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1000 Players for Atlantis Program

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1000 Players for Atlantis Program

This past weekend at Surfside Sevens, Atlantis Rugby will put their 1000th player on the field. To mark the occasion, Emil Signes provided a list of players he has worked with (this includes the guy running the Surfside Sevens, Stephen Siano), and some recollections from the last 28 years of Atlantis Rugby.

Cynthia Wright joined Atlantis on their tour to Spain earlier this year, and she became player #999. This past weekend, Liam Boyle stepped on as #1000, and Jack Bradfield began the journey to the next thousand as #1001.

Signes, a true gem in American 7s rugby, gives his thoughts on some of the 1001 players:

IT ALL STARTED IN 1986 AND SIX BECAME EAGLES:
5 Bill "Hoover" Downing, Bethlehem,
7 Pete Peluso, Bethlehem,
24 Steve Siano, Phila-Whitemarsh,
31 Chris Petrakes, MOB,
34 Scott Stephens, Washington, and
41 Paul Sheehy, Washington.

All played for Atlantis in 1986, and all would later debut for the Eagles. There are actually 112 players total—60 men and 52 women—who played for Atlantis before playing for the the U.S. national team.

PLAYERS FOR BOTH ATLANTIS AND THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
From 4/27/1986 to 5/31/2014, there were 999 Total Atlantis players: 613 men and 386 women. There were 202 who played for Atlantis and the U.S. team: 119 men and 83 women (regardless of which came first). So 20.2% of Atlanteans also played for the U.S., either before or after Atlantis. That’s 19.4% of the men and 21.5% of the women.

A BIT OF HISTORY...
I started Atlantis in the spring of 1986 to prepare players for top-level sevens. At the time I was head coach of the ERU (Eastern Rugby Union) team and wanted to get as many of our great 15s players and potential great 7s players some experience. Thus the name "Atlantic plus Sevens = Atlantis" ... because the name of the lost continent conjured up an island in an aqua colored sea, the team color. And because the name also conjured up thoughts of classical antiquity, the Roman Numerals.

THIS WEEKEND WE WILL PUT OUR 1000TH PLAYER ON THE FIELD.

This includes men, women, boys and girls, with numbers given out chronologically (first-time played), by team—historically, men then women then boys then girls, and within that, alphabetically.

THE PLAYERS
Here are, in numerical order, some comments on some of these players (the choice of which to include is really just random on my part) and the progression of Atlantis Rugby.

1. Geoff Bermingham - OMEX - Hartford Sevens 1986. Notable not just by virtue of being #1, but also a speedster, still involved in rugby now, nearly 30 years later.

4. Dick Cooke - Memphis Olde #7. Right from the start we were able to get some big-name players; Dick Cooke was one of the best-known players in the U.S. at the time.

5. Bill "Hoover" Downing. Looked like just another fat guy. But Hoover could run (!) and eventually made the U.S. team.

24 & 58. The Siano brothers. Stephen labored long and hard to improve his skills and be selected to the U.S., which he was. Michael played in the NFL, came to rugby and before you could say "reasonable preparation period" was on the U.S. team. Stephen created and continues to enhance the Atlantis database, atlantisrugby.com

31 & 36. Will Brewington and Chris Petrakes. Maryland players that played in Atlantis' first year and played several times.

29 & 71. Gary Lambert and Tommy Smith are two of the truly classic Eagles, who represented the U.S. long before Atlantis was created. Both represented Atlantis.

42. Terrence Titus: a great tourist who brought his special T&T flavor to the team.

53. Salty Thompson: a classic then, a classic now; has coached several age-grade teams; current coach of the U.S. High School All Stars.

76. Bill Hayward. I took Bill on one of the first Atlantis overseas tours, to Valencia. I didn't realize at the time that he was half-Valencian and this - as well as his well-developed sense of humor - added a lot to the tour, which now regularly features a stop at my cousin's Valencian bar/restaurant.

123. Keith McLean. Tied with Philly teammate John Flamish with 19 Atlantis appearances. "Mr. Attitude."

128 & 129. Charlie and Jimmy Wilkinson. Both these guys worked their way onto the U.S. team despite being unknown in 15s - two of the first examples of how our home grown sevens program showcased new players. Both of these, however, played for the US for a couple of years before their first Atlantis appearances.

