Oakland should be very proud of its own Oakland Warthogs, who beat local rival Bishop O'Dowd 38-22 in the championship to claim the silver division title in high school rugby in Northern California. A rather remarkable accomplishment considering the Warthogs just finished the fourth year of existence.
What I like best about the program is it shows what a very committed leader, team president Ryan Burke (Maxwell Park), and a group of volunteers and coaches can accomplish. Does it take money? Yes, more than a bit. But the difference we make in the lives of Oakland kids is astounding. The Warthogs have always been about promoting rugby as a means to better the lives of our athletes, to get them to college and on the right paths for success in life.
I wanted to share with you a summary from President Burke:
We would like to thank each and every one of you for your support. So many of you have provided monetary, in-kind, and other forms of support to assist us in achieving this amazing accomplishment! Not only are we improving lives, but we are also making champions! Please read the newsletter below if you are interested in the outcome of this season. If you have the time, I think you will find it quite impressive. Please feel free to inform us of any leads of further support.
PACIFIC COAST INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT
NCYRA VARSITY SILVER DIVISION PLAYOFFS
First Game - Against Sacramento's number one, undefeated team, Sierra Foothills - Came from behind to beat a well coached and disciplined team. A hard fought match. Final: 17-14
Second Game – Against traditional powerhouse Lamorinda the Warthogs were able to avenge their only regular season loss. Played under windy conditions both teams played well. Strong Pressure from the boys helped to deliver the win. Final: 20-12
Championship Final – Against a much improved local rival Oakland's Bishop O' Dowd, the Warthogs picked up the pace as pressure mounted. A tough match was played till the final whistle. Final: 38-22
Immediately following our game, Jerry Figone, of Cal Rugby (UC Berkeley/Won 25 of past 31 Collegiate National Rugby Championships) spoke with three of our players about going to Cal. We were unbelievably proud to see these disadvantaged kids be acknowledged this way. It is obvious that his words have an impact on our boys. Thanks Jerry!
(Sleep of Champions: Linsi, Mauni and Su'e knock'n' out on the ride home from Morgan Hill after the big win)
Please help us conttinue to grow by donating to our great program, contact us at Burke4rugby@gmail.com We need the support of the entire City of Oakland and beyond.