By Ray Hamill — The Lumberjacks lost a tough game in rugby on Friday night, but got some good news in the process.
According to assistant coach Vince Celotto, St. Bernard’s senior Talimaivao Fonoti has verbally committed to play for the team next year.
Fonoti, who played a pivotal role in helping the Crusaders to a state championship on the gridiron this past season, is expected to start immediately at inside center for the HSU men.
The Jacks fell 14-10 to Cal Maritime under the lights at the Redwood Bowl, but used the occasion as a recruiting drive and it paid off with Fonoti and another top recruit from SoCal both verbally committing to play for the club team.
Fonoti is a punishing fullback and defensive lineman who will fit in perfectly along the back line on the rugby field.
“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 earlier this week.
“We think we can be a good fit for the high school athlete that would like to still compete while focusing on an education.”
Despite the loss, the Jacks (2-1) remain in a three-way tie with Santa Rosa JC (2-1) and Cal Maritime (2-1) at the top of the conference, with an upcoming game at Cal State Monterey Bay.
For more on Friday’s game, including video highlights, see RUGBY HIGHLIGHTS — Uipi’s quick reaction catches Cal Maritime off guard …