Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Canada Player Profiles: Mikey Reinhard

As touched on in previous posts, the formation of our first men's side did not lack for challenges. Even one week before the tournament we had not finalized a full roster of 12 men and were lacking the positional depth we had hoped to travel with. Fortunately my Gypsies coach Liam Hutchinson is Calgary based, so not only did he step into a Stars Rugby 7s coaching role for this tour he also provided us some of the representative women's players he had coached for Rugby Alberta. Then those women's players further got some of their friends from university in British Columbia to join us too and we were able to field a more complete squad for Stampede 7s.

Mikey Reinhard came to our men's program through the friends-of-friends-of-friends network and he and Reid Gordon filled the much needed scrumhalf/flyhalf specialist roles on our team full of props and centers. Mikey is still fairly new to the game of 7s, but quickly fell into our playing patterns and showed some great closing speed on defense, chasing down some breakaways and proving an effective sweeper. Plus he was one of the most American players on the squad - all of our Canadians eagerly adapted out American cowboy theme and nearly converted to the "dark side".

His raw talent earned him an invite as an alternate for our Australia tour which he sadly had to decline due to school work. Should we manage another trip North for Victoria 7s he'd be a top pick back on the pitch and he definitely has a space on our rosters for Tobago, Las Vegas, and many Stampede 7s to come.

Here's his background:

I am currently attending Kwantlen University in Surrey BC, working toward a Criminology Degree for a future career in policing.  My rugby history all started in high school in grade 8 through grade 12. I played in Cloverdale BC for The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in many positions, mostly in the back line & sometimes as a flanker. I mainly played as a scrum half. 

My 7s experience was in local high school tournaments with the LTS Panthers where I played mostly scrum half once again. With that team we won a lot of local championships and in 2013 went on an incredible tour to Australia and New Zealand getting to see and play some awesome rugby 15s. After high school I played my first year of club rugby with the Surrey Beavers U-19 squad where they moved me into the centres more often than not. This was a big change from only playing 9 for my first five years of rugby. 

Only a year out of high school and now getting to join the Stars 7s squad for the Calgary Stampede 7s was a great experience. I really enjoyed playing that high level of 7s rugby. The experience definitely improved my game. I loved traveling with such a large group of good people and good rugby players. It was great meeting and making friends with people from all over the USA. I'd love to keep playing with the Stars in upcoming tourneys. They taught me a lot about their 7s style and kept me playing a high pace game the whole time. I believe that's why we did so well in the tourney, because of our great talent on the team and the high pace we were pushed to play at. I plan to keep on training and practicing and playing my other full time sport, ice hockey, to keep me in shape and improve my 7s game for upcoming Stars tournaments.  

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