Glendale Rugby Announces Recruiting Class

July 30, 2017

Glendale Rugby Announces Recruiting Class

Glendale Rugby Release

GLENDALE, COLO – Glendale Rugby is proud to announce the 2017-18 U20 Elite Development Program (EDP) recruiting class. “We have a strong group of young men who are keen to carry on their rugby careers following high school, and the Glendale program provides a pathway to professional rugby if they so desire, said Mark Bullock, Director of Rugby. “Our program has grown out of a need identified by USA Rugby and Glendale to capture graduating seniors who are not immediately planning on attending university, and keep them involved in rugby.”

Geographically, over two dozen players are coming to Glendale from twelve states across the nation, including night players from local Colorado clubs. One athlete from South Africa will also join the team. Five High School All-Americans and one U20 All-American will bolster the squad, along with three players who participated in All-American or U20 assemblies. Among this elite group are four players from the 2017 USA Rugby South Panthers select squad. Virtually every player on the roster has represented their home states/regions on various All-State and academy programs across the country.

While the team is excited to make its official debut against the Air Force Academy on September 1st, several confirmed EDP athletes have already been identified as potential candidates for selection for Glendale’s professional Major League Rugby team, the Glendale Raptors, with training and competition starting in Spring 2018. Head Raptors Coach Dave Williams stated, “If the boys are good enough and can handle the pressure and pace of the game in the MLR, they are in.”

Glendale Merlins Rugby U20 Head Coach Dave Synnott shared his excitement saying, “This is a great incoming class. We’ve worked hard to get these athletes from all over the country and build out a team that sets a foundation for the future. We are excited to provide a pathway for high school rugby players to stay in the game and continue to develop.”

In line with the EDP mission to promote off-field success, incoming athletes are counseled and set up to continue their education in local colleges and/or trade schools, apprenticeship programs, or through employment in the community. The players will live adjacent to the Glendale Rugby training complex at Infinity Park.

Glendale Rugby welcomes the following athletes to the program:
Ryan James, Wing – San Diego Aztecs (California)
Mikaele Kruse, Center – Bullard Rugby Club (California)
Amitai Maens-Nieto, Center/Wing – Belmont Shore Rugby Club (California)
Ziggy Tua, Prop – Belmont Shore Rugby Club (California)
Jack Antei-Whiting, Eight – Legend HS (Colorado)
Tyler Ceasar, Center – Aurora Saracens (Colorado)
Seldon Funaki, Center – Aurora Saracens (Colorado)
Kanon Heyn, Prop – Aurora Saracens (Colorado)
Miguel Loya, Flanker – Ridgeview (Colorado)
Devin Manaka, Prop – East HS (Colorado)
Angel Mendez, Wing – Regis HS (Colorado)
William Vea, Scrum Half – Aurora Saracens (Colorado)
Hayes Ward, Flanker – Regis HS (Colorado)
Korbin Miller, Flyhalf – Charlotte Tigers (Georgia)
Jack Miller, Eight – Brookline HS (Hong Kong)
Chase Hampson, Flanker – Springfield Celts (Illinois)
Colton Maurer, Hooker – Francis Howell Force (Missouri)
Alex O’Brien, Flanker – Christian Brothers (Missouri)
Dillon Brannen, Hooker – Papillon Lavista United (Nebraska)
Dylan Cahill, Center – West Omaha United (Nebraska)
Ksandre Crowley, Flanker – Omaha Northwest Rugby Cub (Nebraska)
Doug Vawter, Center – Millard United (Nebraska)
Joshua Robinson, Center – Edmond Allen Rugby Club (Oklahoma)
Eli Workman, Flanker – Union Rugby (Oklahoma)
Nici Huenis, Fullback – Hoer Volkskool Potchefstroom (South Africa)
Jin Jung, Flanker – Charlotte Tigers (South Carolina)
Derrick Pierce, Center – Charlotte Tigers (South Carolina)
Josh Zamudio, Prop – Little Rock Stormers (Tennessee)
Zach Chorn, Prop – West Valley (Utah)
Jacob Ty Carlson, Scrum Half – West Valley (Utah)
Max Dacey, Lock – Mary Washington (Virginia)
Isaiah Puryear, Wing – Seattle Saracens (Washington)
Zach Rademacher, Flyhalf – Harpeth Harlequins (Washington)

Coaches and Staff | Glendale Rugby
Glendale Men’s U20s Head Coach: Dave Synnott
Glendale Men’s U20s Assistant Coach: John McGuire
Director of Rugby: Mark Bullock
Director of Rugby Development: Luke Gross
Glendale Raptors Head Coach: David Williams
Glendale Raptors Assistant Coach: Kieran Browner
Senior Coordinator: Jackson Thom
Medical Director: Amy Valenta
Strength & Conditioning: Nico Rithner
Sports Psychology: Katie Wurst

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