Going to the Las Vegas Invitational in itself was a good thing for the Littleton Eagles, but it was all the extras that counted.
The age-grade team from Colorado played in the HS Boys bracket of the massive tournament, held each year around the USA 7s in Las Vegas in February.
“It was really good competition,” said Head Coach Charlie Riley. “We got to play some of the best teams from around the country and also teams from around the world. It was a really good experience just for that, but we got a lot more out of it than just playing.”
During their down time the Littleton players were able to watch the High School All Americans play, which gave the younger players an idea of where they could take the sport.
Then at night, it was time to go to the USA 7s at Sam Boyd Stadium.
“Boys are often visual learners,” Riley said. “Here they got to see the pathway. Top teams, and then the All Americans. And then at night you see the national team. Our guys could see the progression, and see the type of dedication and the type of skills it takes to succeed.”
That left a lasting impression on the team, said Riley, and he will be back.
“Las Vegas is fine for taking the kids because they’re young; they don’t have a car and they don’t have any money, so it’s not hard to keep them under control.”
When the USA 7s ended, there was the final impression that stuck with the players.
“We all got to go on the field and mingle with the teams after the final,” Riley said. “The players were there, signing autographs and just for our guys to be there, and meet them, was really special. I can’t say enough about what it did for our guys to let not only see some great rugby, but understand what the game is about.”
For more on the Las Vegas Invitational, and how you can get deals on USA 7s tickets as well as how you can enter, go to: