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La Jolla HS Success Fuels Football Wins

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La Jolla HS Success Fuels Football Wins

La Jolla won the SoCal Varsity White title last year 35-34 over Jaguars Rugby.

Well success has its payback.

Defending Southern California Youth Rugby single-school champion La Jolla HS will have to wait for more than half of its expecting starting 15 because those players are helping their school football team through its best season in a generation.

Now 10-4, La Jolla football won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern California 4A championship, beating Marina 27-14, with rugby player Max Smith scoring a touchdown on a 35-yard run and another rugby player, Dirk Germon, sacking the Marina quarterback three times. Linebacker Jack Wiese has been a huge player for the Vikings football team. He is another La Jolla rugby starter. 

(In the LA Times preview of that final, three of the four Key Players for La Jolla were rugby players.)

So while La Jolla goes on to play Escalon in the state 4A final, La Jolla Rugby opens its season against Patrick Henry without those players and several more. Head Coach Bill Leversee will run out a fairly young side against Patrick Henry, fully understanding that his side is somewhat undercooked.

“It will be interesting,” said the former USA Eagle, who was capped 15 times by the USA from 1988 to 1996. “We’ll have to bring in some new players, but it’s really great to see the football team do so well.”

The Vikings do have some talent to lean on without the likes of Germon (No. 8 / lock), Max Smith (backline), and Wiese (a flanker with a football scholarship waiting for him upon graduation). Flyhalf Thomas Davies is back after a break to play soccer and leads the attack. He combines nicely with Nico DiMatteo, a talented scrumhalf whose father played scrumhalf at Cal. Flanker Aiden Trudeau is a hardworking, intense player, while Andrew Dorvillier is an excellent athlete who can play prop, lock, No. 8, or event center.

All four of those players have suited up for the Nike Rugby Camp Selects. 

Bolstering this team is the presence of San Diego Legion players on the coaching staff. This is an initiative run by the Major League Rugby team. High School teams in San Diego are getting Legion players to help them coach, and the result has been an overall raising of the standard.

La Jolla get scrumhalf Devereaux Ferris (formerly of Life West and capped by the USA) and prop Nathan Sylvia (formerly of SFGG and Cal Poly). 

“It’s great to have them and the kids have really responded to them,” said Leversee.