151. Inpachelvan Vithiananthan. A Sri Lankan from MIT, Chevy holds the record for most letters in his first and last name combined (24). (Though among athletes that once played in Boston, he's still short of the Saltalamacchia surname record).

WOMEN ATLANTEANS ARRIVE!!!
161-170. Atlantis women in Benidorm. 9 of these women - all but
170. Mary Beth Spirk - had represented the U.S. and won the first-ever Benidorm Women's championship over Saracens, a London side that was virtually all England players. The other nine:
161 and 164. Tam Breckenridge and Tara Flanagan, the locks from hell,
162. Kathy Brown,
163. Julie Drustrup,
165. Chris Harju,
166. Tracy Henderson now Moens,
167. Elise Huffer,
168. Sheri Hunt,
169. Krista McFarren
... lots of all-time famous U.S. women Eagles.

175. Biddy Boyle. One of several Atlanteans with children ready to carry on the Atlantis tradition. A many-time Atlantis coach and key figure in leading our organization onwards and upwards in so many ways.

207. Drew Fautley. Another classic, he is now in England - in the London area - still coaching.

219. Lewis Jennings. A CA high-school sprint champion, he played his first-ever rugby game at the Cape Fear 7s in 1994. Scored a nearly 100-m try vs. Anthony Freeman of Cherry Point who at the time was the fastest player I had ever timed. Sadly, it was the only time he ever played rugby.

229. Thaddeus Hill. Thad represented Atlantis for many, many years, scoring lots of great tries and making lots of great desperation tackles. The MVP when Atlantis won the 1995 Benidorm (Spain) Sevens over a team (the Welsh Wizards) with 5 Welsh internationals.

202, 243 and 244. David, Dennis and Ryan Peyroux. Three brothers from New Orleans (and Life College) that might have been our most-fined ever on our tour to Trinidad and Tobago in 1995.

267. Al Caravelli. Al, who represented Argentina as a player, was a several-time Atlantis captain and went on to coach the U.S. 7s team for many years.

THE SECOND ATLANTIS WOMEN'S TEAM (HONG KONG, 1996)
This team was, I believe, one of the precursors to rugby becoming an Olympic sport (documented elsewhere)—some things that are meant to be get there in strange ways. The team included several Eagles:

280. Sallie Ahlert,
281. Jos Bergmann,
283. Nancy Fitz,
284. Pam Irby,
285. Patty Jervey,
286 MJ Mohl,
287. Candi Orsini,
288. Amy Westerman
282. Kim Cyganik would become an Eagle

… and drew rave reviews from sports commentator Ian Robertson who was in attendance.

Also on this team was 166 Tracy Henderson, who holds the unique distinction of being on a) the first-ever US National Women's team (1987), b) the first-ever Atlantis women's team (1992), c) this seminal 1996 Atlantis in Hong Kong women's team, which hastened the inauguration of international women's sevens, and d) the first-ever US National Women's Sevens team (1997).

