CPC Player Profile (June 2017): Cathy Cai

From last month's featured player, Elvi Figueroa: "I recommended [Cathy] because she's very strong and determined. She's made more key tackles than I can count and is always there for her teammates. She doesn't hesitate when it comes to offense or defense. Plus she's a very positive and happy person on and off the field!"

 

Full Name (plus any rugby nickname(s)): Cathy Cai

Hometown: San Francisco
Position(s) played: flanker, inside center

All Blues since: 2016

Photo: Travis Prior

Photo: Travis Prior

AB: How did you find out about us (i.e. what/who got you to come to your first AB practice?)

CC: I played for Cal Women’s Rugby, so naturally I heard of the Berkeley All Blues. They are sister teams, right?

 

AB: When and how did you first start playing rugby?  What got you into it?

CC: I started playing rugby my senior year of college. During my freshman year, a floor mate tried to recruit me to play for Cal. I had a lot of misconceptions about the sport and culture. I was hesitant to join, but playing rugby was something that constantly stayed at the back on my mind. Finally, I gave it a shot my senior year of college and haven’t looked back. It was helpful to find a friend that agreed to go to the first practice with me.

 

AB: Do you have a philosophy/mindset when you practice and play rugby?  How do you get into “the zone”?

CC: My mindset when I go to practice is to have fun. I understand there are times when I need to focus and listen to my coaches/teammates, but for the most part I try to laugh as much as possible. We have some of the best coaches so I have the privilege of learning a lot about the game of rugby while also playing with some of the most athletic and amazing teammates.

I don’t really get into the “zone” for rugby. If I think too much before games, I become nervous and get tunnel vision. Something that helps me prepare for rugby games is to stay relaxed and nonchalant. I occasionally will listen to indie folk before games to keep my nerves down.
 

AB: What is your best memory, thus far, as an All Blue?  What do you like most about being on this team?

CC: Sevens nationals last year was my favorite weekend with the team. We played as a team and held our own. I also loved celebrating at the end of the tournament because I was able to see some crazy sides to my teammates. I love the social aspect of the team most. We go onto the pitch and get what we need to get done, done. But the best part is coming together after a tournament to socialize and celebrate.

Photo: Travis Prior

Photo: Travis Prior

AB: Is there a particular player and/or coach that have influenced your development as a player? In what way(s) did they help you?

CC: Evan Hoese [edit: current All Blue; 2017 spring season coach] has really helped me improve my knowledge of the game. She does an excellent job translating her knowledge to less experienced players. Every time I have a question, she clearly and concisely answers it.

Something that was particularly constructive was to have a one-on-one conversation right after our games. The game was still fresh on our minds and it was extremely helpful to ask any questions that may have arisen, answered.

 

AB: What is the best advice you have ever received about playing rugby?

CC: If you start conditioning during the season, you are already too late. Staying in mental and physical shape starts before the season begins. This is something that I struggle with because everyone on my team knows I hate to condition. I have learned that finding friends to do conditioning with is the best way to stay motivated.

 

AB: Who’s your favorite rugby player/team to watch?

CC: I wouldn’t say I particularly have a favorite rugby team. I love watching Women 7’s rugby in general. I am excited anytime this sport gets any exposure. However, if you were twisting my arm and said I had to choose a team, I would have to choose the Black Ferns. They play some of the most dynamic and consistent rugby.

Photo: Vic Abrenica

Photo: Vic Abrenica

AB: What is your favorite non-rugby activity?

CC: I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do this but I love to travel. One country I hope to travel to in the future is New Zealand. It’s a beautiful country with a strong rugby culture. 

 

AB: Did you use to play any sports previously?

CC: In the past, sports that I have competed in are basketball, volleyball, track and field, and Olympic weightlifting.

 

AB: Anything else you’d like to share with us? 

CC: Besides rugby, I am passionate about address health disparities in minority populations. I am fortunate enough to work at UCSF on cancer disparity research that focuses on closing the disparity gap in communities with low socioeconomic status. 

