In preparation for this weekend’s 7s All Star Championships in Chula Vista, Calif., the Mid-Atlantic, assisted by former Eagles 7s coach Al Caravelli, ran a camp last month. “Every year we find two or three guys at camp we wouldn’t have otherwise known about,” MARFU 7s coach Biddy Boyle said.
With the help of several coaches, Caravelli (also on hand evaluating prospective players for current Eagles coach Alex Magleby and 7s All-American Tony Pacheco.) set up various tests used to gauge current international players. The first tests were a 10-meter and 40-meter sprint timing. Caravelli said that to play at the national level, a player must be able to run a five-second or better 40-meter sprint.
Joe Roberts, an incoming freshman at the University of Delaware, had the fastest time. He was followed by Aky Raymond (Maryland Exiles), Randell McCaskill (Vaux High School), Nicardo Swinson (Washington), and Glen Thommes (Wilmington and University of Delaware).
This was followed by the 'Yo-Yo' test. Caravelli stated that a minimum requirement that international level coaches look for in 7s candidates is a level of 18. Some international players have recorded scores around 22.
The Yo-Yo testing at the camp found Pat Boyle, captain of Schuylkill River and the MARFU All Stars for
2011, to have the best time. He was followed by John Sneh (Schuylkill River) and Glen Thommes. Boyle was the only player to score above an 18.
The camp was divided into five stations: Caravelli and the MARFU coaching staff went over kick-offs, kicking and receiving, 22 dropouts, scrumdowns, lineouts, rope defense, the swivel move, proper rucking techniques and 7s commands.
The coaching staff had plenty of talent to evaluate and select from. The players' information and performance results will be passed on to Magleby and Pacheco, as well as Emil Signes,
internationally-recognized head coach for Atlantis.
Over 65 players participated and over 45 coaches, parents, and organizers also took part. The MARFU camp
supplied lunch for 140 individuals and gave out 100 MARFU Mens 7s t-Shirts, which were supplied by the University of Delaware Men’s 7s rugby team and Steamroller Rugby Supply, located in Bel Air, Md.
Also part of the camp was the EPRU High School Boys' 7s selectors, led by Jack Foley, Keith Cassidy and Dan Currie, who picked two teams to represent the EPRU at the Surfside Sevens Tournament in Stone Harbor, NJ later that month and the New York 7s Tournament in November.
Of those participating in the camp and scoring high on the tests run by Caravelli are a few on this weekend’s All Star roster: Aky Raymond, Pat Boyle, Glen Thommes and Nicardo Swinson.