Rugby at the Redwood Bowl, as Jacks push for local recruits

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By Ray Hamill — Humboldt State rugby will play under the lights at the Redwood Bowl on Friday night, as the Jacks look to end a long losing streak against Cal Maritime.

The HSU men feature one of their strongest rosters in years, with the addition of fly-half Dante Cappellano giving the back a line a much stronger presence this season.  

Cappellano, a transfer from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, had a big performance in a recent 24-21 win over Santa Rosa, converting three tries and adding a penalty kick.

The standout fly-half will be back in action on Friday night, as the Jacks play a rare game under the lights.

The game, which kicks off at 6 p.m., is free of admission to the public, and the HSU club team is hoping to use the occasion as a recruiting tool, as it looks to extend its reach into the local community.

According to long-time assistant coach Vince Celotto, the Jacks have been actively recruiting St. Bernard’s standout football player Talimaivao Fonoti, whom they would like to play at inside center.

And he’s not the only local player they have their eyes on.

“The University is offering $1,000 scholarships for local high schools and we think it’s a good opportunity for local athletes that want to play a contact sport in front of their families while getting an education from HSU,” Celotto said.

“We think we can be a good fit for the high school athlete that would like to still compete while focusing on an education.”

Friday’s game also will be played in front of some of this year’s SoCal recruits and will feature a pizza social in the green and gold room of Founders Hall at 9 p.m.

The Jacks have not beaten Cal Maritime in eight straight years, but feel this year’s team could be ready to post a breakthrough win.


McKinleyville High grads Justin and Colin Celotto, each of whom starts for the HSU rugby team, with father and assistant coach Vince.

Their victory over Santa Rosa came in a tough, physical showdown that went down to the wire,  with Cappellano kicking the game-winning penalty kick with just three minutes remaining, before a last-minute goal-line stand sealed the win. 

Cameron Arnold stepped up big on the late defensive stand.

The Jacks also have defeated University of the Pacific 67-0.

1 reply »

  1. Rugby under the lights will be great fun for everybody. Boys in short shorts smashing one another. Good times.

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