A few years ago a game between Jesuit of Sacramento and Granite Bay wouldn’t have turned too many heads, in large part because there wasn’t a Granite Bay rugby program to play the match.
Just four years old, Granite Bay has gone from strength to strength, winning the Sacramento frosh/soph title in 2010, and the NorCal frosh/soph title in 2011. Now those young players are on the 1st team, and winning still – 38-5 over Sierra Foothills, 17-5 over Lancers, 49-5 over Mother Lode.
Friday they take on Jesuit, which is 1-1 after losing to Cougars, but remains the most intimidating program in the region. The game is a special event for Granite Bay, as the match will raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. It will also show whether Granite Bay has truly arrived.
Started in a community northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay Rugby benefits from being in a relatively affluent area, and from having a cadre of active and enthusiastic parents. So enthusiastic that they, and the contacts of Head Coach John Kimble, have made it so the team will soon have its own full-size rugby field to play on.
“We have amazing parents,” gushed Kimble. “It’s great what’s come together over such a short time.”
With some tough, maturing players, Granite Bay (named after the a coastal feature of Folsom Lake) makes up for lack of size with speed and skill.
“Our front row players are at 200 pounds or less,” said Kimble. “They are not big, but our players are physical and they are fast. We’ve got some talent at No. 8 and scrumhalf, and we’ve learned how to play when we’re not the biggest.”
Granite Bay v. Jesuit is slated for 4pm Friday at Ridegview Field in Granite Bay, Calif.