 

Jack Baird Returns to Lead the All Blues Summer 7s Program

We are excited to announce that Jack Baird will be returning as head coach for our 7s team this summer, with Irene Gardner and Lucy Croy as assistant coaches.  Hailing from England, Jack is currently the Director of Rugby at King's College School, Cambridge. Jack is also the head coach of Cambridge University Women's, and has worked as an assessment coach for the England Women's Squad. Both Irene and Lucy are All Blues alumnae who have competed at some of the highest levels of rugby in the United States. 

Jack's back as Head Coach for summer 7s! 

Jack's back as Head Coach for summer 7s! 

Jack’s first year coaching the All Blues was last summer.  In the post-season interviews he was commended for his ability to coach players regardless of skill level, adapting his coaching style to each person’s needs so they can thrive on the field.  Cathy Cai, who walked into the team not ever having played sevens before and with only 8 months of rugby at Cal under her belt, says, “I could see my personal development throughout the season. I remember knowing nothing and being in the wrong places during my first game, to working as a team and beating Life West in the playoffs.” Part of Jack’s success was paying special attention to each player and giving individual feedback after each tournament.  According to Meeko Luarca, another player who joined the All Blues just last summer from Cal, “he really made an effort to get to know and sit down with everyone which was pretty cool for me.” 

Jack, alongside assistant coach Sarah Davis, were instrumental in developing a young sevens team last year that was mostly composed of college players Sarah recruited from Cal and some tight fivers.  Together, they brought the team to compete at the 7's National Championship, with the team finishing within the top 8 in the nation.  According to Meeko, Jack would "give us the goal and how to get there and [Sarah] would give us tips to either actually achieve the goal of the drill or smooth out our efforts and 'get some swagger in there'." One of the ways in which Jack engaged the players during training was by including plenty of game-like drills. Says Meeko, “[Jack] liked changing aspects of drills which kept my mind engaged i.e. touch game, one side is continuously on offense and between reps he'd ask a different focus on playing style: more aggressive in disrupting the rucks, in the launch, or go for a poach from the defense and all the off loads, hard strike lines with a cut, or fast rucks from the offense.”

Last year's summer sevens squad show off their bear claws after a victorious 4th qualifier match vs. Life West. Photo credit: Vic Abrenica

Last year's summer sevens squad show off their bear claws after a victorious 4th qualifier match vs. Life West.

Photo credit: Vic Abrenica

Meeko and Cathy are excited to see Jack grow in confidence as a coach for the All Blues sevens squad. “With a consecutive year,” predicts Meeko, “he will probably come through with more confidence or understanding of who we are and maybe won't let Frieda mess with him as much or at least make it a two way street.” Cathy is hopeful that he will come back to build on the fundamentals he’s worked on with the team, and “[transform the basics] into creative play on the field.” Together with Irene and Lucy, both seasoned veterans of the game, we’re excited for what this season will bring, too!  

 

Important Dates for 2017 Summer 7s

More information will be coming soon, but please put these dates down on your calendar!

 

May 16 - 7's first practice! 7pm @ Gabe Catalfo Fields

June 17 - NCRFU Tournament @ TBD

July 8 - NorCal Club 7s Qualifier Tournament 1 @ Silicon Valley

July 15 - NorCal Club 7s Qualifier Tournament 2 @ SFGG

July 29 - CR1 Club 7s National Qualifier Tournament @ Tacoma, WA

Aug 12/13 - National Club 7s Championship @ Blaine, MN 

CPC Player Profile (May 2017): Elvira "Elvi" Figueroa

Name: Elvira "Elvi" Figueroa

Hometown: Richmond, CA
Position(s) played: Flanker/Hooker

All Blues since: 2017

Elvi Figueroa / Flanker, Hooker 

Elvi Figueroa / Flanker, Hooker 

●      How did you find out about us (i.e. what/who got you to come to your first AB practice?) 

I first wanted to join a women's football team but it was too far away so I looked up local football and rugby teams and found you guys!

 

●      When and how did you first start playing rugby?  What got you into it? 

I started playing in 2014 at CSU Monterey Bay when the team was just starting out. I have played sports all my life and was constantly fouling out of basketball so I needed a sport I could be more physical in.

 

●      Do you have a philosophy/mindset when you practice and play rugby?  How do you get into “the zone”?

