Sunday, February 2, 2014

What Happens in Vegas is Awesome - Team Testimonials

Our inaugural Stars Rugby 7s tour was a huge success and I cannot thank the players, coaches and fans enough. Rather than go into a lengthy post about our games and details of the trip, which will come soon enough, I'll throw up some of the team testimonials shared via facebook and texts and emails from during and after the tournament!

 Stars Open and Elite after a day 1 of Open games 
and Elite side training & Japan scrimmage

(random aside - Stars have a facebook thread going on right now concerning Rocky III and Rocky IV. We also had our warm weather players from FAU and FIU in action today. Both took home BIG wins with FAU over FGCU 44-5 and FIU over University of Miami 107-0. The best part? Getting a text from a players thanking Stars for giving her the confidence to go out so hard today!)

From Gracie:

"After being in Miami for just one day I can truly say I really miss being in Las Vegas with my stars team!! I met some of the most talented players from all over the world. The fact that we all got to come together and bond over the one thing we love most is truly amazing. I didn't only gain teammates I gained sisters!!! Shout out to our team for going to the finals after only one say of practicing with each other and even thou we didn't pull the win in the finals we got 6th place out 24 which is pretty freaking awesome! And of course it was no surprise that we had everyone wanting to be a Star by the end of this trip we are just as awesome socially as we are on the field. A big shoutout to my FIU teammate, friend and sister Kimberly Katie Semiglia who made this trip even better than I expected it to be. The biggest shoutout to Liz Entwhistle and Eyal Hakim for making all of this possible! Without you guys we wouldn't have been able to come together and accomplish any of this! You guys are amazing thank you so much cannot wait to hit our next tour!!!

                       Gracie taking it up against the Black Mambas. Day 2 of Open play.

From Kristen:
I want to thank everyone who made my Vegas Trip possible. I met so many new friends and got to watch and play with some experience players. Our Open team came second in our pool, placing 6th out of 24 teams. Considering we all met each other that Wednesday night and played together Thursday morning, that was amazing. Our Elite team placed 7th out of 8th teams beating Mexico.
                     Stars Open and Elite with sponsor Sean Borman of Rugby Academy of America

From Rhiannon:
I had the absolute best most epic time at Vegas 7s! Met a phenomenal group of girls who became my teammates and friends. Went to the plate finals in our division and easily won the social with our dancing skills and ability to defy apparent stereotypes of female rugby players. I made great connections with rugby fans and players from around the world and had some Vegas fun with my Buffalo ladies. Time to take this great experience home and to keep training to become a better player and coach. Can't thank Liz and Eyal enough for everything they've done!!! Cheers to the next tour! To my friends, family, SBRFC, West Seneca Saints and Fitness 19 family I am grateful for all your love and support! See ya back in the tundra!
                                                   Team Meeting Prior to Jersey Ceremony

From Tiara:
I really enjoyed playing with you guys. I feel like I have a new family. I have work to do now that I'm back home. I know what to work on! 
                               Stars Elite with Canada MapleLeafs after a Quarterfinal loss

From Coach Eyal Hakim:
What an amazing weekend !! So happy for the group of phenomenal women that I had the pleasure of working with ! A huge thanks to Liz for setting things up !! I also want to say how proud I am of my five Florida players who really stepped up to the plate with this tough competition Kristin, Christina, Codi, Kimberly and Gracie. A huge thank you to each and every one of you who made this tour possible ! This is the start of something great !

Feddy finding space against Japan

And my own assessment from January 24th:

So proud of what #starsrugby7s has accomplished in the last 2 days. Our teams assembled players from Australia, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Dallas, New Mexico, Florida and Pittsburgh, most of whom had never met before, to take on an elite Canadian touring side in a scrimmage, the Japan national side in another scrimmage and our Open side took 6th place in a tournament of 24 teams, including teams that made appearances at 2013 7s Nationals!

Everyone elevated their games and improved with time. Our Elite team didn't have the wins we planned today but live to play in Cup Quarterfinals tomorrow at 920am against the Canadian MapleLeafs (a mix of current 7s players like Mandy Marchak, Brittany Waters, Arielle Dubissette-Borrice and Magail Harvey with some of their developmental girls). Here's to more tries, more Stars bonding, and #usa7s tomorrow!

Thanks so much to all our sponsors and all our players that have dedicated their time and focus to this team. Thanks to our superfans Todd Streeter, Joseph C Somerville III, Ty Elkins, Sean Borman and John Tinsley as well as our Aussie/NZ contingent! Shouts out to the Peru and Mexico men's national teams too!

Most of all to our coach Eyal Hakim who has worked some magic in just 2 short days.

 Gracie and Rhiannon with the Legend

It's been a blur being back home and I think it's safe to say all the Stars are suffering rugby 7s withdrawl. Life just isn't the same outside the HRH suites! Planning for the next tour is already in the works.... some big announcements in the coming weeks! STARPOWER!

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