The best high school rugby players in the Central Okanagan will get a chance to showcase their talents on same pitch next month in Kelowna.
Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts (CORE) have released their CORE Top 40, a roster of the 20 best forwards and 20 best backs playing boys high school rugby in 2011.
All 40 have been invited to compete in the High School All-Star Game on June 8 at 4 p.m. at the Parkinson Rec Centre.
Recognized as the 20 best high school forwards are (in alphabetical order): Alex Ballingal (OKM), Andrew Barr (OKM), Matt Broman (RSS), Jordan Brown (OKM), Sam Collington (KSS), Max Dreschler (KSS), Jonas Gering (RSS), Matt Hill (KCS), Garrick Hofer (MB), Dalton Castella (OKM), Spencer Lenarcic (MB), Kevin
Low (KSS), Cole Mosychuk (KSS), Sam Overton (OKM), Dakota Pomponio (MB), Noah Reich (KCS), Bryce Stirling (KSS), Anthony Vermette (MB), Marty Wallace (KSS), and Wilson Weiler (KCS).
Recognized as the 20 best high school backs are (in alphabetical order): Robbie Bennett (RSS), James Bonney (KCS), Eric Chore (OKM), Patric Chore (OKM), Jared Dalmolin (RSS), Leighton Gabbidon (KSS), Wes Geisler (MB), Chris Hoggard (MB), Justin Illingworth (KCS), Ryan Kraeker (MB), Matt Meerdink (MB),
Hayden Miller (KSS), Denver Morre (RSS), Kyle Patchell (KSS), Dane Peterson (KSS), Tyler Pilon (KSS), AJ Ryder (RSS), Reid Schulz (KCS), Ryan Simair (KCS), and Trevor Swaisland (OKM).
Selectors for the Central Okanagan U18 Selects and the Provincial Regional Championship (PRC) U18 Okanagan Rep Team will be at the game. The Central Okanagan U18 Selects will play Canford Schools U18 side from England on July 18.
Players from the PRC U18 Okanagan Team will compete at the PRC Championships on July 8 to10. Local players may also be selected to the provincial U18 side. Kaleb Myers, a prop from KSS, was selected to play for the BC U18 team in 2010.
“There are a number of high quality players in this top 40,” said Barry Ebl, CORE Director responsible for Rugby Excellence programs. “We expect a very competitive match on June 8, as players compete for a spot on our representative teams.”
There are an estimated 220 boys playing rugby in Grades 10, 11 and 12 in high schools locally. Ten different junior and senior teams compete in local and valley-wide leagues. Two additional girls teams at Mount Boucherie and Kelowna Secondary feature an estimated 50 players. All these numbers are expected to increase with the introduction of men’s and women’s rugby to the Summer Olympics in Brazil in 2016.