Orca Alumni

Orca is very proud of their alumni and what they have gone on to achieve after leaving the club - whether this be military service, college and club rugby and even international honors. Learn more about some of our alumni:


Mary Anne Calica
2010 - 2013

Learn more about Mary Anne

1. Your name and age:
Mary Anne, 27.

2. What year(s) did you play for Orca Youth Rugby? Did you play rugby after leaving orca?
2010-2013, I played at CSUN and helped coach Orca Girls after aging out!

3. How did you hear about Orca Rugby?
A series of fortunate events...I was in a rough patch in my personal life, and a friend said "yo, I know you're going through a tough time and you wanna hit something...you should come try rugby! Work out some frustration!" My first practice was with Ventura County Women's Outlaws, but there I met Dez, and found out I was still young enough to play with Orca. The rest is history.

4. What was one of your favorite memories playing for Orca?
All of my favorite memories with friends come from Orca! From goofing around before and after games, all the times the boys and girls teams hung out outside of practices and games. This group really shaped how I value my friendships now.

5. What would you say to middle school/ high school kids who were thinking about playing rugby?
JUST DO IT! I wish I found this sport when I was your age. Rugby, especially with Orca, will have such an impact on your perspective of life that you won't find anywhere else! And rugby is just downright fun.

6. How would you compare rugby to other contact sports?
There is no comparison yet it has the best of all sports! Rugby is the best combination of toughness, finesse and endurance. The contact you learn is challenging, extremely fun and taught responsibly with a focus on safety. Overall, It requires a true team effort, which means each player has an important role and responsibility. Each position requires a different mix of that toughness, finesse and endurance and that made it possible for Orca girls to consist of a wrestler, basketball player, dancer, cross country runner, and me (definitely NOT a track runner!)

7. What are you up to now?
I am grateful and lucky to be working for a local school district, an opportunity I never would have successfully gained without my experience from playing and coaching for Orca!

Orca Youth Rugby Club ball logo

Christian Galvan

Learn more about Christian

Better known as 'Giggles' Christian played for 5 years at Orca and after leaving Orca he continued playing rugby for Ventura County Outlaws. Christian is keen to give back to the club and has recently rejoined Orca as a coach. He is currently taking his USA Rugby coaching credentials.

Orca Youth Rugby Club ball logo

Eli Hill

Learn more about Eli

Eli played for several years at Orca before leaving to try other sports. He resumed played rugby at Cal Lutheran University where he was vice-captain of the team for 2 seasons. While at Cal Lutheran Eli was coached by Orca President Steve Stone.

Samson Paea
2006 - 2009

Learn more about Sam

1. Your name and age:
Samson Paea, 30

2. What year(s) did you play for Orca Youth Rugby? Did you play rugby after leaving orca?
I played 06-09. I also played rugby throughout college UCSB 2010-2012 my Junior year we went to the Division 1 Finals and lost.

3. How did you hear about Orca Rugby?
I found Santa Barbara Grunions my junior year of high school on the internet. Played a few games with the Grunions before I got asked to step down to youth rugby because I was still in high school. Ghost referred me to Tim (Tim Hoffmann) and the rest was history.

4. What was one of your favorite memories playing for Orca?
Running Giggles over lol. Christian Galvan

5. What would you say to middle school/ high school kids who were thinking about playing rugby?
Take the chance and do it. Rugby has gone more global. Friendships you make in rugby are forever.

6. How would you compare rugby to other contact sports?
I have played both Varsity Football (Ventura) and first XV rugby (Tonga). I would recommend rugby just because of the longevity of the player. I love watching football, but the toll it takes on a player is worse than rugby.

7. What are you up to now?
I live in Auckland NZ with my wife and 4 daughters . I own a Civil Construction Company in Auckland NZ, specializing in both commercial and residential builds. Started the company from my kitchen table 5years ago. Today AP Civil Construction has 50 full time employees.

8. What important lessons did you learn playing rugby that you have taken with you throughout your life?
Rugby taught me to become a leader, a mentor and a team player.

Orca Youth Rugby Club ball logo

Avianna Raupach

Learn more about Avi

"Avi" played for Orca and combined Orca/Santa Monica teams for 3 years (plus another year with Santa Monica) and was a leader on the field wherever she played. Avi plans to continue playing rugby with Lehigh and later at Penn State, where she will be attending school.

Brady Salcido
2005 - 2007

Learn more about Brady

1. Your name and age:
Brady Salcido, 30.

2. What year(s) did you play for Orca Youth Rugby? Did you play rugby after leaving orca?
I played 05-07 (I think) I played rugby throughout college 2007-2010

3. How did you hear about Orca Rugby?
Through one of our old neighbors, Kurt.

4. What was one of your favorite memories playing for Orca?
The friendships developed while being a part of the team.

5. What would you say to middle school/ high school kids who were thinking about playing rugby?
Do it! It’s a sport that’s fun, builds character, and is recognized all over the world. You can go anywhere in the world and be able to connect to them through rugby most likely. Maybe you’ll even be in the olympics!

