Atlantis Rugby and the APEX Rugby Academy have partnered in a unique association that will better serve current high school girls players. The partnership will also serve to further the future of women’s sevens rugby in the United States. Read on for the complete press release!
The Atlantis Rugby Corporation and APEX Academy are proud to announce an association that will see both entities better serve the current high school girls players and the future of women’s sevens rugby in the USA. This new partnership will debut in November at the 2014 New York 7s.
Begun in 1986 as an Eastern US venture (short for “Atlantic Sevens,” Atlantis quickly became a nation-wide enterprise. Their color (aquamarine), their logo, and the Roman numerals on their jerseys were all inspired by the Atlantis legend. The Atlantis women first played in 1992. Atlantis has multifaceted goals. At the domestic level, we are trying to improve the level of sevens in the US by mixing sides of experienced players and novices. The first Atlantis HS Girls team finished 2nd in the Las Vegas Invitational in 2014.
APEX was formed in 2013 to provide higher level training and playing opportunities to high school girls in the United States. Based out of Colorado the team has a pool of athletes who are assisted in nutrition, mental skills, tactics, skill development, speed and strength training. On the pitch the squad posted a plate victory in Las Vegas and a Serevi Cup title in Seattle this year.
The partnership of Atlantis and APEX will allow an expansion of both programs as Atlantis gains the national identification and development of high school players and APEX players can participate in more venues under the great tradition and resources of the Atlantis Corporation. The players will also benefit from an extended pathway after high school through Atlantis and their relationship with the American Pro Rugby Training Center (APRTC™)
The new team will sport the signature aquamarine uniforms of Atlantis, overseen by the Emperor of Atlantis Emil Signes and be coached by Karl Barth (APEX, Atlantis, & Summit) and Billy Nicholas (Old Blue, Lindenwood, & APEX). The program will also look to develop other coaches at individual tournaments, as well as players. The new Atlantis side will be powered by the APEX Academy Training program based out of Frisco, CO and the Atlantis Open Rugby camps. The union will look to develop players across the country, especially in areas that may lack higher level opportunities in Sevens. “We are looking for 20/20 vision”, said Barth, “as in Japan 2020 Olympics, we are looking to help find and develop players for the future so that we can be better build a player base and keep up with Europe (u18 7s Championships) and the Asian and Oceania programs.”
“Since our founding in 1986, and our first women’s side (1992), Atlantis has always prided itself on its ability to find promising players and produce future national team players,” commented Atlantis founder and Emperor, Emil Signes. “Although we have included players from all over the country, our geographical base has always been centered in the East.
Furthermore, historically we have focused on senior players; in February of 2014, however, we began both boys’ and girls’ HS programs, both great successes. By joining forces with Karl Barth, who brings nationwide coaching experience with high school girls, we will be reaching a far greater player population, and hopefully see the national women’s team populated with Atlantis alumnae as time progresses. Karl has done a great job with his girls’ program and I’m excited to be working with him on this program.”
The team plans to compete in the New York City and Las Vegas Invitational 7s as well as in the newly proposed Western 7s Championship. In addition, the program is looking at a few other domestic tournaments and possible trips to Canada to be determined. The program will also host a summer camp at the APEX Academy in conjunction with the Denver 7s to develop players and identify future players for Atlantis and residency options at APRTC™.
The New York squad consists of 12 players from 5 states including two USA Junior Olympians in Becca Jane Rosko (CO) and Whitney Wilson (TX). In addition to Wilson, Oklahoma rugby and swimming standout Neariah Persinger (identified at an ARPTC™ camp), hard running Meg Rose (CO), and Armstrong, MN All-American Renee Gonzales (on loan from the Minnesota Tundra program) will make their first appearances for either squad. Emily Roskopf (CA), Diarr Lillie (CA), and Kelly Albers (CO) return from the Seattle Cup winning APEX team. Coloradans Rosko, Jodi Losch, Angie Ramos, Morgan Courtney, and Rachel Fitch are back in action after participating in Las Vegas. Only Rosko has represented Atlantis so far, although Persinger has already been selected for Atlantis’ trip to Tobago in mid-December.
Commenting on the NY 7s squad Nicholas stated; “I’m very excited about the team we are bringing to New York in November they are an excellent group of girls with various backgrounds and hometowns and it will be an exciting weekend. The girls will be able to learn from one another, receive coaching and feedback, push each other to that next level all while having fun and making new friends from different areas across the Nation. The young women at this level and in this partnership could without a doubt be the next wave of Olympians and I am excited to get the team together for a great experience! “
For more information on Atlantis (http://www.atlantisrugby.com/
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