Monday, November 30, 2015


Friday, November 20, 2015


     The Empire Mens Team has been getting ready for the 2016 rugby season.  They are practicing on Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm at the Colton High School Football Stadium.  They are still looking for additional players.  If interested, please contact Coach John at (909) 532-1747 or

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


     Empire Youth Rugby will host a Free Rugby Camp on December 5, 2015 at Colton High School Stadium from 9 am to 12 pm.  All players (6 to 18 years old) are welcome.  No experience necessary.  Players will be introduced to the sport of rugby, run drills, and play some games.  Players should wear cleats and shorts.  All players will receive lunch (pizza) and a free camp T-shirt.  For more information, please contact Jay Arnaiz at (951) 858-5576 or

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Great turnout for the End of Season Pizza Party.  It was great to see the players one last time.  We will miss our graduating seniors, but the future is bright for Empire.

Stay tuned for news on Empire's Summer 7's team.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


   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.
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.”
Contact the writer:

Join the conversation

Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow Freedom Communications, Inc. the right to republish your name and comment in additional Freedom publications without any notification or payment.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


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.