GODSPEED CAP PELLETIER
“A generation of men is like a generation of leaves; the wind scatters some leaves upon the ground, while others the burgeoning wood brings forth - and the season of spring comes on. So of men one generation springs forth and another ceases.”
Homer, The Iliad
Cap Pelletier, a stalwart of American rugby refereeing, a pillar of the Southern California society and one of the true friends of military rugby over the years, has reported for duty in heaven.
Details are not available to us, except as to the quality of Cap’s life and the many friends he had who will now be found wanting, waiting, and wondering the number of our own days on this mortal coil.
Cap was, of course, retired from the United States Marine Corps, having served our country as whole-heartedly as he served our game.
The memories surface, buoyed up by tears.
When we first met in the early ‘80s, Cap wished to spread the joy he felt in the singing of rugby songs. To this end, he had compiled and had published a rugby songbook. Your writer was known in those days mostly as a writer and performer of original rugby tunes.
After a military regional tournament in San Diego, and after singing many songs, I was eagerly greeted by this lively fellow who wanted me to give him the words to some of my originals. I told him, “I just recited them for you.”
Click here: The Official Rugby Book 1st Edition 9th Revision
The repartee of our early years gave way to more mature efforts in furtherance of California rugby refereeing. Cap served in various capacities with the SCRFU and the SCRRS, including as President of the Society.
We will miss his friendship and his service.
There will be a funeral service for Cap on Thursday June 21, at Ft. Rosecrans in San Diego. The service is at 9:00am and all who would celebrate his life are welcome.
GRAND FINALS WEEKEND
The Hayward rugby club won the USA Rugby D1 championship in San Diego by defeating the Cincinnati Wolfhounds and the Austin Blacks.
This one goes into the trophy case alongside their D2 title, won ten years ago in the first season after the old Hayward club of Ruggers Inn days had combined with the Oakland Barbarians of the much-storied Tongan League.
The word on the sideline was that Hayward had too many big guys to keep it up for eighty minutes on a big, level, wind-blown pitch two days in a row. However, it was the big guys in particular who did the early damage in the last match of the season, with massive Paula Fukafuka punishing multiple would-be defenders in scoring two first-half tries.
The Olympic Club, having lost a close one to Austin on Saturday, came back to thump Cincinnati 56 – 3. In their semi-final match, O Club belied their national reputation and accomplishments as a Sevens side by wasting multiple 2-on-1 and even 3-on-1 overlaps with passes either to ground, to touch, or to the lone defender.
In D3, Mission lost in a title re-match to the Boston Wolfhounds’ third side.
Thus, NorCal teams finished first and third in D1 and took second in D3.
Paul Bretz was masterful in the game of the weekend, Belmont Shore’s come-from-WAY-behind victory over the Chicago Lions in the super league final. This one left goose-pimples on even those who might have thought themselves immune to such reactions after having seen thousands of rugby games with the impartiality of match officials.
Congratulations to all of the teams and players, but especially to Manu Finau and Olo Fifita who brought Hayward to the trophy after many fine four finishes.
USA Rugby Championships:
High School: Second place: JESUIT
Women’s College D2: Second place: UC SANTA CRUZ
Women’s College D1: Second place: STANFORD
Men’s College D1: First place: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Women’s Club: Second place: BERKELEY ALL BLUES
Men’s D3: Second place: MISSION
Men’s D1: Third place: OLYMPIC CLUB
Men’s D1: First place: HAYWARD
And, by the way, the Pacific Coast cruised to victory at the men’s Collegiate ITTs this past weekend.
So, here’s to the Pacific Coast women’s teams, both senior women and U-23, as they take the pitch this weekend in Minnesota for the ITTs!
REFEREES READY TO RUN?
June 16, fifteens:
Rugby will be played at the Campbell Highland Games on June 16. There will be three games. Referees get festival admission, food and drink.
The Fog Fest will be played at Treasure Island on three pitches. We have four refs and could use one or two more.
The first iteration of the Palo Alto Sevens will also take place on this day of our annual banquet. This fast-paced tournament needs a minimum of nine referees.
Make your plans now and let us know where to expect you.
PALO ALTO SUMMER SEVENS
The Mission RFC has the Palo Alto Sevens Tournament website updated:
There are two videos with highlights of last summer’s events. Sharp-eyed fowl will notice plenty of Pelican cameos throughout both videos.
BELATED REPORT: GRIZZLIES - THUNDERBIRDS
Here is Dana Teagarden’s exchange report for the weekend of June 2-3:
Manuela and I had a wonderful time this weekend in the Bay area. The invitation to referee the Pacific Coast Grizzlies vs the Midwest Thunderbirds (women's territorial select sides) on Sunday 6/3/07 was the perfect excuse to take a little trip for my birthday weekend (I turned 25 on Friday 6/1).Top-flight rugby combined w/ the opportunity to actually see something besides the airport, pitch and hotel...priceless!!
