Wednesday, July 13, 2011




We’ve got two refs for the old boys and sevens up in Dunsmuir. That should do it – thanks to Scott Wood and Lee Salgado.

Referees are needed at the For Pete’s Sake Sevens in Santa Rosa. If you can help out, please let us know.

If Sevens isn’t your thing, Joe Androvich will be refereeing the All-Americans’ game with NZ Universities at Stanford, 1 PM. All of the officiating positions have been assigned by USA Rugby, so you’ll need to buy a ticket.


This weekend will feature the last iteration of the NCRYA Sac Valley Sevens, with youth and high school teams competing on three or four pitches.

Your scribe finally gets to attend this time, although stories of referees doing nine games apiece have him hoping for some help.


David Williamson is stepping away from the position of Referee Education Officer that he has so ably filled for these past several years.

The Pelican flock has been fortunate to have such a dedicated and innovative person in a position to help so many of us.

This means, of course, that there are shoes to fill.

Please consider: would you be willing and able to organize our monthly meetings? That is the heart of the position. We have plenty of good speakers who need only be invited and given a stage. The format of the meetings would be...yours to determine.

If you’ve been awaiting an opportunity to give back, to help out, now is your chance.

Contact David Williamson if you’d like to know more about his perspective on the position, or Bruce Carter if you’d like to consider raising your wing.


Forty-two teams competed last Saturday, a modern-era record at this event.

The Flock was up to the challenge. Six, seven or eight games each: Bruce Carter, Mike Gadoua, Preston Gordon, John Pohlman, Bruce Ricard, Lee Salgado, Scott Wood

Three or four games (had to leave early): Phil Akroyd, Tony Levitan, Tom Zanarini

One-game critical fill-ins: John Coppinger, Rich Boyer

Anthony Nguyen and Ben Bravo ran the line for probably fifteen games each.

In one of the newest and best traditions of the Game, Mike and Bruce got the first two games kicked off a full half-hour early. We’re there; the teams are there: time’s a-wastin’!

SFGG brought a side with as many as five different starters from the team that won their own tournament the week before, and went unbeaten. The Sac Lions and EPA were also quite good. These teams are presumably going to be in Salt Lake City this weekend for the Pacific Coast championships.

It was a glorious day! With forty teams’ worth of fans and family members, a pop-up tent city appeared, interspersed with beach towels and blankets making an irregular but colorful grid. Even before someone began strumming a ukulele, it was like a perfect day at the beach.

(For those outside of Northern California – you don’t go in the water at the beach here, even in the summertime. You hang around and hope the fog doesn’t roll back in too soon. The ocean here is the same temperature all the year around, the current dropping down from Alaska. Not for nothing was the wetsuit perfected in Santa Cruz.)

Report by John Pohlman:
I arrived at the Palo Alto 7's around 8:30AM to a pretty packed Mayfield Sports Complex.

Bruce and Mike were already getting the first games of the day organized. Scott, Danielle and Baby GemMa were awaiting their assignments.

John Tyler was organizing the games for the day. John said he had 40 teams signed up. Two fields with each team guaranteed at least three games.

This would lead to close to 60 games played. I think I refereed 6-7. Most who stayed for the whole day did at least 6 each.

Great turnout!

The primary challenge is with only two fields and three games played per field an hour. Many teams would be playing once every three hours or so.

Lots of good rugby. Eight wowen's teams. At least twelve high school teams. Twenty men's sides split into two divisions.

I got out around 7:00PM, a solid ten hours of rugby 7's. One more round in two weeks. Come out and catch the fun.

July 9th, 2011 at For Pete's Sake in Santa Rosa
Report by Cary Bertolone:

Faded Roses 7 – Clowns/Belmont Shore/Kansas City Blues 7
Referees: Bruce Bernstein/Cary Bertolone

All I know, is there were some huge men on the pitch, playing with focus, determination and power, all in the name of their fallen hero, Todd Phillips. Todd had played for all of the teams represented and his legacy is nearly unmatched. He has friends from all over, and to show their respect, they flew in from many states to play in this game. Many had won the Natl Championship together, with Belmont Shore, and there were plenty of 6ft 6 inch, 300 lb men slamming players. Fortunately, for Rosa, their team was stacked also. They had help from Petaluma, Olympic club, Ukiah and Vallejo, but most were Rosa boys that played tough.

I reffed the second two quarters and was very impressed with the high level of play. Both teams had numbers and substituted freely, keeping the entire game at a fast pace. I can only say I was proud to be a part of such a high caliber game, such a driven group of friends and such an emotional, first class banquet, all in the name of a fallen hero, Todd Phillips!!!

Report by Ray Schwartz:
The Todd Phillips Memorial Celebration, the First Annual "ToddyFest," was a big success.

