USA Club 7s Roster - Pool D
Friday Aug 14, 2009 in Sevens Club Competitions
(Boston and Duran Vota are not interested in being overlooked. Ed Hagerty photo.)
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 D, our final preview, we see perhaps the biggest group of unknowns in the tournament. Few outside of their local regions know, or really respect, for that matter, Atlanta Old White, Boston or Milwaukee. That attitude, of course, could be a mistake.
Atlanta Old White
Atlanta Old White won the South in XVs, remember, and then the South in 7s. So they know a little bit about playing rugby. They’ve got a heavily-Kenya team that includes Lesli Mango, Kennedy Aswani, Ronald Omondi, David Ngamau, and the outstanding Richard Kanda. Everyone expects the experienced international 7s players to score passels of tries, but that isn’t always their best asset. Kanda plays superb defense. Few breakaways escape his grasp.
Of course Mango emulates his name quite well – Man Go.
Also going is player-coach Luke Waikamakama, who was the MVP of the Riverside team that won in 2003 and 2004. That team has spread its influence all over, with three of them now helping lead other clubs at nationals.
Watch out for the hard-running and physical Salesi Tomgamoa and Charlie McFeaters too.
Atlanta Old White
David Wagura Ngamau
Manager Michael Aaron
The team that everyone has heard of is Aspen. Brian Naqica is a classy, intelligent player, and it’ll be interesting to see him face his brother, Jone, who is with SFGG. Coach Andy Katoa has a number of snappy young players who did well for the club in XVs – Spencer Scott, Will Martin, Ryan Nichols …
But all eyes will be on Aspen’s national team players. Mike Palefau is a good tactician as well as a dangerous attacker. He oozes confidence and it’s worth noting that in recent years whatever team he’s on seems to win. He combines with Jason Pye, who is still very quick, and of course Leonard Peters, the former NFL player who has gotten so much attention lately.
He will get more, especially from rugby players hoping to show he isn’t so scary. Maybe not, but Aspen as a whole it.
Gentlemen of Aspen
Sowani Asaeli Nabiau
Coach Andy Katoa
Do not count out Boston. Middlebury grad Kevin Immonje has emerged as a leading light on this side that is directed on the field by the great Derrick Wavomba. Duran Vota is a powerful runner who earned an All American nod (he plays Super League with Boston but is a student at Curry College).
Boston is not there just to make up the numbers. They have beaten NYAC and Old Blue in tournaments precisely because they came ready to play. Anyone who overlooks them will be in trouble.
Coach John Godsman
Milwaukee defeated rivals Chicago Lions twice in Midwest 7s play, and then lost in the territorial finals. Tough for Milwaukee to take. They have some exciding players – Ryan Duklas is very hard in the point of contact, and Mike Knudsen can play. Jeremy Petfalski is young but has led the Milwaukee attack, and as is the case with a lot of successful 7s clubs, Petfalski is a college produce. So, too is Kevin Smyth. It’s a team that likes to move the ball, doesn’t want to get too bogged down in contact, but won’t shy away from the tackle.
Jesse E Blom
Jay W Boden
Ryan M Duklas
Michael G Knudsen
Drew Alexander Palin
Marc R Petersen
Jeremy L Petfalski
Kevin Carroll Smyth
Max P Zukowski
Coach Jay Boden
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- Alex Goff