304. Pete Steinberg. As I write, Pete is preparing the U.S. Women for the 2014 World Cup.
332, Kerry McCabe. Kerry first played for Atlantis in 1996 and went on to represent the U.S. on several occasions.
337. Alex Williams. A former Eagle that has done tons of work for USA Rugby in many important positions.
339. Jon Hinkin. Yet another retired Eagle (and Atlantis player) continuing to keep the game going strong through his off-the-field work.
378. Bev Armstrong (one of three players [Red Huber], Steve Cullman to share a birthday with me ... and Paul McCartney). Bev was phenomenal in Trinidad where the tournament featured unlimited subs.
392. Jules McCoy. Jules' first Atlantis tour was to Ireland in 1998. She's coached the US and is still involved in developing the U.S. women's program.
393. Sue Parker. Another Eagle and Atlantis veteran that has coached the U.S. women.
402. Jack Foley. The current Rugby PA and Atlantis U19 boys' coach, Jack started with Atlantis in Cape Fear in 1998.
415. Kevin Battle. A member of the first Atlantis Collegiate team (1998), Kevin has gone on to a lot of important roles with USA Rugby and in his home town of Santa Barbara.
428. Dana Creager. Dana and I joined forces in a tournament-winning tour of Spain in May of this year. Played for Atlantis on many occasions and in many countries.
435. Thabu Eloff. Another Eagle that has represented Atlantis and continues to coach high-level rugby.
438. Jeff Reuther. An Atlantis rookie at 17 in 1999, Jeff's still playing for Atlantis as well as leading New Orleans on to many successes. One of the few Atlanteans of the first millennium that is still active as a player.
457. Laura Cabrera. At 4.66 for the 40-yard dash, Laura continues to be the fastest woman player I've ever timed. And still active with the All Blues and the Pac Coast.
479. Dana Kuchta. To bring on a 2002 trip to Scotland, Dana borrowed a backpack from a member of the male counterpart of her Naples, FL, club, not realizing there was a hunting knife in the seams. Needless to say, just a few months out from 911, it took "Dagger" a while to get out of NYC.
500. Nigel D'Acre. An Old Blue player that had represented Hong Kong, Nigel was a member of the squad that won (both men and women) a tournament on the Santa Teresa rum plantation.
520. Omar Rivera. Omar has not only played for Atlantis but coached and organized tours including the historic first men's tour of Cuba.
521. Kevin Whitcher. Kevin, a virtual newby to sevens at the Miami Sevens in 2000, ended up following his Dartmouth teammate (and Atlantis alum) Alex Magleby to the Eagles.
528. Alex Magleby. Alex, already an Eagle, played in Atlantis last tournament of the millennium (T&T 2000).
543. Marc Vera. Marc, a future Eagle, played in the first tourney of the new millennium in Benidorm.
546. Ellie Karvoski. Ellie played 3 tournaments for Atlantis in 2001, helping propel her to the US, where she became one of the greats.
556. Val Griffeth. Val began her Atlantis career at 19 by captaining the youngsters at T&T to a championship win over the Atlantis oldsters there.
562 Lindsey Stephenson. An All-Ivy and All Big Ten javelin thrower, Lindsey began a sevens career with Atlantis that led to a well-deserved spot on the U.S. team.
573. Sarah Apgar. I would later go on to coach Princeton for 10 years, but in 2002 I had the honor of coaching Sarah - then an undergrad at Princeton - with Atlantis before my affiliation with Princeton began.
587. Matt Rader. Former Duke quarterback Matt Rader was one of the stars of our Brazil team in 2002, before he became an Eagle.
616. Pam Kosanke. Already an Eagle when she first played for Atlantis, Pam went with us to Brazil and Bangkok and much much later to Las Vegas.
626. Mike Petri. A graduate of Xavier High School myself, I always love to take Xavier kids on tour. Mike's first tour with Atlantis - at age 19 - was to Singapore, where we fared quite well.
629. Becca Brafman. Becca has played for Atlantis for a dozen years, being selected for the U.S. several times in that time period.
630. Wendy daCosta Miranda. Just 16 when she played for Atlantis in Toronto in 2002, she was the "youngest player ever" until supplanted by 15-year old Melelea Tausinga, playing for our U-19 girls team at Las Vegas in 2014.
665. Vanesha McGee. Vanesha played several times for Atlantis including a notable 2006 performance in Trinidad. And of course many times for the U.S.
668 and 670. Jone Naqica and Doug Rowe. These two Eagles were among those that represented Atlantis in the Cayman Islands in 2003.
691. Stephanie Bruce. Stephanie went on 3 different Atlantis tours before being selected to play for the U.S.
695. Alejandro Pedro. During the course of tracking down family all over the world, I discovered that I had rugby-playing relatives in Mendoza, Argentina. Alejandro Pedro, a grandson of a cousin in Mendoza, came to the U.S. to briefly play for Philadelphia-Whitemarsh and then for Atlantis in Benidorm in 2004. His brother Damián also played at Philly but never for Atlantis.
728. Nathalie Marchino. Nathalie played for Atlantis in 2005 before she began her long brilliant career with the U.S.
741. Marco Barnard. Marco came to the US from South Africa where he had played age-group sevens. After two trips with Atlantis in 2006, he was selected to represent the U.S. in the World Series of Sevens, where he remained for several years.
750. Kate Daley. Kate played for Atlantis prior to the U.S. In addition I had the pleasure of coaching with Kate at Princeton University for a couple of years after she graduated from Penn State with multiple national championships.
759. Emilie Bydwell. Emilie represented Atlantis in T&T in 2006, a championship year in a very competitive tournament. She went on to the U.S. team.
793. Ida Bernstein. Ida, one of the most athletic players in the U.S., has represented Atlantis half a dozen times and gone on the represent the U.S.
829. Dallen Stanford. Already a well-established US 7s player, Paki represented Atlantis in Rome in 2009 and also at Las Vegas in 2013.