Those who could get away early gathered for wine tasting on Friday, July 8th, with over 30 making it to Rodney Strong in Healdsburg, CA, by 3:30pm. The spread laid out by (winery owner and original BATS & Eagle flanker) Tom Klein's staff was amazing and complete unexpected. The wine, as expected, was fabulous! Speeches began at 4:30...before leaving close to 6, we collected a massive bottle of Meritage for the Silent Auction to come the next night.

The weekend's "core" events were held Saturday, July 9th. For Pete's Sake, Santa Rosa, CA, saw one full match played at a very high level. It was all over too soon for most. We had in fact hoped for twice as many players, but quality prevails over quantity every time! We then enjoyed a banquet at the nearby DeTurk Round Barn in the evening.

The game featured older players (averaged close to 40 yrs of age) but also had several youngsters. The local Faded Roses played a combo made up from teams Todd had played for: the Speed Freak Clowns, Columbia Outlaws, St. Louis Bombers, Zingari (So. Canterbury, NZ), Edmonton Nor'westers, Belmont Shore, the Unicorns and Cal State Fullerton (where Toddy coached).

Just as Toddy would have played it himself, no holds were barred. No missed tackles and fierce contests at every ruck... this was not your father's old boys match!

The match ended a 7-7 tie, with the Fadeds scoring first under the posts; the Combo Team Toddy later scored in the corner and slotted an amazing conversion. Several former Internationals and National level all-stars played in the match, as well as several starters from the recent Div 1 runners-up O Club. Watching #8s Super Dave (SoCal, Unicorns, Belmont) and Sione Takataka (Tonga, BATS, Hayward, Clowns) battle it out in the first half was worth everything.

This was a world class destination in every way. The For Pete’s Sake field and pavilion (named after Fallen Rugger Peter Eiermann) was a magical place to spend the morning. We featured a "bounce house" for the toddlers and a nice spread for lunch after play, helped greatly by Faded's own Chris Curtis. The weather was sweet and slightly warm. Light breeze and not a cloud...

Willie Moore, former director of the old Golden Gate Tourney, made his first ever pilgrimage to see For Pete's Sake. Willie and Peter had been teammates w/ the old BATS. After the Golden Gate Tourney had sadly folded, Willie donated $10,000 the Tourney had raised, earmarked to help boost youth rugby in NorCal, to For Pete's Sake. The Golden Gate monies were, in fact, the first dollars collected in a cause that would need nearly $600,000 to complete.

The DeTurk Round Barn, a newly remodeled special banquet hall with 120 years of rich history (former home to SeaBiscuit!), is an architectural gem and served us brilliantly in the evening. Afa Wongking (Faded) prepared the Kahlua Pork, Teriyaki chicken and Sapasooy with love and care. Bill Jereb (Cal State Long Beach, Captain of the Collegiate All Americans) and lovely wife Andrea were the local liaisons who helped Johnny Gilmore (Unicorns), Ray Schwartz (Belmont) and Dude Bernstein (Clowns) pull the event off. Jonny Carter (all three teams) produced a stunning 17-minute long DVD of highlights from Todd's life set to wonderful music. The DeTurk's hi-tech, Hi-Def A/V system was a perfect match. Later, a pub crawl on Rosie the Trolley ensued...

Look for next year's ToddyFest, the 2nd Annual, to be held in Columbia, Missouri, on or about April 7th, 2012. We hope to grow the scope of the event and rotate it to SoCal in 2013. Monies from the 1st are still rolling into the 501(c)(3) (we take checks, cash...!), but it appears we have successfully raised over $5,000 towards helping build a trust fund for Todd's soon-to-be 3 year old son Zealon, and what a wonderful kid he is!

Perhaps more importantly, we brought many old and new friends together, and have forged a promise to carry on having fun and working for this wonderful cause... just as Toddy would do it himself!

Please revisit and ... until further notice,

Celebrate Everything!

Saturday, July 23:
Palo Alto Summer Sevens

Sunday, July 24:
North American debut of the IRB Refereeing Sevens course
At the Doyle Family Rugby Clubhouse at Stanford

Saturday, July 30:
Nevada Sevens in Reno
Marin Highlanders HS Sevens in Corte Madera

Sunday, July 31:
Treasure Island Touch Tournament at Sheeran Field

Saturday-Sunday, August 6-7:
USA Rugby Club Sevens Championships at Sheeran Field, men and women

Saturday, August 20:
Sacramento Lions Sevens – two pitches, all day

Saturday, August 27:
Peroni Tens at Danny Nunn Park in Sacramento

Saturday, September 11:
Tri-Tip Sevens in San Luis Obispo

Lost AR
The Fallen Assistant Referee succumbs to ten-plus hours of action at the Palo Alto Summer Sevens while Mike Gadoua packs down a scrum in the background.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris