Boys High School All-American Winter Camp details announced

Boys High School All-American Winter Camp details announced

BOULDER, Colo. -- The 2014 cycle for the USA Rugby Boys High School All Americans, sponsored by Aircraft Charter Solutions, starts with the Dec. 26-31 Winter Camp in Tempe, Ariz. The camp will bring in 113 players, freshmen through seniors, to compete for positions on the varsity and junior varsity squads for 2014.

The HSAA season starts with two sevens events: Las Vegas Jan. 21-25 and England Schools Sevens March 22-29. The Junior Varsity tour provides test games at the U17 level against Portugal and France April 5-17, while the varsity team will visit Argentina July 11-27 with test games against the Argentina U18s.

The Winter Camp consists of 57 Junior Varsity prospects, born in 1997 and 1998, along with 56 varsity players, born in 1995 and 1996. There are 39 returning HSAAs from last season, including 15 from the Junior Varsity squad which played Wales, Belgium and England South last spring. Another 16 come back from the July Argentina tour, providing valuable experience to the camp roster.

“We have a good blend of known prospects and exciting newcomers,” HSAA Head Coach Salty Thompson said. “In the interests of continuity and performance it’s important we identify and develop players at a young age.

“The Junior Varsity has helped accelerate the likes of Titi Lamositele, who was scouted by Saracens in 2011 as a 16-year-old. In addition, the Argentina test series has challenged our boys to a different level.”

USA Rugby’s Regional All Star Tournaments continue to be the showcase events for HSAA identification. Ninety-seven percent of the boys have played at the RASTs in the past two years. The 2013 RASTs produced camp attendees from the following locales: Denver (30), Pittsburgh (20), Pacific Coast (12), Great Northwest (9), the Midwest (8), New England (5) and the South (2). The newly-formed Eagle Impact Academies are also training 20 of the camp invitees in their home regions.

In an effort to raise standards, the HSAA campers have completed three online courses: Life of an Athlete, warning about the dangers of alcohol and drugs for teens, IRB Rugby Ready, and Rugby Clean. Players also provide character references from two high school teachers.

“It’s an honor to make the camp, let alone represent the USA,” Thompson said. “I expect our players to be quality young men who exhibit the best in character and behavior both on and off the field.”

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Comments (6)

  • Guest (Frankie Tellez)

    how does one get selected or is this like a show up and earn a spot

  • Guest (James Womack)

    In reply to: Guest (Frankie Tellez)

    Take part in a Regional Tournament next Spring/Summer.

  • Guest (Charles)

    Where can I find more information about earning a spot

  • Guest (John)

    How does this coach get to keep his job every year???.....his teams never win games,yet this guy gets to keep his job......great job USA rugby.

  • Guest (Kat)

    In reply to: Guest (John)

    Salty Thompson is a fantastic coach. He has a keen eye for athleticism and works hard to, not only develop USA players, but to move a sport beyond its frat/club roots. His teams do win games - but better still, they earn international respect.

  • Guest (Andy In Reply to John)

    John, You say that the teams never win, in 2012 They lost to Argentina once a, lost to Wales and pushed England in a thriller losing by less than a try. All top class Rugby Nations. They beat Chile twice, Uruguay once and lost the second narrowly. In 2013 they again lost narrowly against England and beat Belgium. So to say the team never wins is not true. His win ratio is probably better than Mike Ts at national level. However the main point is that this age grade prog is about discovery and Development. When the players come into the programme, many have played very little rugby but are being identified for their potential. Although exposure in matches against other countries might not result in wins all of the time it is giving the youngsters experience that they can draw on in the future. Scott Lavalla, Tit Lamositili, Cam Dolan, Zach Fenologio, Shawn Pitman, Zack Test and many other have all been picked up with this programme and by this coach. Maybe if more coaches thought about developing players and improving their skills rather than just winning the quality of Rugby would be much better across the whole country