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White Plains struggled throughout the 2013 Northeast 7s season. They were missing several key contributors due to injury and unavailability, while also competing with the Connecticut Wildcats for players during the summer. The Wildcats are a Rugby League team in the area that competes during the same timeframe.
This summer, however, while still suffering through some injuries, the coaching staff expects to see several Wildcats playing 7s for White Plains. Moreover, some younger players are starting to enter into the program as the club continues to benefit from a strong youth rugby network. “I am excited about the younger guys we are getting from the High School Programs,” says Head Coach Dan Pazio. “I am very positive and think it is great to have homegrown players competing at this level.”
Coaching Staff: Head Sevens Coach: Dan Pazio, Assistant Coach: Carlos Blanco
Returning Players to watch:
Matt Walsh: The Australian flyhalf will spearhead the attack for White Plains. Walsh’s ability to read defenses and create space opens up a profusion of opportunities for his teammates around him. He has excellent ball handling skills and brings experience to the squad.
Dennis Schmeiler: The skillful former Connecticut Wildcat brings speed to the back line.
Luke Baron: The fifteens center will play in the forwards for White Plains. He is a sizeable player with solid pace.
Rob Spabile: Spabile is extremely fit and carries a 6’5”, 260-pound frame. He has solid footwork and great ball handling skills. As a big guy who has played at fly half in lower division fifteens games, look for Spabile to be a consistent contributor this season.
Andrew Oliveira: The 20 year-old back out of New Rochelle High School possesses strong passing and kicking skills.
Notable New Players
Ike Onwukanjo: The 20 year-old forward is entering his junior year at the University of Buffalo and is eager to get on the pitch for White Plains this summer. Before becoming a standout in college he played for New Rochelle High School and the MetNY All Stars. Ike is a reliable player that hustles in both attack and defense.
Notable Players that will NOT be returning this season
Dave Cohen: Likely out for the season due to a potentially torn labrum.
Bobby Keehn: Likely out for the season due to health concerns.
ODA Players Playing For White Plains: Dave Cohen, Bobby Keehn, Matt Walsh