Granite Bay defeated the Burbank Islanders 50-32 on Sunday at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex in Elverta to win the Northern California Youth Rugby Association Northern California boys varsity club championship.
The win advances Granite Bay to the state finals May 25 at Treasure Island against a Southern California champion still to be determined.
Granite Bay, which features players from Granite Bay, Del Campo, Casa Roble and Oakmont high schools, opened the NorCal playoffs with a 36-14 win over then No. 11 nationally ranked Golden Gate of San Francisco. Granite Bay followed with a 46-29 win over Hayward, a match that featured nine lead changes.
First-year coach Chris Miller was impressed with his team's depth. The Grizzlies won despite five starters being sidelined by injuries.
The team includes a number of players from Granite Bay's State Bowl championship football team, including backfield standouts Taft Partridge and Johnny Cooley.
Miller said Cooley played the last 12 minutes of the semifinals with a broken collarbone. He had surgery today and will be unable to play in the state finals.
Miller, a former Jesuit and Cal rugby player, says 17 of his players will move on to compete in college rugby next year, including Justin Ramirez, another Granite Bay football standout, for national power Cal.
By winning the NorCal title, Granite Bay climbed to No. 19 in the most recent RugbyMag.com High School Club Top 25.
Granite Bay's JV team also advanced to the state finals. In a battle of unbeatens, Granite Bay defeated Danville 17-14 in the NorCal finale.