6. How would you compare rugby to other contact sports?
I have played both Varsity Football (Ventura) and first XV rugby (Tonga). I would recommend rugby just because of the longevity of the player. I love watching football, but the toll it takes on a player is I got hurt worse in football then in rugby. Rugby you get bumps, bruises, and cuts. They heal. Football injuries required surgery.

7. What are you up to now?
I’m a Chiropractor in Westlake Village, CA

8. What important lessons did you learn playing rugby that you have taken with you throughout your life?
Rugby develops resilience and character that you don’t find in any other sport. You learn to fight through fatigue and pain. You learn to push harder than you thought you ever could for your teammates. It pushes you to become a better version of yourself. It’s very applicable to life. I think all young men can learn valuable life lessons and leadership skills through a rugby club.

Harrison Scheer
2010 - 2012

Learn more about Harrison

1. Your name and age:
Harrison Scheer. 27.

2. What year(s) did you play for Orca Youth Rugby? Did you play rugby after leaving orca?
2010-2012. I haven’t played competitively since, but just last weekend I kicked a ball around with my wife at a park across the street. The urge to play never goes away!

3. How did you hear about Orca Rugby?
During my senior year of high school some of my football friends mentioned playing rugby in the spring. I came out to a practice and loved it!

4. What was one of your favorite memories playing for Orca?
My favorite playing memory was when I scored my first hat-trick in a 7-on-7 tournament. It was great to see the culmination of my training contribute to a team victory. Socially, my favorite memories were when the U-19 boys and girls would go to Toppers to hangout after the games. It was great hanging out with a diverse group of people from around the county.

5. What would you say to middle school/ high school kids who were thinking about playing rugby?
Do it. Rugby is such a unique sport: you run and tackle like a football player, kick like a soccer player, and you can wrestle like an Olympian. It’s a full body workout and the game is constantly moving. You also aren’t limited by your speed, size, or position; every player has the chance to run, kick, and tackle. The social benefits are also unparalleled. After each game, the home team hosts the other team to a feast. Enemies on the pitch, but friends in life. Also, the very first time you score, you have to drink a soda out of your cleat! It sounds silly, but there are endless examples that all display the great community and camaraderie in rugby.

6. How would you compare rugby to other contact sports?
Rugby takes the best pieces of different sports. No matter your position, you can run, score, tackle, kick, and wrestle on the ground. A “line-out”—when you throw the ball inbounds—is even similar to cheerleading stunts: a player is picked up off the ground and lifted in the air to catch the in bounds pass. Rugby is also much safer than football. In rugby, you must wrap up to properly form tackle, instead of running in like a missile and lowering a shoulder like a linebacker. And due to the nature of the game, rugby players will rarely if ever be “blind-sided” like a quarterback or a receiver across the middle of the field.

7. What are you up to now?
I’m a trial lawyer in Houston, Texas living my dream.

Emily Tao
2010

Learn more about Emily

1. Your name and age:
Emily Tao, 28

2. What year(s) did you play for Orca Youth Rugby? Did you play rugby after leaving orca?
I played my first and only season with the girls U-19 team in 2010. I helped co-found the Lady Outlaws the following year and came back to the Orcas as a floating assistant coach, mostly working with the boys and girls U-18/19 teams. I played with the Lady Outlaws until I moved out of state and played one season with a team in Utah before I had to hang up my boots for my career.

3. How did you hear about Orca Rugby?
I first heard about rugby from a friend of mine while I was in high school and she tried to get me to come out for two years. I finally decided to give it a try and promised I would go to ONE practice. I was so out of shape I thought I might die during that first practice, but I fell in love instantly.

4. What was one of your favorite memories playing for Orca?
I remember very clearly that my first game was in SLO, I had only been to three practices before my first game and as I was taking the pitch for the first time, I nervously asked my teammates, "Hey, so how do you play this game?" Everyone laughed and told me how funny I was, they didn't realize I was being serious. I laughed to myself and decided I would just figure it out on my own.

5. What would you say to middle school/ high school kids who were thinking about playing rugby?
I played sports most of my life, starting with soccer and field hockey, then moving on to swimming and cross country. Rugby is unlike any other sport I have ever played. You have an instant family anywhere you go and find fellow ruggers. The comradery and community are unlike any other thing I have ever experienced. Rugby is the only sport I know of that your opponents and the refs will help you improve your form and give you advice in the middle of the match. Rugby helped me to become more confident on and off the field and started some of the best and longest-lasting friendships with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. It helped me learn a great work ethic which has helped me in my professional and academic careers as well as my professional life. Playing rugby was one of the best decisions I have ever made!”


Building the alumni network

One of the measures of our Club's success is to see our graduates continuing to play and enjoy the game long into adult life. If any Orca Alumni would like to be added to this list then please email us at info@orcayouthrugby.org.