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New Boys & Girls Griffins Head Coaches Announced!

02/29/2016, 4:15pm PST
By SCYR

In an exciting step for the elite Griffins program, SoCal Youth Rugby (SCYR) is pleased to announce the selection of the 2016 Boys and Girls Griffins Head Coaches:  Richie Walker (Girls Griffins) and Matt Hawkins (Boys Griffins).  Both coaches bring a wealth of experience at all levels of the elite game and step into leadership roles with a Griffins program with a long and proud history of sending numerous athletes on to the High School All-Americans, Collegiate All-Americans and National 15s and 7s Teams.

Coach Walker is a long-time coach with the Women’s National 7s program and a frequent coach with the Women’s National 15s team and Men’s National 7s team, leads numerous elite developmental teams to tournaments in the US and around the world, and trains high school rugby players on an on-going basis in Southern California.  Coach Hawkins is a former star athlete, captain and Head Coach of the Men’s National 7s team and was capped as a 15s Eagle,  works closely with numerous youth and high school athletes, coaches and teams around Southern California and will be on the coaching staff of the San Diego Pro Rugby team.  Both coaches are dedicated to continuing and adding to the tradition of excellence that defines the Griffins program on and off the field and eagerly look forward to scouting, training and leading their respective teams to the USA Rugby’s Regional Cup tournament in Portland, OR this June.

“I believe the future of youth and high school rugby in Southern California is bright and I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the continued success of the Boys Griffins program,” said Matt Hawkins.  

“We have incredible young athletes here in SoCal,” said Richie Walker, “some still undiscovered, and I am honored to be offered the chance to help girls rugby grow and thrive across the region.”  

“The Boys and Girls Griffins are our flagship elite teams and through our Regional All-Star Team pathway, offer the opportunity for all SCYR high-school aged athletes to compete for a spot on a team that will play in front of coaches and selectors for the High School All-American programs,” commented SCYR Executive Director Alexandra Williams.  "We are excited to bring coaches of this caliber on board and look forward to the high quality elite rugby experience and opportunities they will bring to our athletes."

As in the last two years, the pathway to the Griffins squads is through the Regional All-Star (RAS) teams and all high-school aged athletes are encouraged to attend open tryouts for their Regional All-Star team.  Boys RAS teams include the Tri-Counties region, Los Angeles region, Orange County region and San Diego region and Girls RAS teams include the Northern and Southern regions.

Through a series of open tryouts and training sessions, each Regional All-Star team will select & send a Varsity and a JV squad to compete in the 3rd Annual mini-Regional All-Star Tournament (mini-RAST) on May 28, in a central SoCal location.  The mini-RAST tournament is the final step in the selection of the Griffins squads.  Boys Griffins coach Hawkins and Girls Griffins Coach Walker will observe Regional All-Star training sessions as well as scout matches throughout the club season and will interact closely with the Regional All-Star team coaches during the RAS season.

Following selection of Varsity and JV squads after the mini-RAST tournament on May 28, the Griffins coaches will hold training sessions to prepare the athletes to compete against other elite teams in USA Rugby’s Regional Cup HSAA-selection venue in Portland, OR, on June 25-26, 2016.  

All athletes wishing to tryout for the Boys or Girls Griffins teams need to tryout for their Regional All-Star teams.  
Regional All-Star (RAS) tryouts and training sessions will be held as follows:
* RAS registration opens:  Monday, March 14, 2016
* Open Tryout: Sunday, April 10, 2016
* Training Sessions: Sunday, April 24; Sunday, May 8; Sunday, May 22, 2016
* mini-RAST:  Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Boys and Girls Regional All-Star team Head Coaches and Griffins training camp schedule will be finalized and publicized within the next week.  All details regarding SCYR's Regional All-Star and Griffins teams can be found on the SCYR website, which is updated regularly with new information:

http://www.socalyouthrugby.org/page/show/1959365-regional-all-stars-and-griffins

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