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Watchwords for HSAA Camp Players

    

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National Teams

Watchwords for HSAA Camp Players

Allison Bradfield photo.

This year’s HS All American camp is an interesting one in that some slots have opened up.

HSAA Campers Named

With a large chunk of the HSAA returners tagged for the U19 team to play Canada’s U19s at the end of the month. 

USA U19s Set to Face Canada

With those players tied up, and with plans for more HSAA tours and activity in 2017, there are more opportunities for other players. There’s no guarantee, of course, that a player will get picked for the HS All Americans, but that’s not the only reason for the camp.

 

Make the Most of It

The USA Men’s National Team has seen plenty of players capped at the senior level who didn’t make the HSAA team, but went through the program. This doesn’t mean the HSAA scouting is faulty - more likely it means that the HSAA program did its job, opened a player’s eyes to what was possible, and, when that player grew a little bit or learned a little bit more, he was able to take advantage.

For Head Coach Salty Thompson, getting a player onto the national team is highly desirable, but if the player simple becomes a valued member of a college or club team, that’s a win, too.

“We want every single kid to have a good camp,” Thompson told Goff Rugby Report. “We want to give them a great experience, and have them come out of it having learned something. And I want them leaving thinking ‘I put my heart and soul into this.””

 

A Matter of Position

One of the intriguing things about this camp is how many No. 8s, scrumhalves, and flyhalves are on the list. Thompson said that’s not really a surprise, as most HS teams want to keep their most effective player close to the action. 

So Thompson’s job, in one aspect, is to see where some players fit. It’s a test. Does a player resist a position switch, or embrace it? 

Every year, it seems, Thompson is looking for that elusive combination of height and speed. He certainly is looking for that this year, and often it’s the No. 8s, not the locks, who provide that.

But he is also looking for out-and-out pace.

“We’re short of wings,” said Thompson. “I think the talent is really good across the board, but we are light on wings. So if players are open to moving position, that’s a good thing.”

 

So the lesson going into the HSAA camp for players may well be - take everything you can get; if you don’t get immediately picked, then maybe that’s in the future; and, be willing to change your role.