My mindset is always on how am I going to help my team win, what is my job and how am I going to accomplish this. I listen to music a lot before warm up and that gets me pumped up. I love playing either EDM or Alternative music, especially right before a game!

 

●      What is your best memory, thus far, as an All Blue?  What do you like most about being on this team?

There are so many memories from socials to games but my favorite memory was my first try of my career as an All Blue. It was an indescribable feeling!

Can you feel the excitement?!? Elvi on a typical Rugby Saturday.

Can you feel the excitement?!? Elvi on a typical Rugby Saturday.

●      Is there a particular player and/or coach that have influenced your development as a player?  In what way(s) did they help you?

My first coach actually plays for SJ [the San Jose Seahawks]. Coach Leni taught me my basics years ago and really got me into rugby.

 

●      What is the best advice you have ever received about playing rugby?

The best advice I ever received was to keep moving my feet and to keep going forward. That’s really helped me especially as a smaller forward.

 

Misc.

●      What is your favorite non-rugby activity?

I have a ton of hobbies but I love going to raves and making costumes for them!

●      Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I'm really into anime and manga... I'm a huge nerd and have a bunch of subscriptions.

2017 7s Season Information

All Blues 7s Head Coach Jack Baird

All Blues 7s Head Coach Jack Baird

The summer 7's season is fast approaching! We are lucky enough to have our wonderful 7's coach from last summer coming back to us, Jack Baird. Hailing from England, he is currently the Director of Rugby at King's College School, Cambridge. Jack is also the head coach of Cambridge University women's, and has worked as an assessment coach for England Women's Squad. Last year, he was an instrumental part of helping our team compete at the 7's National Championship. We are also lucky to be joined by Irene Gardner and Lucy Croy as assistant coaches. Both Irene and Lucy are All Blues alumnae who have competed at some of the highest levels of rugby in the United States.

7s is a great introduction to both the sport and the team, and we love new players! College players in town for the summer are also definitely welcome. If you are interested in joining us this year, please email jointheallblues@gmail.com or fill out our website contact form.

Important Dates

More information will be coming soon, but the following dates have already been confirmed.

  • May 11 - 7's Informational and Kickoff Meeting at the blue barn at 7:30 pm at Gabe Catalfo Fields
  • May 16 - 7's first practice! at 7pm at  Gabe Catalfo Fields
  • June 17 - NCRFU Tournament @ tbc
  • July 8 - NorCal Club 7s Qualifier Tournament 1 @ Silicon Valley
  • July 15 - NorCal Club 7s Qualifier Tournament 2 @ SFGG
  • July 29 - CR1 Club 7s National Qualifier Tournament @ Tacoma, WA
  • Aug 12/13 - National Club 7s Championship @ Blaine, MN 

Who's Who on the All Blues Executive Board 2017

As a player-run organization, we are proud of the work that our All Blues executive members put in in order to keep us on the pitch, playing the game that we love. Since our beloved ex-POTAB Phoebe moved to New York earlier this year (love you Phoebs!), there have been some changes in the line-up. Presenting...the All Blues Executive Board of 2017! Keep scrolling below to find some tidbits on our favorite people.

President & Acting WPL VP: Bridget DeSantis

D2 VP: Allie Byrne

7s VP: Evan Hoese

Treasurer: Evan Hoese

Secretary: Lexie Thomas

Fundraising Co-Directors: Sonia Globerson-Lamb & Kyra Trowbridge

Fundraising Team: Gigi Tricocci

Sponsorship Coordinator: Maggie Simpson

Fields Secretary: Sam Miller

Travel Coordinator: Monika Rozkowska

Equipment Manager: Nicole DeRose

Community Outreach Director: Lisa Dombroski

Social Chair: Kedra Davis

Alumnae Coordinator: Julie "JQ" Kieu

Media Director: Maja Wichrowska

Media Team: Madison Taylor & Victoria Abrenica

Merchandise Manager: Cassandra Tong

Recruitment Coordinator: Kyra Trowbridge

Exiting and incoming exec board members taking a quick hike/break at the two-day, annual retreat held in Yosemite earlier this year.                       Photo credit: Madison Taylor

Exiting and incoming exec board members taking a quick hike/break at the two-day, annual retreat held in Yosemite earlier this year.                       Photo credit: Madison Taylor

Bridget DeSantis / President & Acting WPL VP / Hook, prop

Bridget DeSantis / President & Acting WPL VP / Hook, prop

BRIDGET DESANTIS, President & Acting WPL VP

RUGBY POSITION: Hook, prop.  

