LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The USA Rugby Boys High School All-American Sevens, sponsored by Aircraft Charter Solutions, have assembled in Las Vegas to prepare for the Elite High School Division competition of the Las Vegas Invitational Jan. 24 and 25.
The 10-team division comprises five top Canadian provincial teams such as Ontario and British Columbia against five American teams: Atlantis, Washington State Loggers, Northern California and two HSAA sides.
The cross-border rivalries have developed momentum with British Columbia (BC) and the HSAAs facing each other in all three LVI finals. British Columbia won once in 2012, while the HSAAs won in 2011 and 2013.
This year's pools are even more competitive with the legendary Atlantis Sevens fielding their first-ever high school all-star team and newcomer Northern California representing the top region in the country. The relatively-new Upright Rugby Rogues, (Canadian academy development program) Ontario Junior Blues and Toronto All-Stars will provide a strong Canadian challenge backing up British Columbia.
The HSAAs will have to work hard to repeat the unbeaten performances from last year and make the Saturday Final at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Apart from opponents, the biggest challenge facing the HSAAs is to mold teams in two days. State- or provincial-based teams have the advantage of hours of preparation and team building.
This year’s HSAA roster returns two key players from 2013 in captain Calvin Whiting and Michael Reid. Both seniors are experienced HSAAs, setting the tone with outstanding skills and leadership.
The exciting new crop of HSAA sevens players includes 13 players capped at U17 and U18 levels in 15s rugby.
"I'm really excited to see our boys in action this week," HSAA Head Coach Salty Thompson said. "We have a balance of power and pace with the likes of Hanco Germishuys, Wes Parker, Joeli Tikoisuva and Sione Masoe providing a variety of skills."
Boys High School All-Americans | Las Vegas Invitational
|Name||Height||Weight (lbs)||Current Club/School||Year/Level|
|Trenton Barnes||5'8"||185||Buchanan Rugby Club/Clovis North||Senior|
|Cian Barry||5'7"||140||Reeds Weybridge/Epsom College||Senior|
|Matt Brennan||5'10"||190||Seattle Vikings/Shorecrest||Senior|
|Benjamin Cima||6'1"||185||Gonzaga College High School/Gonzaga College||Senior|
|Grant Clancy||5'10"||160||Dana Hills/Santa Margarita||Senior|
|Evan Clark||5'10"||165||Santa Monica Rugby Club/Palisades Charter High School||Junior|
|Jonah Eldridge||6'0"||168||McClatchy Lions/C.K. McClatchy||Senior|
|Jacobus Germishuys||6'2"||220||West Side/West Side||Senior|
|Seth Halliman||6'2"||195||Colorado Springs/Colorado Springs||Senior|
|Brian Hannon||5'10"||180||Royal Irish Rugby/Bishop Chatard||Junior|
|Vili Helu||6'3"||230||Danville Oaks/Monte Vista||Senior|
|Junior Helu||5'11"||211||Hayward Griffins/James Logan||Senior|
|Reed Heynen||6'2"||197||Belmont Shore Rugby Club/Wilson||Senior|
|Sione Masoe||5'11"||180||Back Bay/Garden Grove||Senior|
|Aaron Matthews||5'9"||185||Back Bay/J Serra Catholic||Junior|
|Wes Parker||6'3"||210||St. Xavier/St. Xavier||Senior|
|Suwaiter Poch, Jr.||6'0"||230||Hilo Reign/Hilo||Senior|
|Matthys Pretorious||5'11"||185||Warrenton Wolfpack/Battlefield||Senior|
|Michael Reid||5'11"||185||Taranaki/New Plymouth Boys||Senior|
|Tyler Sousley||5'11"||180||Penn Rugby/Penn||Senior|
|Austin Taefu||5'7"||156||Tempe Rugby/Greenway||Senior|
|Joeli Tikoisuva||5'11"||176||Sacramento Lions/Rosemont||Senior|
|Alex Walsh||6'0"||193||Santa Monica Rugby Club/Redondo Union||Senior|
|Calvin Whiting||6'2"||198||United Rugby Club/Lone Peak||Senior|