Youth Rugby Scene: Sunny Florida Growing Game in USA!

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The critical component to any long-term success for any program or nation is Youth Rugby. To that end we, along with our Rugby Savants known as the RRMC (Rugby Rain Man Collective), are dedicating more coverage to the YRS (Youth Rugby Scene)… by having teams report in…

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA – Thanks to Carrie Dowling and Evan Haigh, this week’s report comes to us from another southern state, the Sunshine State of Florida

Country: USA
State/Province: Florida
County: Several counties
League: Florida Youth Rugby Union

The Florida Youth Rugby Union (FYRU) held its first ever U14 Middle School State Championship last Sunday. The Championship match was the main event of the Ruggerfest Youth Festival. Held at the Broward County Cricket Stadium, it showcased the massive growth in youth rugby in Florida.

There were five youth clubs, playing in three age divisions: Under 10, Under 12, and the U14 State Championships. In total there were over 100 children playing tackle rugby from Boca Raton Junior Buccaneers, Key Biscayne Rugby Rats, Miami Youth Division, West Pines Wildcats, and Weston Youth Division.  The younger age divisions were enjoying round-robin festival-style matches.

This is the first time the FYRU has had a league and a championship event for the U14 age division. The kids played 6 weeks of games starting on January 11th and concluded with the semi-finals and the championship matches being played on Sunday.  Both semi-finals were extremely exciting. The West Pines and Key Biscayne match needed to go to double overtime before West Pines scored the winning try. The Boca Raton and Miami match was another close match with Boca managing to hold on to the victory.

The Championship match was another great display of running rugby. However, it was Boca Raton’s defense that held strong to give them the honor of being FYRU’s first ever U14 State Champions. Boca’s Assistant Coach, Tristan Gray, said, “The tackling practice on Thursday night run by Head Coach, Tom Ellis, brought the boys’ tackling defensive structure to its peak.” The closely contested loss was West Pines first for the season, which is a fantastic effort. The FYRU would like to congratulate all the teams on a highly successful season, and a special congratulations goes to the Boca Raton Junior Buccaneers for being the inaugural Middle School State Champions!

Here’s to the Champions and here is the winning squad:
Boca Raton U14 Squad
1. Dylan Duff-Gray
2. Sam Ellis
3. John Michael Evanguelidi
4. Joshua Johnson
5. Alex Lawson
6. John Mirsky
7. Jon Carlo Salani
8. Thomas Walton
9. Drew Zimmerman

Head Coach – Tom Ellis
Assistant Coach – Tristan Gray

If you would like your youth league’s rugby scores to be reported by RWU, simply post them below in the comment section or email us at RugbyWrapUpYouth@gmail.com. Posting them in the comment section is immediate and suggested!

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow the whole RWU on Twitter @Karen Ritter, RugbyWrapUpJunoir Blaber James Harrington, Nick Hall, Cody KuxmannJaime Loyd, Jamie Wall,  DJ Eberle and Declan Yeats, respectively.

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About Karen Ritter 15 Articles
Wife, mom and happy rugby/Colts/Indiana Hoosiers/auto racing/Indianapolis 500 fan! Introduced to rugby when my kids played, I’ve been a fan ever since. Once a rugby mom, always a rugby mom!