Eighteen athletes have been invited to the Olympic Training Center for five days starting Sunday, Jan 13, for an extended camp assembly.
Those 18 join the 16 players already in camp as resident players. RUGBYMag.com discussed three of those players in an earlier article, as Gabe Adler, Nick Schwieger and Madison Hughes are actually spending the entire month in camp.
In addition, several coaches are in attendance, along with the regular staff of Head Coach Alex Magleby, Manager Andy Katoa, Performance Analyst Paul Goulding, and 7s Strength and Conditioning coaches Ryan Gallop and Alan Ozdamar.
USA 15s Head Coach Mike Tolkin has been observing, as well as USA Rugby’s National Team HP Services Manager Yvonne Parkhurst, National 15s Strength & Conditioning Coach Dave Williams, and trainer Brian Green. All Americans 7s coach Tony Pacheco is also there.
Three coaches from the Olympic Development Academies are also in attendance: Evan Haigh from Serevi Seattle, James Walker from Tiger Rugby, and Aaron Manheimer from Serevi Chicago.
The 18 additional players in camp are:
- Gabe Adler: Basketball crossover who is also training for the Maccabia Games. In camp all month.
- Michael Garvey. A rugby league player who plays in Australia and has played for the USA league team.
- Dean Gericke. Arkansas State standout who was superb at collegiate 7s nationals.
- Kellen Gordon. Key prop for Central Washington team from 2011, and now at Old Puget Sound Beach. Excellent forward prospect.
- Kyle Hitt. Strong club summer 7s season for Denver. An intriguing, versatile talent.
- Madison Hughes. Speedy, multi-skilled player for Dartmouth and USA age-grade teams. In camp all month.
- Elliot Joses. Very quick guy with potential from the Marines.
- Hunter Leland. Savvy back now in Denver but was a star for Texas A&M.
- Rocco Mauer. Former Bowling Green speedster who has been in residency for the USA before. He has not under contract now and is back in Chicago training with Serevi.
- Zach Pangelinan. OMBAC flyhalf capped at both 15s and 7s. Entering excellent form of late.
- Nick Schwieger. Former Dartmouth football running back making the switch.
- Tyler Spitz. Big, hard-running US-qualified player in New Zealand (see here)
- Alex Taefu. Played for the USA U20s last year. Looks a lot like Maka Unufe and Dustin Umeda – thin, strong, fast, skilled.
- Pila Taufa. Former USA age-grade player who was on the rugby league USA radar. From Hawaii, and very quick.
- Keone Tawata. Played union at ORSU in Portland, Ore., and also played league and at Linfield College, he was a defensive back on their football team. Another Hawaiian product.
- Peter Tiberio. Like Mauer, a fast college player who has made the Eagle 7s team, but now off contract and in the ODP.
- Dustin Umeda. One of the best players out of Hawaiian 7s rugby. Wiry and fast.
- Taylor Welch. Played professional rugby league. From Iowa, he was playing league as a pro at 19 and was a USA 7s prospect then. It’s been a few years, but he’s still young.