It was a busy weekend in deed for Socal Rugby Camps founders Dallen and Marc this past weekend, both different hats at various stages of the annual rugby bonanza in the bright lights of Las Vegas for the USA 7s.
Marc traveled to the Nevada desert as one of the assistant coaches for the USA Maccabiah team, competing in the 15s bracket of the LVI tournament. A special treat was that he was also asked by the Australian 7s coaching staff to be a guest motivational speaker and present the players their match jerseys before the first day of the 3 day competition.
He recaps his account of the experience:
It is an honor and pleasure helping the Maccabiah team prepare for their tournament in Israel this coming June, which occurs every four years. Head Coach Shawn Lipman asked to be involved for the 2013 Maccabiah Games (of which Socal Camps Co-founder Dallen Stanford was the Captain), and I didn’t hesitate to say yes when he asked if I was available for the 2017 Games.
This Vegas Tourney served as the final selection for the squad, and the team looked quite sharp winning both their games convincingly. I also attended the inaugural Maccabiah Rugby Hall Of Fame dinner, where Olympian and Superbowl winner Nate Ebner accepted the award for the induction of his late father Geoff.
With Nate Ebner and USA Maccabiah Captain Kevin Swiryn
I was then fortunate enough to be invited into the Australian 7s camp to speak to the squad and present them their playing jerseys before going into battle. It was particularly emotional for me, and memories came flooding back from the moments back in the day when I was sat in the same position as these current crop of fresh faced players. It was a huge honor, and a day I will cherish always.
With the Australian 7s Squad
Dallen was back in the commentating booth, and he writes this of his experience as one of the six commentators calling the entire 7s tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium:
The 2017 USA Sevens in Las Vegas was definitely one of the rugby highlights of the year – with over 80,000 fans attending the 3-day event! It also marked my 13th USA Sevens – dating back to being a fan at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, in 2005. In 2007 it moved to Petco Park in San Diego, and I was fortunate to play for the USA during all 3 years there – before it moved to Las Vegas in 2010.
I had the honor of joining the World Rugby broadcast again this year in Sin City, and it was a delight to work alongside legends Keith Quinn, Willie Los’e, Sean Maloney, Karl Tenana and Gareth Rees. My role on the World Sevens Series is being a color commentator, and with the South African Blitzboks carving it up this season it was fantastic to announce 5 of their matches over the weekend. What impressed me in both the Women’s and Men’s tournaments was the fantastic skill level of the players, possessing such brilliant vision during pressure situations. The United States Men were superb, coming back to defeat Argentina after trailing 19-0 in the Cup Quarterfinals, plus defeating New Zealand at the death to claim Bronze. The USA Women also produced the magic, finishing Top 4, showcasing how the game has advanced in North America over the last decade.
With USA 7s Coach Mike Friday
With “The Eagle” and USA 7s Captain Maddison Hughes
This coming weekend listen to the World Sevens Series feed in which you’ll hear a South African accent on most of the Blitzboks games and several others. What an amazing adventure rugby is!