Let’s Have a Great 2014!

 

This New Year brings many new members, players, volunteers and employees. Los Angeles Rugby Club (LARC) is changing to adapt to and compete in the fast changing USA Rugby community. Leading and managing the evolution of an esteemed club is labor intensive and exhilarating. I ask you to join in the journey and offer what time and skills you can to create the club of our visions.

 

This is the 56th season for the Los Angeles Rugby Club.

 

This year’s Board of Directors returns 7 of 9 members from last year. The continuity of programs and leadership serves the club well. Serving LARC in nominally paid roles are former Internationals, Head Coach Barry Williams (USA) and Director of Rugby Tevita Viakona (Tonga).

 

Our Youth program is currently all boys who compete in the 6 age categories (U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 & U18) in the Southern California Youth Rugby (SCYR) union; and through efforts of LARC Youth leadership and players, Mira Costa High School Junior Varsity and Varsity teams began their first season. Our youth program salutes Jehlani Tavai, who will likely make the High School All-American Varsity squad, as he looked good in the national camp over the Christmas holidays. LARC does not have any girls teams, but we look to change that as more volunteers commit.

 

Our Senior program is currently all men who compete in 4 different categories (Division 1, Divison 3, Division 4 and Los Legends for men 35+) in the Southern California Rugby Football Union (SCRFU).

  • LARC’s Division 1 entry continues from last year’s solid competitive season that just didn’t see the boys make the playoffs. LARC has advanced to playoff 5 of the last 7 years, and full envisions competing well for 1 of the 4 playoff spots from the 6 team league. The national playoff structure has been shifting radically in the past few years, and Southern California is well respected enough to be allocated 4 of 16 playoff spots for Austin, TX in May 2014.
  • LARC welcomes the Southern California Blues to the LARC family. The Blues will retain their Division 3 status from last year and will be playing this season as the Division 3 entry, Los Angeles Rugby Club – Blues.
  • LARC welcomes the addition Godzilla RFC which is primarily a Japanese ex-patriot team comprised of older and more social players. They will be playing as a Division 4 team, Los Angeles Rugby Club – Godzilla, and will be supplemented by newer LARC members who need to learn the game and older players who are looking for a run in between Los Legends games. Godzilla players will also be playing for Los Legends.

 

We have been very fortunate to have faithful sponsors. We need to reciprocate and prove it, thus please patronize our sponsors! For our largest sponsor, Anheuser Busch, mail in receipts to the Fund Raising officer for any product purchases for Michelob Ultra, Budweiser, Stella Artois or 200 other brands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AB_InBev_brands.

 

As we move forward, I ask you to reach out to help. We need time and money. Contact any Board Member to discuss how you can help. To contribute money, we will be publishing a Patron’s Schedule of Benefits per contribution level.

 

Thank you and let’s have a great 2014!

 

Christopher Gleiter, President

 


The LARC Youth teams are all in full swing. Practice takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Alondra Park. Our numbers are strong but we would still like to have out more players so that we can grow our sport. The youth has a solid coaching staff with numerous years of experience. Coach T (Tevita Viakona our Director of Rugby) is often out working with the youth. He is a fantastic resource for our Club and the kids are extremely fortunate to learn from such an accomplished Rugger. Additionally, some of the members of the Men’s team show up early and also help out. It’s easy to see that the kids love it when the Men’s team helps coach and play some touch rugby with them.

 

Our U12, U10 and U8 began their season this past week as they hosted Santa Monica. The kids had a great time and it was a great way to kick off the season.

 

The U14, U16 and U18 season does not start until February although practice is taking place along with the younger teams.

 

In the meantime, many of our LARC U16 and U18 players are playing for the newly formed squad at Mira Costa High School. The Costa team is comprised of Varsity and Junior Varsity sides. At present the Varsity is an undefeated 6 and 0 and has already locked up the League Championship. The Mustangs have a final home game this Saturday at Mira Costa with the JV kicking off at 4 and the Varsity kicking off at 5:15 vs. a powerful Del Norte HS squad from Poway, CA. The Costa Ruggers are led by Number 8 Jahlani Tavai (LARC U18). Jahlani was just named to both the 15s and 7s United States National U18 Teams.

 

Coach Duke Dulgarian

LARC Youth Rep

 


Congratulations to our newly elected officiers for the 2014 season.

 

Chris Gleiter - President

Paul Breen - Vice President

Melissa Opperman - Secretary

Chris Sweeny - Treasurer

Andy Dilsaver - Fundraising Chair

Duke Dulgarian - Youth Rep #1

John Yuhas - Youth Rep #2

Nathanael Heiselt - Senior Men's Rep

Bozho Deranja - Old Boy's Rep

 


Recently one of our fellow ruggers, Abe Waziri was in Afghanistan, born in America, however his mother was born there and he accompanied her on a trip she wanted to take back "home". Here is a short write up from Abe on his experience with a local rugby team during his visit.

 

One of the greatest parts about rugby is connects people together. I took a trip to Afghanistan with my mother a few weeks ago. It was her first time back in 34 years. My mom was born and raised there and to her the trip was "going back home" of sorts. However, it was my first time there and being born and raised as an American, I don't identify myself as Afghan. I didn't really have any personal connection to the county.

 

Rugby is an up and coming sport in Afghanistan. I saw a ton of articles on Facebook and saw stories on the Afghan news of how the organization is developing and reaching out to the communities. I realized it was my way of connecting to my heritage.

 

I reached out to their captain and he was extremely welcoming and excited to have an American/Afghan rugby player visit and practice with them. He gave me directions to where they were practicing, which happened to be at the offices of the Ministry of Mine Clearing (grass is hard to find there, and they had a field set up there). Practice was lively and fun. Most of the players had less than 2 years of experience, but they already loved the sport and craved to learn more and play better.

 

I'd like to thank the Los Angeles Rugby Club as well as the Loyola Rugby Club of Loyola Marymount University for donating T-shirts, Balls, Jerseys, as well as funds for a medical kit. The Afghans received them with much thanks and hope that they can repay the favor.

 

-Abe

 

Afghanistan Abe Waziri1

 


The Los Angeles Rugby Club in conjunction with Catalina Island Rugby Festival helped raise $4,800 for the Cancer Support Community of Redondo Beach. The 20th Annual Catalina Island Rugby Festival was held May 4th in Avalon, Calaforinia, where players aged 35+ came from across the country to play in memory of the founding member Joe Hendrix.

 

The Cancer Support Community – Redondo Beach offers a free program for cancer patients, their families, and loved-ones. Their goal is to help as many cancer patients as possible recover from the physical and emotional effects of cancer to the greatest extent possible. Their psychological support and educational programs are designed to address the loss of control, hopelessness, and social isolation that cancer patients and their families often experience.

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