This weekend’s Burnaby Lake Lighthouse 7s tournament has attracted the attention of the San Diego Surfers Women’s 7s Team. They are travelling up this morning to be part of the festivities on the shores of Burnaby Lake with the hope that they may be able to haul the Women’s Lighthouse down the I-5 back home. They are the farthest travelling team to the tournament.
San Diego is a very young and talented team, but have been playing 7s for about 10 years and have been competing in the US Club Championships for the last 4 years. This year they won Santa Barbara 7s to secure the no.1 seed from SoCal beating Berkeley in the finals. Last year they won Palm Desert 7s, Denver 7s and Club National Championships. They also have players that have played internationally in both 15s and 7s including Hannah Lopez, Amy Naber, Lauren Daly and Team Captain, Katie Lorenz.
Katie Lorenz began her 7s career in the South during her last year at UNC Chapel Hill. After a successful undergraduate rugby career, she made the transition from 15s to 7s with the regional All-star squad, Southern Exposure led by the legendary Pat Neder.
Under the tutelage of Neder, Lorenz was selected for the 2011 USA women's 7s Eagles to play in the Las Vegas Invitational, and again in 2012 for the USA Stars and Stripes team. Lorenz had the good fortune of training under National Team coach Ric Suggit, and later under Richie Walker in San Diego.
One of only four returning players from last year's championship squad, Lorenz leads a new and young Surfers team that boasts an unparalleled enthusiasm for the game as well as raw athletic ability.
The Surfers definitely mean business and would test the teams playing this weekend to their limit. Tournament Manager, Roko Kapaiwai is salivating at the thought of playing his women’s side against one loaded with National and Regional Reps.
“To be the best, you need to play and beat the best,” says Kapaiwai. "Although we have not been playing well lately, this is our tournament and I believe our girls are ready for this.”
In the Men’s Division, The Maple Leafs are definitely the team to beat. They snuck in early and are staying across the street from the Lake. “They look fast” an observer commented while watching them run through some plays at Burnaby Lake before the locals showed up. Mr. Kapaiwai is thinking of presenting them with some Fijian Kava this evening to slow them down.
The tournament starts at 10 on Saturday and it promises to be a day of vintage 7s and family fun. If you’re in the neighbourhood, come. There will be food, a beer garden to quench your thirst and a lot of running rugby!
The weather gods promise to give us a nice sunny 23 degree day to go with it.