Friday, August 23, 2019

RugbyTown Sevens

RugbyTown 7s - Players +

Since its inception in 2011, RugbyTown 7s tournament has provided a forum in which talented players have established themselves; Colorado native sons, current USA Eagles standouts, Ben Pinkelman (Cherry Creek High School) and Pan Am Games star, Cody Melphy (Littleton Eagles - Heritage High School), cut their rugby teeth on the playing grounds of Infinity Park, Glendale, establishing their respective, estimable games and earning high honors. The 2019 edition of the three-day Sevens competition shall be no different with emergent talent from allover the globe on hand in the hunt for the $10K first prize.

Not just premier players, but those who pilot their respective sevens machines are of an elite class as well, the best and brightest of a formidable class of American coaches who’ll be directing the action from just in touch: George “Mo” Moleni, directs the USMC team in the five-team Armed Forces bracket and he informs of his charges: “We’re going for the win!” 

Marines warming up at the Cherry Street Park

Taylor Howden, former Denver Highlanders, Barbarians and Glendale Raptors halfback, is head coach of NOLA Gold and he’ll lead his squad from the Big Easy in Pool D play (THE Pool of Death) against the likes of: LifeWest (sponsored by California Capital and Investment Group - CCIG); Lomaiviti (inspired by the Fijian island group of the same name); Marlborough Compeed 7s; and the bell ringer, Collegiate All-Americans. 

Howden and NOLA Gold, left, on the StoveTop

Collegiate All Americans
The finest emergent 7s talent in the United States will be on display when the All Americans are afield led by the code’s inimitable and well-established pilot, Steve Lewis. The former Vail RFC and Denver Highlanders head coach has reached the level of an accomplished rugby mystic, leading his Bulldog RFC 7s club to USARugby’s national clubside title in 2018 before taking over the reins of Jamaican National Sevens and earning that select group qualification to the Olympic Repechage rounds next June in United Kingdom. Lewis’ charges are no less gifted, though the players have many presents yet to open. 
Lewis, far right, and Collegiate All Americans; Noble burning the corner

Three of Lewis’ scholarly lot:

Nittany Lions standoff, Dabulas

Mike Dabulas: the New Jersey native will finish at Penn State this year with a degree in Economics, Business and Finance; his short term goal is to win a starting spot on newly-minted MLR franchise, Old Glory, in our nation’s capital city and thereafter attain a position on USA Eagles.

Noble is a pitch-covering demon

DMontae Nobel: “Tae” begins his senior year at Kutztown University, and will complete his degree in Criminal Justice (post-rugby he plans to work with at-risk youth as a probation officer). The halfback/center, who enjoyed success in the Pan Am Games last month, will “follow my rugby path,” to, we suspect, great heights.

Zarcone knows rugby business!

Cole Zarcone: Cole is in his 5th year at Central Washington University, completing his masters work in Business Administration. The affable and hard-hitting three-quarters intends to continue his rugby journey on the USA Eagles pathway and long-term, have a successful career in business and a loving family.

Collegiate All Americans schedule, Friday: v LifeWest at 1:30pm; v Lomaiviti at 4:30pm and v Marlborough Compeed at 7:30pm; Saturday: v NOLA Gold at 3pm.

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