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Bokhoven has retired from playing entirely, saying his heart wasn’t 100% in it anymore, and he has always promised himself he would stop if that were the case. But the longtime USA 7s player is hoping to impart his experience on the team as a coach.
Bokhoven will be leaning on the veterans such as Max de Achaval, Taylor Howden, Hunter Leland, Logan Collins, Tom Pasque, and Kyle Hitt.
But he also has a large group of athletes from Colorado State University,
Wyoming, and other local schools.
“We’re working on developing all the players who are coming out, and we’re getting about 30 each training session, and then defining what our team is going forward,” Bokhoven told RUGBYMag.com. “We have some guys who have some skills and ability and could break into the team, but we’re not trying to do it all right now.”
The goal, said Bokhoven, is short-term.
“I think we go into each tournament thinking, let’s win the first game, and then see where we are,” he said. The Barbarians start their qualifier season this weekend in Houston.
Not with the squad are Jody Kramer, their sparkplug halfback, and Ben Haapapuro, who has been a specialist on the restarts for them for years. Haapapuro is away on business, and could well be available later. Bokhoven said he has some untested big units to handle restarts as replacements. Kramer is injured. An unsung hero for the Barbarians 7s efforts, he will be missed.