2009 TAHITI SEVENS
Another tournament with several national or nearly national players:
831 Tony Fratangelo,
709 Riaan Hamilton,
834 Ata Malifa,
837 Jason Pye, and
839 Peter Sio. What a great team!
865. Deven Owsiany. A regular choice for the U.S. for many years, Deven represented Atlantis in 2010 prior to playing for the U.S.
894. Phaidra Knight. Phaidra represented in the U.S. in both 7s and 15s for many years before she finally played for Atlantis in Bethlehem in 2012.
898. Lauren Rhode. I coached Lauren for 5 years at Princeton where she was 3-time captain, and she has now represented Atlantis 4 times, including trips to Laos, Tobago and Spain.

2012 VICTORIA SEVENS
Several players on this have become Eagles since that tournament, most notably superstar Carlin Isles:
901 Shaun Davies,
902 Jack Halalilo,
908 Ryan Roundy,
909 Marcus Satavu, and
910 Brett Thompson. I first coached Brett when he was a freshman at Univ. of Arizona, and it has been great watching him progress.

WELCOME BOYS AND GIRLS
In early 2014 Atlantis fielded its first-ever U19 boys and girls teams. A special shout-out to Biddy Boyle for convincing me to do this; it's been one of the greatest decisions we've made with Atlantis.

Within 6 months, 4 of the girls were selected to a USA Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing later this year:
971 Tess Feury
973 Dana Olsen,
974 Kat Ramage, and
976 Becca Jane Rosko

943. Tiffany Person. Tiffany, who played in the Tobago tournament the month before the 4 players above, joins them on the team to China.

Named to the Stars and Stripes 15s squads were:
970 Ali DeCrane
971 Tess Feury (repeat from above)
974 Kat Ramage (repeat)
976 Becca Jane Rosko (repeat)
979 Lily Weldon

Atlantis boys named to the Stars & Stripes squads were:
957 Ryan Bradfield
966 Aeden Mangan, St. Ignatius, OH
967 Manny Soto
968 Cale Williams, New York RC

(and lest she totally miss the spotlight, #999 is Cynthia Wright of the DC Furies, on Atlantis' 2014 championship team in Madrid, Spain).

Only Atlantis Players under the age of 17 (so far)

974 Melelea Tausinga (Sacramento Amazons, CA) 15.2, Las Vegas 2014
976 Becca Jane Rosko (Summit, CO) 16.2, Las Vegas 2014
968 Cale Williams (New York RC) 16.7, Las Vegas 2014
974 Kat Ramage (NJ Blaze) 16.9, Las Vegas 2014
630 Wendy daCosta Miranda (Summit, CO) 16.9, New York 2002

