Torrey Pines Rugby Club runs record 2-0 in Southern California High School League

The Torrey Pines Rugby Club won its second game of the season, 24-0 over Patrick Henry on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Carmel Valley Middle School. The team ran its record to 2-0 in the Southern California Boys High School Rugby League (Southern Division). Torrey Pines defeated a combined Serra/University City team, 63-0 in the season’s opening week.

The Torrey Pines victory over Patrick Henry was especially impressive since at least five starters were sidelined with injuries, or resting for upcoming tournaments. Billy Maggs, a junior football player at Torrey Pines High School, scored four tries against Serra/University City, but was held out in the first half against Patrick Henry in order to rest a hamstring. Maggs has been invited by the Southern California Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) to participate in a select Winter Camp that will culminate in an international friendly against Canada’s U19 team. Star center Andrew Fargo was impressive in the first week, but sidelined Saturday by a muscle pull. Veteran senior forwards Michael Tillson and David Lederer, and center Codi Jones, led the Torrey Pines squad both weekends, while newcomers Grant McGahey and Chase Pickwell (one try against Serra / University City) made contributions. The Torrey Pines team is coached by Matty Sandoval.

Started only last, year, High School Rugby in Southern California now numbers 21 teams in four divisions affiliated with 23 different high schools (some schools combine). In San Diego County, Cathedral Catholic, Del Norte, St. Augustine, Grossmont, Serra/University City, San Pasqual, Torrey Pines High Tech High/Pt. Loma, Patrick Henry and Hoover make up the two Southern Divisions of the Southern California Boys High School Rugby League.

Rugby is not currently a CIF-sanctioned sport. But, with growing awareness, and the recent addition of Rugby Sevens to the Olympics, supporters of the world’s most popular contact sport believe it is only a matter of time until Rugby joins Lacrosse as a new addition to the High School sports scene.

“We have gone from 0 schools to 8 schools in the first year, and have now more than doubled to 21 schools our second year” said Ramon Samaniego, Director of Coaching for the San Diego Youth Rugby Club “Mustangs.” The Torrey Pines and Cathedral Catholic “High School” teams are comprised of Mustangs players who play for the Club after the high school season. The Torrey Pines squad also includes some La Costa Canyon players. “We expect the sport to grow exponentially as more students become aware of it,” says Samaniego.