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Utah Wins U19 Grizzly Shield

Thursday Jun 4, 2009 in Grassroots Rugby High School

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June 4, 2009 - Stanford's Steuber Rugby Stadium and Palo Alto High School played host to the 1st  Annual Junior Grizzly Shield this past weekend.

The competition among select sides within the Pacific RFU was created by PCRFU president Frank Merrill, and produced with assistance from youth rugby tournament guru Ray Schwartz.


Above, Dobson photos. Below DCB Photos

Matches at Steuber took a break midway through Saturday for players to see the USA men’s national team go through a final run-through.

The Eagles and staff met and spoke with the players before and after their training run.  All games Sunday concluded in time for all in attendance to make it to Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium, 12 miles away, and take in the USA v. Ireland test.

Sacramento Valley reached both the U17 and U19 finals Sunday (with only a few players available from recent National Champs and Runners Up Jesuit and Christian Brothers), but it was Utah who took the U19 trophy. The Pelicans (SF Bay Area Combined side) took the U17 Cup. 

Utah featured many players from recent multi-school champs Highland, with Utah’s captain and No. 8 Kyle Sumsion named U19s Tournament MVP.

The Shield featured 14 sides, playing 21 games over two days, and served as the venue for first ever All-Hawaii and All-Arizona assemblies.  Redwood Empire (Marin/Sonoma), Oregon, SoCal, Sac Valley, Utah and Pelicans all brought U19 and U17 teams. Washington opted not to send a team.

The order of finish for the 1st Grizzly Shield U19s:
1. Utah
2. Sacramento Valley
3. Pelicans
4 Hawaii
5. SoCal
6 Arizona
7 Oregon
8 Redwood Empire

In the U17s, Pelicans took the Cup over Sac Valley, SoCal the Plate over Utah, as Oregon took the Bowl from Redwood Empire.

All players and coaches were put up for two nights at the Santa Clara Marriott, and over 400 were fed at the banquet on Saturday night.  PCRFU Youth dollars, collected through CiPP registration, heavily subsidized this event, paying for the hotel rooms for all of the PCRFU-registered teams, and feeding all the teams on Saturday evening. 

U20 National Team Director Salty Thompson reports this event proved to be  "a monumental step forward" in talent identification. He was assisted by former Eagles Ray Lehner and Chris Kron in scouting most every game played Saturday.

Thompson named his All Tournament Team Sunday, several of whom are already in the National Age-Grade Player Pool.

2009 Grizzly Shield  All-Tournament team:
Will Holder – Pelicans
Mate Hausia – Pelicans
Sione Hausia – Pelicans
Paul Piukala – Pelicans
Travis Moscone – Pelicans
Steven Brown – Sac Valley
Jake Wrobel – Sac Valley
Naki Angilau – Utah
Tana Afeaki – Utah
Don Pati – Utah
Kyle Sumsion – Utah
Brett Thompson – Arizona
Ryan Matyas – Arizona
Adrian Taefu – Arizona
John Kacinski – Utah
Salesi Lino – Hawaii
Apelu Sooala – Hawaii
Mafileo Lauhingoa – Hawaii
Alex Bercovici – Southern Cal
Jose Valadez – Southern Cal
Lester Kalamafoni – Oregon
Sam Sirell – Redwood Empire


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