USA Club 7s Rosters - Pool C
Friday Aug 14, 2009 in Sevens Club Competitions
(2007 club 7s MVP Austin Britts (Matt Potchad photo) comes back to help the Chicago Lions challenge in a very nasty pool.)
The 16 teams competing in the USA Club 7s Championships have submitted their rosters and out of the 192 players as many as a quarter have international or professional 7s experience, or were All Americans.
In Pool C, 2007 champions the Chicago Lions face up with one upstart – the ever-improving Glendale – and two teams that are always around the periphery of a title match but, despite some high-profile talent, have not been able to seal the deal.
The Lions bring back many of the players who were central to their chanmpionship run two years ago. Eddie Bluemel and Austin Britts team up with prodigal son Scott Peterson, multi-skilled Josh Cocking, former Eagles Chris (Scott) Jones and Jeremy Nash, and this sumer’s bright light, Mark Roberts. Watch out too for Ed Cassidy.
And they have possibly the most promising young 7s coach in the country.
Coach Aaron Manheimer
Glendale plays without their most accomplished 7s player, as Dewan Reed chose to spend the summer with Denver. No matter as Glendale qualified without Reed, using mostly players who were regulars on the Raotors XVs team (Mike Graham, Will Stroope, player-coach Taylor Howden).
But they’ve added a few, too, as Glendale develops a summer pipeline with Texas youngsters. Ryan Marshall and Marcus Johnson come in from Texas A&M, while former Alliance youth player and current HARC man Curtis Chaffin also is with the Raptors.
But the name many might notice is that of Malakai Tabuvuya. Working with Howden as player-coach Tabuvuya was, under the last name of Delai, a top 7s and XVs player during the early part of this century, playing 16 times for the Eagles in XVs and 5 tournaments in 7s. Maybe not possessing the breakaway speed he had eight years ago, Tabuvuya is still a highly knowledgeable, and dangerous player.
Coach: Taylor Howden, Malakai Tabuvuya
Oh NOVA. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are always entertaining. This team is no different. Perhaps the best aspect of this year’s NOVA side is that there’s been some continuity. If their off-field leader Bill Gardner has learned anything, is that you can’t just throw the ingredients into the post just before it’s time to serve. They need to cook a little.
Three years together for many of these players – Ed Sotckunas, Scott Fraser, Ben Green, Fred Wintermantel – the players who are the backbone of the team aspect of play, has helped NOVA player better team 7s. They defend superbly, and that’s the thing that has to have people worried.
The guys who will light up the grass include the always exciting PJ Komongnan, who has matured enormously in the last years after a little USA team tough love. Anwar Salaam proved early this past USA season that he has the good, and then got himself injured. He certainly wants another chance. NOVA of course brings in some outside talent, with Hamish Smales, who has played on several professional touring 7s teams, the top name.
Coach Bill Gardner
Hosts SFGG know, as Jone Naqica said, that they are under pressure to play better on their home field. As Super League Champions, too, they have some pressure.
And you can’t argue with the lineup. Naqica is the USA’s all-time leading scorer in international 7s. Thretton Palamo is a USA 7s captain, while his kin Toshi and Arona Palamo provide experience, excitement, and a scoring touch.
Mile Pulu is one of those next big things, and he is developing, as is Cal youngster Danny Barrett. Andre Asuega is a Pacific Coast all-star of some serious sidestepping ability, while Brendan O’Meara has been dubbed the next Kevin Swiryn. Yeah, they’ve got the names. Can coach Grant Wells, and especially the shifty Naqica, glue it all together?
Emmanuel Toshi Palamo
Coach Grant Wells
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- Alex Goff