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? I make sure the day-to-day operations continue with minimal hiccups, while keeping in mind the strategic vision and sustainability of the club. I also support other members of the exec board when they need help, in an effort to keep the club running smoothly.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Well, since Saturday's a Rugby Day, I usually cook a delicious meal, listen to a book on tape or music while I do laundry, house work, and pack my kit bag before going to bed early. Every now and then I'll divert from that boring routine and have a game night with a few friends.

VACATION DESTINATION? Go-to: Yosemite or Northwest. Dream: Patagonia.

Allie Byrne / D2 VP / Lock

Allie Byrne / D2 VP / Lock

ALLIE BYRNE, D2 VP

RUGBY POSITION: Lock

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  I help to organize and coordinate our spring season, making sure players and coaches have the resources they need to be successful on the pitch.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Eating ice cream and watching movies.

VACATION DESTINATION?  Anywhere I can find frogs.

Evan Hoese / Treasurer and VP of 7s / Flanker, outside center

Evan Hoese / Treasurer and VP of 7s / Flanker, outside center

EVAN HOESE, Treasurer and VP of 7s

RUGBY POSITION: Flanker; Outside Center

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? As treasurer, I keep track of our finances. As VP of 7s, I coordinate our 7s season.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Netflix and/or reading

VACATION DESTINATION? Costa Rica

Lexie Thomas / Secretary / Prop, hooker

Lexie Thomas / Secretary / Prop, hooker

LEXIE THOMAS, Secretary

RUGBY POSITION: Prop and hooker

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? I keep a record of the Exec Board's process and decisions in meetings, and I'm in charge of administration and correspondence.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Eat. Pray. Sleep

VACATION DESTINATION? Tuscany and Santorini

Sonia Globerson-Lamb / Fundraising co-director / Flanker, 8

Sonia Globerson-Lamb / Fundraising co-director / Flanker, 8

SONIA GLOBERSON-LAMB, Fundraising co-director

RUGBY POSITION: Flanker, 8

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  We make all the money!! Without fundraising and sponsorship, or team simply could not exist. We fundraise over half of the money that our team uses to operate

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Oooooh! This just got personal! ;)

VACATION DESTINATION?  Mongolia July 2017!!

Kyra Trowbridge / Fundraising co-director / Wing, fullback

Kyra Trowbridge / Fundraising co-director / Wing, fullback

KYRA TROWBRIDGE, Fundraising co-director

RUGBY POSITION: Wing, fullback

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  We help raise the money for the team.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Just hanging out and eating.

VACATION DESTINATION? Anything outdoors. Camping anywhere. Backpacking across Europe. ???

Giana Tricocci / Fundraising team / Prop

Giana Tricocci / Fundraising team / Prop

GIANA TRICOCCI, Fundraising team

RUGBY POSITION: Prop

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? We be helpin raise da money

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Hanging out with Florence, watching Ted talks & drinking pedialyte. (;

VACATION DESTINATION? Tibet or Nepal

Maggie Simpson / Sponsorship committee / Wing, center

Maggie Simpson / Sponsorship committee / Wing, center

MAGGIE SIMPSON, Sponsorship Committee

RUGBY POSITION: Wing, Center

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  I help find people and companies that are willing to give money to help keep dues low.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  English breakfast tea, dark chocolate, Brahms, and Agatha Christie in my bed.

VACATION DESTINATION?  San Diego's beaches

Sam Miller / Fields Secretary / Inside center, outside center, fullback

Sam Miller / Fields Secretary / Inside center, outside center, fullback

SAMANTHA MILLER, Fields Secretary

RUGBY POSITION: Inside/outside centre/fullback that one time lol

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  I help to schedule and secure fields for all of our seasons (WPL, D2, 7s). Find fields for extra things like Nationals camps, or last minute field changes.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Depends on the season! Spring - high school rugby. Rest of the year - hanging out with friends!

