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Resurgent Lamorinda Faces Champs Danville

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Resurgent Lamorinda Faces Champs Danville

Lamorinda didn't get any wins last year, but they're looking for improved performances this year. Dan Bandoni photo.

Northern California's Boys Premier season gets underway with defending champs Danville taking on Lamorinda.

And while Lamo was 0-6 last season in league play and Danville 5-1, it's not necessarily going to be the mismatch you might expect.

 

Lamo's numbers are strong, and the team is looking to put in some improved performances.

"We expect to contest every match and surprise a few sides along the way," said Lamorinda Coach Mike Leksan. "We’ve had significant player turnover and come out of it stronger in numbers and commitment. We are working to change the culture of the club and get back to winning."

Lamorinda starts off with Danville, and then Granite Bay, which won the Boys HS Rugby National Championships club title last spring. But, said Leksan, it's good to be tested by the best.

Hooker Jack Fouts is the captain and an exciting talent, while the back row of Angelo Aguirre, Alex Roszkowski, and Corban Ricketts all look good.

However, Lamo will be without regular flyhalf Michael Stanaro, who is out of town with Mock UN. But when he returns, his linking with scrumhalves Andrew Byrne and Dillon Wall will be something to watch. Young Kaleo Nelson will start in the #10 jersey.

"We are especially optimistic about our JVs," said Leksan. "Unlike last year when we purposely selected no sophomore or freshman players for Varsity, this year we have at least ten that will play some Varsity during the season."

Danville, meanwhile, may have graduated some top players, including the HS Player of the Year, but the enthusiasm level is high.

"I think we're starting to come together," said Program Director Jon Straka. "Attendance at practice has been nearly 100% and competition for starting positions is pretty fierce."

Danville played in the Storer Classic, and won games, but Straka said game film showed poor discipline and way too many mistakes. Mitigating errors, turnovers, and defensive miscues have been the focus this week. 

Also on the docket in NorCal is Marin at Solo. This is a game that doesn't count in the standings, but will be a good measuring stick for both teams.