All of the boys high schools in Northern California hit the pitch this weekend, including Varsity Single-School leader Dixon. The current high school champions are sitting pretty at 3-0 and look to maintain their perfect record against Bellarmine this weekend.
The Rams have outscored opponents 247-19, defeating Christian Brothers (92-7), Pitt (74-0) and McClatchy (81-12). Based on the numbers alone, Dixon should handle Bellarmine, which has suffered two bonus-point losses to De La Salle (33-27) and McClatchy (19-18) thus far.
“Every year you expect something different,” Dixon coach Rob Salaber reflected on the league. “We returned 12 from last year, 10 of whom are seniors, so we have a very good team this year. Our depth is pretty good, and they’re playing with lots of confidence.”
Salaber complimented the forwards, who are playing well despite a couple of holes. Flanker Nick Bonovich has taken over a leadership role, and senior locks Austen Middleton (All American) and Val Lee-Lo, and No. 8 Giuseppe Semeraro have been doing a good job leading the pack effort.
In the backs, Dixon are happy to return four of last year’s starters, including the dynamic center pairing of Chris Rico and All American Nolan Williams. The Rams are also getting a nice boost from up-and-comer Nathaniel Short, a sophomore impressing at flyhalf.
The pinnacle of the regular season will be the Jesuit game on March 23, and if the teams play out their rivalry from last year – Dixon won their league game 38-28, and then Jesuit won the NCYRA final 25-24 – then the match will be a highlight of the Nor Cal season.
But Dixon has several highlights to which they can look forward this spring. After the Jesuit game, the team will tour Argentina from March 28 – April 7, the fundraising for which is usurping the club’s free time. When the Rams return to California, the players will continue to prepare for the Nor Cal playoffs, then ideally the State Cup, and as of yesterday the National Invitational Tournament. Committing to the latter event has been an arduous process, considering the financial toll of tour and the competition reformat, but Dixon are the reigning champions and want to defend their title.
2013 is going to be another hallmark year for Dixon, an organization that started with 20 middle schoolers in 2007, and with those same founding members, won a national championship six years later and grew to a 135-member strong club operating seven sides.
Jesuit’s right there with them, and the former high school champion will play Bishop O’Dowd this weekend. Also duking it out this Saturday are Christian Brothers and De La Salle, and McClatchy against Pitt.