We arrived in Oakland early afternoon on Friday and after a bit of an adventure w/ Hertz were on our way to shop at H&M in Emeryville. A Swedish store, H&M is apparently where German girls get their cool clothes and mandate #1 was to get Manuela there.
We then fully intended to take in some traditional tourist sites on Friday but were sucked into the bookstore - that this didn't distress either of us is further proof that we're complete nerds!!
Friday evening saw us comfortably ensconced at Frank and Clarissa Merrill's house for great food and conversation. After sleeping in on Saturday morning we wandered the Merrill homestead...a brunch snack of fresh peas eaten in the garden, the outbuildings from Frank's grandparent's time (now that's really old), the interplay of history and the impact events have had on his family - wonderful, interesting stuff.
Alex Williams and Martha Danes, head coaches of the Pacific and Midwest select sides respectively, asked me to talk with the teams on Saturday at their practices, a continuation of a conversation Kathy Flores began at World Cup and continued at the last WNT assembly in Chula Vista.
We discussed the breakdown area (tackle, ruck, maul) Laws in fact and application. We saw in the early matches at the World Cup that the US players found it difficult to compete effectively at the breakdown and were giving up critical penalties. The US addressed this successfully as a squad at the WC, making what was termed an "incredible" turn-around from being one of the most penalized to one of the least penalized teams in the tournament.
These interactive conversations outside of the narrow constraints of the Match are another tool for increasing player understanding and skill as well as an opportunity to do a little referee recruitment w/ a "captive" audience of high-performance athletes.
think anytime we can chip away at the "us/them" divide between referees, players and coaches whilst strengthening the bonds of mutual respect is a valuable investment of time and effort.
Heading out from the practice pitch at Treasure Island we had to stop and watch the work on the new portion of the Bay Bridge before heading over to hike around Golden Gate Park. We walked half-way across the GG Bridge...no small feat since both of us have acrophobia!! Then we rounded out the evening w/ burger's at Oasis w/ the Merrills.
Sunday was a beautiful day, perhaps a bit chilly for spoiled SoCal girls, but perfect for Rugby.
After briefing Deb & Lois in the change room (change room!! indoor bathroom!!) we kicked off at 11:00 am on Rocca Field. The Saturday talk must have had some positive effect as we were several minutes into the match before I had to say anything other than "good job." With time and fatigue came the inevitable penalties as old habits crept in for a few of the less experienced players.
Manuela observed at half-time that the match was very enjoyable to watch. Though it appeared the Grizzlies would run away with the match a combination of Midwest grit and Pacific Coast indiscipline under pressure kept it close in the second half. Grizzlies scored a late try to win it 27 - 12.
I predict that their match up in Blaine at the NASC's will be an interesting one!!
We ended Sunday w/ tacos, wine and more great conversation at Jen Crawford's house and then were up at 4 am to fly home to San Diego on Monday morning.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to officiate this match. And a super special thanks to Deb and Lois (and their families) for coming out on Sunday morning to run the lines.
JUNE 23 BANQUET MENU ADDED
• Prime Rib
• Stuffed Chicken Breast
• Grilled Salmon
• Pasta (can be vegetarian by request)
Let Paul Berman know of your menu choices:
Make your plans now to attend a celebration the 30th anniversary of the NCRRS Saturday, June 23, at the Bull Valley Restaurant, 14 Canyon Lake Drive, in Port Costa.
(510) 787-1135 www.bullvalleyrestaurant.com
The Society will have the entire restaurant for this occasion, and will pay for dinner for members who are active referees or coaches/evaluators. There will be four choices of entrees and house wine is included. The cost to guests and dates will be $30.
We will have the facility from 6 until 9 PM. We’ll plan on dinner at 7, with speeches and awards to follow. Formal attire is appropriate but not required.
If the conversation and camaraderie do not recognize a nine o’clock curfew, across the street is the Warehouse Cafe, boasting over 400 bottled beers from around the world & voted “one of the 50 best bars in the USA.” With a dart board, pool table, stuffed animal heads, old fashioned Wurlitzer jukebox & cast of local characters, it is a memorable place.
Please let Paul Berman know if you will be attending, and how many will be in your party. Paul will let those who contact him know what the menu options are.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR ARUNA RANAWEERA
This is the kind of letter that all aspiring referees hope to see when they open their e-mail:
“On behalf of the NAWIRA Executive, I am pleased to invite you to appoint a USA match official to participate at the upcoming NAWIRA RWC 2007 Under Nineteen Qualifier Tournament, taking place in George Town, Cayman Islands, July 7 - 14, 2007.The appointed official will probably be involved in the competition Final, so this should be a consideration. The event will be preceded by a workshop for officials, conducted by Alan Biggs of the RFU, on Friday, July 6th.I would appreciate your response to this invitation at your earliest convenience.”
THIS WEEK’S PHOTO
Cap and Barbara Pelletier enjoy the evening at a SCRRS banquet. Our readers will remember him better in his pith helmet, following the bouncing ball from coast to coast.
For the Senate