Written by Press Release    Saturday, 24 December 2011 15:45    PDF Print Write e-mail
U20s Assemble After Christmas
National Teams - Age-Grade Men

P. Crane photoThe Men’s Junior All-Americans (JAAs) are gearing up for the 2012 season that will culminate in June with the Junior World Rugby Trophy. To begin the process of selecting the team, Head Coach Scott Lawrence will hold two combines to assess the talent in the nearly 100-player pool he has named.

To accommodate the number of athletes being considered for JAA selection, two combine-style selection camps will be held this winter, a December camp in Atlanta and the other in San Francisco in January.

The athletes will undergo strength and explosiveness tests including vertical leap, the 10-meter dash with and without the ball, the 40-meter dash, and agility tests.

A key goal for Lawrence is to get a good look at each athlete by acquiring data, sharing that information with the players, and giving them an idea of where they need to be if they hope to make the team.

Lawrence has enlisted the help of a number of talent identifiers with proven records for eyeing rugby talent.

At the east coast combine, Lawrence has employed the help of Matt Huckaby (Arkansas State), Dan Payne (Life University), Alex Houser (Arkansas State), and Paul Barford (High School All-American Assistant Coach).

The west coast talent identifiers are Chris Osentowski and Vaha Esikia (Las Vegas Rugby Academy). Both are former Eagles with World Cup experience.

Of course, game play and awareness are also key for coaches and the final day of each combine will provide a glimpse of what the players can do as it will consist of scrimmages under the watchful eye of Lawrence and his talent identifiers.

The Atlanta camp had a slight damper put on it by the weather, as the turf fields that Garry Sullivan and the Atlanta Renegades generously volunteered for the combine replaced the original grass field at Life University.

An extensive network of scouts charged with identifying talent around the country at regional and national all-star events submitted their findings to Lawrence, who will begin to narrow the pool down.

The squad will begin to take shape in the early spring as player availability and fitness will inform final selection to the JAAs.

The All-American pathway, beginning with the High School All-Americans, is a proven track to international honors. Notable former Junior All-Americans (formerly USA U20s) include Takudzwa Ngwenya, Zack Test, Mike Petri, and Todd Clever.

USA RugbyMen's Junior All-American East Coast Combine Attendees

FIRST NAME      LAST NAME        HEIGHT WEIGHT               CLUB
Eduardo               Acosta  5'11"      248         Chicago Westside Condors
Andres Alvarado              5'9"        166         Charlotte Catholic (NC)
Andrew                Ashton 5'8"        190         Army
Luke      Barron  6'1"        206         White Plains, NY
Mason  Baum    6'             200         Davenport University
Mat        Benedetto          5'10"      176         Providence
Gavin    Brown   5'7"        158         North Central High School, IN
Dan        Collins   5'10"      198         Clemson University
Ian          Combs  5'7"        198         University of Deleware
Mike      Cooper 5'10"      198         Kennessaw Mountain HS
Pierce   Dargan  6'1"        206         Trinity College Dublin
Jake       Edsinger               5'8"        182         Ohio State University
Blaze     Feury    5'11"      178         Penn State University
Drake    Fleming                5'11"      188         Army
Ben        Foley     6'4"        213         Army
Zack       French  5'11"      217         Kutztown University
Tyler      Gessner               5'9"        184         Texas A&M
Alex       Goff       6'3"        195         Arkansas State University
Sean      Herbert                6'             197         Penn State University
Casper  Huizenga             6'1"        215         Kutztown University
Charlie  Hutchings            5'6"        152         Tampa Krewe
Nick       Johnson               5'5"        155         Clemson University
Garrett Keenan                6'             184         Penn State University
Sean      Kilfoyle 5'9"        176         Colorado University
Richard Korvick 6'1"        203         Kansas State University
Peyton Lauber  6'             273         University of Minnesota
Angus   MacLellan            6'             242         Davenport University
Chris      Marais  6'4"        211         Spearhead Academy
Pablo     Martinez              5'9"        172         Maryland Exiles
John      Masterson          5'10"      219         Arkansas State University
Daniel   Metcalf                6'4"        229         Penn State University
Travis    Moscone             5'10"      212         University of California
O'Donnell            O'Donnell            5'7"        153         Davenport University
Drew     Ohmann              6'             201         Life University
Joe         Ondi      5'10"      186         Old Blue, NY
Tom       Reilly     5'8"        181         Canterbury, NZ
Jimmy   Rippert 6'2"        198         Clemson University
Matt      Schick    6'             205         University of Alabama
Zach       Siemens               5'10"      183         Spearhead Academy
Gabe     Sochanek            5'10"      203         Davenport University
Rion       Tapp      6'1"        203         Clemson University
David     Vargas  5'9"        257         Southern Illinois University
Shawn  Wagner                5'10"      249         Penn HS, IN
William West     6'4"        212         University of Georgia
Greg      Wood    5'10"      179         Cathedral HS, IN