 4 After-School All-Stars battle it out in the Middle School section, while 7 Woodcraft Ranger squads met in the Elementary section.
In the After-School All-Stars Middle School division it was Harte Prep who was the only unbeaten team in the pool stages, amassing a record 43 tries, conceding only 11 for a points difference of +32. For second place it was a nail biting CRMA#12 vs Southeast match-up with points difference eventually separating these two great teams. CRMA #12 scored 27 tries and conceded 25 while Southeast touched down 21 times but let in 33 tries. Stella finished 4th after the pool stages. A total of 106 tries were scored in this division across the 12 pool matches, with an average of almost 9 tries per game!
The Cup Final produced some magic moments with Harte Prep carving through six times to defeat CRMA #12 by four tries. Southeast held on to cap off a fantastic tournament, edging out Stella 4-3.
After-School All-Stars December 10 Results
Cup Final: Harte Prep 6-2 CRMA #12
Plate Final: Southeast 4-3 Stella
The Elementary section saw fierce competition from all the sides, with many teams bringing 12 or more players. A highlight off the field were the sensational Cheer girls from some of the Elementary schools who supported the athletes in superb fashion!
Only one team emerged unbeaten from the 6 pool matches. Monterey Vista scorched through with 35 tries, including some close encounters, just defeating Willard 6-5 as well as Rice 6-5. This showcased the amazing level of skill shown by many of the teams. Finishing 2nd in Pool B behind Monterey Vista was Willard, followed closely by Rice and Sanchez. In Pool A it was Dewey advancing as the number 1 seed despite losing a battle to Bitley 6-5. Dewey scored 31 tries and conceded only 18, the fewest in the pool stages. Bitley took 2nd and Emerson a narrow 3rd in Pool A.
The various finals were as expected hotly contested, with one try separating each team in the end. Monterey completed a dream run at the tournament winning the Cup Final 6-5 against a superb Dewey. Willard held on 2-1 against Bitley while Rice scored on fulltime to defeat Emerson 6-5. In the Shield Final Sanchez put up one more try than the All Stars. Amazingly a record 222 tries were scored by the Woodcraft Rangers during the tournament!
Woodcraft Rangers December 10 Tournament
Cup Final: Monterey 6-5 Dewey
Plate Final: Willard 2-1 Bitley
Bowl Final: Rice 6-5 Emerson
Shield Final: Sanchez 5-4 All Stars
The following After-School All-Stars players were presented with Awards for Most Valuable Players (MVP) & Sportsmanship during the tournament:
Issac Gomez & Michael Munoz (Southeast Middle), Corin Escoto & Andrew Guidret (CRMA #12), Kimberely Garcia & Giovanni Cervantes (Harte Prep Middle), Brandon Sanchez & Hector Good (Stella 5/6).
The following Woodcraft Rangers players were presented with Awards for Most Valuable Players (MVP) & Sportsmanship during the tournament: Adrian Sanchez & Jayden Sandoval (Monterey Vista), Matthew Moore & Kevin Chavez (Bitley), Justin Lee & Jaidyn Pullian (Dewey), Cesar Gutierrez & Yensen Wang (Emerson), Jimmy Truong & Nathan Lu (Rice), Jacky Lin & Li Chang Yang (Sanchez), Aaron Hampton & Logan Hin (Willard).
Special thanks to the PRUSA staff who helped this season: Barnaby Audsley, Samir Gongolli & Will Ayers (Occidental Rugby), Matt Raba & Harrison Herndon (Pasadena RFC), Peter Sio (Belmont Shore RFC), Morgan Saout & Geraldo Lopez (Santa Monica RFC) and Ann Hoang (UCSB Rugby).
For more information visit Play Rugby USA (www.playrugbyusa.com) and Beyond the Bell (http://btb.lausd.net/home). PRUSA would like to Thank the sensational LA84 Foundation (www.la84foundation.org) for all their support in expanding rugby to Elementary, Middle and High School boys and girls across Los Angeles.
Play Rugby USA (PRUSA) 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 135 schools over the past six years, serving an estimated 3,500 students annually.
PRUSA works with after school programs After-School All-Stars (ASAS), the Sheriff Youth Academies League (YAL), Police Academies League (PAL), Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), Summer Night Lights (SNL), LA’s Best, Beyond the Bell (BTB). Woodcraft Rangers and the EduCare Foundation.
The remaining Fall Tournament which was postponed from December, will take place on Saturday January 28th at Esteban Torres High School (4211 Dozier St, Los Angeles, CA 90063) for the Beyond the Bell Middle School Boys.