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OPENING WEEKEND OF HIGH SCHOOL RUGBY

Day filled with action

By Patrick Lujan

High school rugby was in full swing Saturday afternoon at the Guam High Field as six boys and eight girls varsity teams filled the pitch on opening weekend.

Academy, Guam High and Sanchez all went 2-0 in the girls 7’s matches.

Featured Game

In our featured game of the day, the Okkodo Bulldogs and Sanchez Sharks went toe-to-toe. Both teams with steady programs – Okkodo under coach Rebwato Choban and Sanchez under coaches Ron Ruiz and Chris Sgro.

The Bulldogs had the size advantage while the Sharks brought in raw talent with half of their starters being first-timers.

Okkodo had ball control from the start, getting on the board first with a wind-aided penalty kick from Deon Apatang off the left hash mark five minutes into the match.

The Bulldogs increased their lead to 8-0 on a short try by Reiko Mendio late in the half.

On the ensuing kick-off, Okkodo’s receiving team bobbled the kick as the Sanchez speed recovered deep inside Bulldogs territory. Moments later, Joshua Deleon punched in a try to give Sanchez some life. The kick was good, putting the halftime score at 8-7.

The second half was much of the same with Okkodo controlling the tempo – Josiah Mendiola and Jaron Mansapit provided some powerful runs. Sanchez’s Kevin Beckwith had the longest run of the day, almost taking it to the house before being dragged down after about a 35-yard dash.

The Bulldogs defense held strong, not allowing another score. Okkodo capped off the 15-7 win with another short try by Mansapit as time clicked off the clock.

“I’m happy for the win,” 11-year Okkodo head coach Choban said. “I didn’t expect too much from the boys, really. We didn’t have a good start to our offseason training. We had less than a month to get ready for this first game, but just glad that the kids had fun today.”

“Proud of the boys today. For half the starting team, it was their first rugby game,” Sanchez coach Chris Sgro said. “They learned a lot and had fun. They had some moments of very good rugby being played. We will progress as the season continues and take it one game at a time.”

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

Coach Donan Cruz and the U.S. Men’s U21 National Team took home gold at the 2024 NORCECA Continental Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) win over Canada on Sunday evening in Nogales, Mexico. The victory guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.
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Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)

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