The End of Season Pizza Party will be held this Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 11:30 am at Nickelodeon Pizza, located at 1411 East Washington Street, Colton CA (next to Fiesta Village). This party is for all players (u10s to u18s). Pizza and drinks will be provided to all the players. Each team will be recognized and the graduating seniors will be given a memento of Empire. It has been a great season for Empire. Thank you to all of the players, parents, and coaches for making this a season to remember.
read WED. MAY 6, 2015 press-enterprise article about empire rugby
ZINK: Empire Rugby's Silverbacks good as gold in championships
published: May 5, 2015 Updated: 10:22 p.m.
In just five seasons, the Empire Rugby Club has gone from a new club program to Southern California champions, building a program that attracts dozens of Inland athletes.
On Saturday, the Empire Silverbacks, an under-18 boys team based at Colton High, defeated Camarillo Orca, 45-5, to claim their first Southern California Youth Rugby Green Division Championship at Long Beach State, staking their claim as the best U18 club rugby team in SoCal.
Stocked with football players from throughout the Riverside/San Bernardino area, Empire Rugby has announced its arrival in the highly competitive world of Southern California youth rugby’s top club division.
True, the Gold Division is a higher division, but the Silverbacks defeated last weekend’s Gold Division champion Back Bay Rugby Football Club during the regular season, leaving Empire Rugby Club director Jay Arnaiz to wonder whether his upstarts aren’t the top club in Southern California.
“We feel we are the overall champions,” said Arnaiz, a 52-year-old former high school football player who began playing rugby while attending Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. “In head-to-head competition we are the champions of Southern California.”
In the past five years, the number of rugby participants has increased 14 percent year-over-year to climb to a total of 1.2 million participants throughout the country, according to USA Rugby.
In 2011, the Silverbacks started with two teams (U18 and U16) and about 30 players. Last season, the program brought on an U14 team and this season Empire added U12 and U10 teams. In all Empire Rugby Club has more than 90 players in five divisions.
Coached by Jack Rose, who was unable to attend the championship match because of his son’s out-of-state graduation, the U18 Silverbacks have players from Riverside Poly, Riverside Notre Dame, Eastvale Roosevelt, Colton, Rialto, Redlands East Valley, Redlands, Redlands Citrus Valley, Perris Citrus Hill, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino Aquinas and Rim of the World.
The team, which is led by standouts Brazton Burnes, Matt Burroughs, Jake Harland and Peter Hattar, also has a handful of standout football players.
Among them are Joshua Moi, a four-year Citrus Valley offensive lineman, whose the brother of former Silverback and University of Oregon football commit Jonah Moi; Redlands East Valley All-CIF lineman Joseph Price, who has committed to Washington State; Notre Dame All-Ambassador League linebacker Lawrence Mai; and, Riverside Poly All-Inland Valley League linebacker Benji Tualega and All-CIF defensive lineman Jess Ybarra.
“Despite coming from different schools, the players all get along very well,” Arniaz said. “During the football season, especially the playoffs, many of the players played against each other.
“And, they would often make it a point to greet each other after the games.”
Arniaz said the number of players in the Empire program has helped contribute to the Inland area’s first high school-based club program at Redlands Citrus Valley. And, according to Arnaiz, there are more on the way.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw a program at Riverside Poly soon, based on the number of players we have from the school,” Arnaiz said. “This year we’ve also had a lot of Roosevelt kids and they’re really excited and looking to become a high school club team too.”
As to whether Empire Rugby would be up for a match with Back Bay to settle which program is the best in Southern California for 2015, Arnaiz was cautiously optimistic his undefeated Green Division team could win again in a match with the gold division champs.
“We would love to play the gold division team,” said Arnaiz. “We beat them in the regular season (a month and a half ago) and we were willing to play them again but there’s no opportunity.”
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Empire Silverbacks won the u18 Southern California Youth Rugby (SCYR) Championship on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at Cal State Long Beach. The Silverbacks dominated Orca 56 to 5 (unofficial score). The win, coupled with a regular season defeat of Back Bay (the other division winner) gives Empire bragging rights as the SoCal Champion.
The Empire u18s will be playing for the SCYR Championship on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 4 pm at Cal State Long Beach against Orca. The game will be played at Pitch 2 and the nearest parking structure is located at 1401 Palo Verde Street, Long Beach CA. Come out and support the 7-1 Silverbacks in their quest to become the best team in Southern California.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Welcome to Empire Rugby Club! Serving San Bernardino & Riverside Counties, the Empire Silverbacks have U10, U12, U14, U16 & U18 teams. The u10 and u12 teams are co-ed and the other teams are boys. For the 2016 season, we plan to field a u15 girls team.
Our goal at Empire is simple...... To promote the sport of rugby in the Inland Empire and to develop a culture represented by three simple words; RESPECT. HONOR. PRIDE. If you are a rugby player seeking a club that will match your intensity and passion, or if you are seeking a fast paced, hard hitting sport steeped in tradition, then Empire Rugby Club wants you!
THE 2015 SEASON IS COMPLETE, EXCEPT FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FOR THE U18S ON SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2015. OUR NEXT SEASON WILL START IN DECEMBER OF 2015.