VACATION DESTINATION?  Next out of country trip will probably be to Hungary to visit friends

Mon Rozkowska / Travel Coordinator / Scrumhalf, flanker, wing

Mon Rozkowska / Travel Coordinator / Scrumhalf, flanker, wing

MONIKA ROZKOWSKA, Travel Coordinator

RUGBY POSITION: Scrumhalf, flanker, wing

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? I help organize travel and accommodations for the the team's far away games.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Settler's of Catan with the housemates and lots of water before the upcoming rugby day.

VACATION DESTINATION? Peru please!

Nicole DeRose / Equipment manager / Flanker

Nicole DeRose / Equipment manager / Flanker

NICOLE DEROSE, Equipment manager

RUGBY POSITION: Flanker

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? Make sure equipment is at practice so people can practice?

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Asleep early because I'm an old lady.

VACATION DESTINATION? Nelson, New Zealand

Lisa Dombroski / Community outreach director / Backs

Lisa Dombroski / Community outreach director / Backs

LISA DOMBROSKI, Community outreach director

RUGBY POSITION: Backs

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? Getting our brand out there. Giving the people what they want.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Golf? Drinks? Reading?

VACATION DESTINATION? Iceland!

Kedra Davis / Social chair / 8-man, lock

Kedra Davis / Social chair / 8-man, lock

KEDRA DAVIS, Social Chair

RUGBY POSITION: 8-man, lock

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? I strive to create a welcoming, fun, and team-centered environment for rookies as well as veteran players.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Pre-game: sleeping, icing, and eating with the occasional team dinner lol. Not pre-game: going out with friends to dinner, a bar, a club, or some other adventure.

VACATION DESTINATION? New Zealand

Julie Kieu / Alumnae Coordinator / Prop

Julie Kieu / Alumnae Coordinator / Prop

JULIE KIEU, Alumnae coordinator

RUGBY POSITION: Prop

Details forthcoming!

Maja Wichrowska / Media director / Lock, center, 8-man

Maja Wichrowska / Media director / Lock, center, 8-man

MAJA WICHROWSKA, Media Director

RUGBY POSITION: Lock, Center, 8-man

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  The media team is central with engaging with our fans and our community. We promote fundraisers, matches, and other events on social media, and take care of everything for film to live tweeting games.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Cooking for the weekend, drinking a glass of wine, and catching up on the Daily Show

VACATION DESTINATION?  Right now, I'm planning a trip to Argentina

Madison Taylor / Media Team / scrumhalf, wing, flanker

Madison Taylor / Media Team / scrumhalf, wing, flanker

MADISON TAYLOR, Media Team

RUGBY POSITION: Scrum Half, Wing, Flanker

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? My role on the team is beneficial as I provide updates related to the All Blues Women's Rugby team to the public via Instagram.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Eating cold spaghettios out of a can watching Netflix because I am an adult and make my own decisions.

VACATION DESTINATION?  Deep sea fishing in Alaska.

Vic Abrenica / Media Team / Wing

Vic Abrenica / Media Team / Wing

VICTORIA ABRENICA, Media Team

RUGBY POSITION: Wing

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM?  I coordinate the monthly newsletter and post events and game photos on FB. The media team is responsible for crafting the All Blues' public image and maintaining links to the player base and alum community.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT?  Chilling hard with LD at Oya's place during rugby season. Otherwise probably hanging out at my co-op watching Netflix and/or cooking.

VACATION DESTINATION?  Somewhere with warm waters and mountains to climb/hike

Cassandra Tong / Merchandise manager / Flanker

Cassandra Tong / Merchandise manager / Flanker

CASSANDRA TONG, Merchandise manager

RUGBY POSITION: Flanker

HOW DOES YOUR ROLE ON THE BOARD BENEFIT THE TEAM? Make n bake all the fun stuff - gear, jerseys, merch, etc.

TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT? Ice cream.

VACATION DESTINATION? Tahoe.