THIS WEEKEND WE WILL PUT OUR 1,000TH PLAYER ON THE FIELD

MEN ATLANTIS AND EAGLES:
4 Dick Cooke
5 Bill Downing
7 Pete Peluso
8 Dave Priestas
10 Brian Corcoran
24 Steve Siano
28 Mark Gaetjen
29 Gary Lambert
31 Chris Petrakes
34 Scott Stephens
36 Will Brewington
41 Paul Sheehy
42 Terrence Titus
45 Lance Manga
55 Bob Clarke
58 Mike Siano
62 Rory Lewis
63 Tom McCormack
69 Bill Bernhard
70 Mark Miller
71 Russ Ortiz
72 Tommy Smith
73 Dave Bateman
76 Bill Hayward
77 Alec Montgomery
78 John Flamish
94 Kevin Higgins
95 Tony Ridnell
96 Barry Williams
97 Mark Williams
98 Tom Brewer
100 Rob Farley
102 Bill Russell
105 Tom Billups
107 Andy Dujakovich
110 Ed Simpson
126 Chris O'Brien
127 Dave Poquette
128 Charlie Wilkinson
129 Jim Wilkinson
135 Robard Williams
143 Brian Gallagher
158 Al Dekin
159 Steve Jung
172 Chris Carney
184 Martin O'Connor
199 Brian Geraghty
200 Prince Hill
214 Rich Matiszyk
223 Jason Wood
229 Thaddeus Hill
230 Dan Kennedy
231 Chris Andres
235 Matt Whalen
238 Nick Bell
240 David Dean
264 Vaea Anitoni
265 Jon Campbell
266 Dan Lyle
269 Kevin Gittings
276 Steve Hiatt
277 Ray Green
278 Rich Schurfeld
290 Mike Coyner
295 Wayne Whitko
312 Dave DiSorbo
313 Dave Ries
314 Kevin Torkelson
321 Jeremy Revell
339 Jon Hinkin
341 Vuka Tau
342 Don Younger
344 Kevin Barth
346 Malakai Delai
347 Britt Howard
348 CD LaBounty
387 Rob Balnis
390 Joe Santos
394 Doug Brown
397 Al Lakomskis
398 Steve Robke
426 Mike Skahan
433 Aseri Batiratu
435 Thabu Eloff
436 Arona (Seta) Palamo
437 Toshi Palamo
448 John McGeachy
516 Craig Hartley
521 Kevin Whitcher
524 Kevin Linzey
526 Bobby Blunt
528 Alex Magleby
539 David Fee
543 Marc Vera
564 Kurt Shuman
585 Trevor Harrison
587 Matt Rader
626 Mike Petri
651 Tom Sanders
668 Jone Naqica
670 Doug Rowe
709 Riaan Hamilton
710 Mike Harvey
714 Jason Raven
829 Dallen Stanford
831 Tony Fratangelo
834 Ata Malifa
837 Jason Pye
839 Peter Sio
846 Marcus Respes
901 Shaun Davies
902 Jack Halalilo
905 Carlin Isles
908 Ryan Roundy
909 Marcus Satavu
910 Brett Thompson
916 Justin Boyd
920 Troy Hall
922 Steve St. Pierre

WOMEN ATLANTIS AND EAGLES:
161 Tam Breckenridge
163 Julie Drustrup
164 Tara Flanagan
165 Chris Harju
166 Tracy Henderson
167 Elise Huffer
168 Sheri Hunt
169 Krista McFarren
281 Jos Bergmann
282 Kim Cyganik
283 Nancy Fitz
284 Pam Irby
285 Patty Jervey
287 Candi Orsini
288 Amy Westerman
306 Tasha Mannino
307 Mona Rayside
309 Inés Rodríguez-Redondo
323 Michele Friel
332 Kerry McCabe
333 Keirsten Lawton
335 Lisa Rowe
337 Alex Williams
350 Janine Cochran
372 Meg Madden
373 Anita Pease
375 Jen Lucas
377 Hedwig Aerts
379 Emily Carlson [Bock]
392 Julie McCoy
393 Sue Parker
428 Dana Creager
440 Tyshawn Henry
441 Becky Metzger
442 Michelle Persica
443 Jen Sikora
444 Justine Sleezer
457 Laura Cabrera
459 Jane Mitchell
460 Jess Olive
461 Diane Schnapp
467 Keenya Warner
468 Erina Queen
474 Stacey Davis
477 Amy Heroux
484 Katrinka Blunt
504 Kristin Baja
506 Lindsay Davison
509 Jen Sinkler
510 Meredith Whalen
544 Jamie Burke
546 Ellie Karvoski
556 Val Griffeth
557 Emilia Juocys
558 Daniela Mogro
560 Pat Neder
579 Ashley Farmer
581 Laura McDonald
593 Joanne Ward
594 Amy Daniels
616 Pam Kosanke
629 Rebecca Brafman
637 Kittery Wagner
658 Jess Hammond
662 Kirsten Aerts
665 Vanesha McGee
674 Alison Price
671 Beth Black
691 Stephanie Bruce
728 Nathalie Marchino
732 Melissa McKibben
735 Jackie Limberg
750 Kate Daley
759 Emilie Bydwell
777 Katie Dowty
792 Sadie Anderson
793 Ida Bernstein
809 Caroline White
865 Deven Owsiany
894 Phaidra Knight
940 Farrah Douglas
953 Erin Overcash
997 Kaelene Lundstrum