A number of area athletes, including eight members of Dixon High's national championship team, will compete for the Northern California Youth Rugby Association against Canadian teams Monday through Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Chris Rico, Anthony Salaber, Pepe Semeraro, Val Lee-Lo, Austen Middleton, Kyle Garlick, Nico Bedoya and Nick Bonovich recently led Dixon to the USA Rugby High School Championship May 19 in South Jordan, Utah. The Rams beat Penn of Mishawaka, Ind., 48-11, in the title game as Salaber, a fullback, scored 23 points.
Rob Salaber, the coach of the Dixon team and Anthony's father, also is leading the Northern California stars, which will field varsity and junior varsity teams.
Among the other area varsity players competing for the NorCal team are Oak Ridge's Ryan Adair, Rio Americano's Nate Ansbach and Tim Dallosta, El Camino's Alex Brewer, McClatchy's Aidan Flynn, Ponderosa's Marshall Godfrey and Burbank's None Vailea and Sateki Polaulu.
The teams will play the British Columbia U-15 and U-17 teams on Tuesday and Thursday.
Dixon represented the NCYRA at this year's national finals despite losing 25-24 to Jesuit in the NorCal championship match May 5 at Cherry Island.
Jesuit wasn't allowed to compete in the nationals this season because players on last year's team violated school rules after winning the national championship in Utah.
This year's Jesuit team also won the State Cup single school championship May 19, beating Wilson of Long Beach 54-12.