May 18, 2013
Jesuit defeats Gonzaga 21-16 to win national rugby title

jesuitrugby.jpegDevin Kelly had two five-point tries, Jimmy Landis added a third and Ethan Gallagher had three two-point conversion kicks as Jesuit defeated Gonzaga Prep of Washington, D.C., 21-16 today to win the National Invitational Boys High School Rugby championship in Elkhart, Ind.

Jesuit also beat Xavier of New York City 39-20 in Friday's semifinals and Herriman of Utah 18-17 in Thursday's quarterfinals.

It is Jesuit's seventh national rugby title.

PHOTO: Jesuit's rugby team celebrates their victory. Special to The Sacramento Bee/Martha Gates

May 8, 2013
Granite Bay rugby to play for state high school club title

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 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.

May 4, 2013
Tavenner burst highlights Jesuit NorCal rugby win over Dixon

Zac Tavenner intercepted a lateral and went nearly the length of the field to score a five-point try and highlight Jesuit's 56-24 win over Dixon Saturday in the Northern California Single School boys rugby championship at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex in Elverta.

The win qualifies Jesuit for the state finals May 25 at Treasure Island.

Jesuit and Dixon, the 2011 and 2012 national high school champions, respectively, also will compete in the Boys High School National Invitational Championship May 16-18 in Elkhart, Ind.

May 1, 2013
National powers Jesuit, Dixon in NorCal rugby playoffs

The Northern California High School Rugby playoffs will be held Friday through Sunday at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex in Elverta.

Among the 45 boys and girls teams competing in 10 divisions are six-time national champion Jesuit and defending 2012 national champion Dixon. Both have already qualified for the USA Rugby National Invitational Tournament May 16-18 in Elkhart, Ind.

On Friday, Jesuit plays McClatchy at 5 p.m. and Dixon faces Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland at 6:30 p.m. in the Boys Varsity Single School semifinals. The championship is 3 p.m. Saturday.

In Saturday's Boys Varsity Club Division (can draw from up to three schools) semifinals, Granite Bay will play Hayward and the Burbank-based Islanders face Danville in 2 p.m. matchups. The championship is 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The NorCal divisional winners will advance to the California State Cup May 25-26 at the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club on Treasure Island.

The event is sponsored by the Northern California Youth Rugby Association.

March 7, 2013
High school club rugby teams to compete on Saturday

The Sacramento Hurricanes and Davis Blue Devils high school rugby club teams will kick off a day of rugby matches, from youth through adult, 9 a.m. on Saturday at Robla Park in North Sacramento.

The Hurricanes are a club program that draws players from throughout North Sacramento, including Grant High School, the perennial football power. Their youth and middle school teams also will compete on Saturday.

The Sacramento Amazons, a South Sacramento-based high school girls rugby club that won a national title in 2010, will play the Pleasanton Cavaliers at noon.

To cap off the day, the Sacramento Lions will play host to the Old Puget Sound Beach Rugby Club of Seattle, Wash., at 1:30 p.m. in a battle of USA Club Rugby Men's Division I teams.

June 15, 2012
Rugby stars to compete in Vancouver against Canadian teams

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.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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