Two undefeated single-school teams face off this weekend (we hope) in Northern California, and perhaps part of the big news is that neither is Jesuit of Sacramento.
The high school competition in NorCal keeps getting tough, and this week Bellarmine Prep (4-0) and Dixon (4-0) will play to see who is the better right now. The game is threatened by rain, but if it comes off, it will headline the slate in the region.
Dixon is undefeated in part because they returned six starters who were Pacific Coast U17 all-stars last year - Anthony Salaber, Patrick Barientes, both High School All Americans, Josh Short, Chris Rico, Giuseppe Semeraro, Kyle Garlick, and Nick Bonovich.
Head Coach Rob Salaber has worked up a team that plays to its strengths.
"We don't come from a big town and we don't necessarily have the pool of athletes other teams do, but the guys work very hard and we play good team rugby," he said. "They are a good group of boys and O'm proud of them. This game promises to be tough, though."
These two teams have a history. Bellarmine beat Dixon to advance to the NorCal championship in 2010 and Dixon made the championship in 2011.
The Bellarmine attack has looked solid under the leadership of flyhalf Joe Burson-Ryan. Center Justin Taliaferro has been unstoppable this year, scoring 10 tries in his past four games, while flanker Elton Rangel is coming off a 4 try game on Monday night against Bishop O'Dowd. Fullback John Lencioni is an outstanding goalkicker.
The game is slated for noon Saturday at Hall Park in Dixon, rain permitting.