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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Arena, Devore invited to USA Rugby's All-American Winter Camps

 

Last updated 12/31/2018 at 8:13am



Destiny Arena and Bella Devore were once teammates on Fallbrook High School's girls rugby club, and they are currently teammates on the Lindenwood University women's rugby team. Both will spend part of their winter break in Chula Vista thanks to their invitations to USA Rugby's All-American Winter Camps at the Olympic Training Center.

"It's exciting," said Fallbrook co-coach Craig Pinnell.

USA Rugby will have separate camps for under-18 boys, under-18 girls, under-19 men and under-19 women. Arena and Devore will be part of the under-19 women's camp.

"It's nice to see them coming in," Pinnell said.

A total of 178 players will participate in the four camps, including 36 under-19 women.

"It's quite a big group," Pinnell said.

The Women's Junior All-Americans, as the under-19 women's group is called, will begin their camp activity Dec. 27, and will conclude with a intrasquad match Dec. 31. Arena and Devore may be able to participate in Fallbrook High School's alumni game Dec. 29 if the camp's Saturday schedule gives them enough of a break.

The athletes for each camp were selected based on recent age-grade assemblies, regional cup tournaments, and college and club competitions throughout the United States.

This is Arena's sophomore year at Lindenwood University.

"She's doing very well at that level," Pinnell said. "She's grown up a lot."

Lindenwood is in Missouri, but the team was in California in May when the Women's Division I Elite National Championship tournament was played in Fullerton. Arena was on the Lions team which captured the championship.

"She was on that team that won nationals," Pinnell said.

Devore is a freshman at Lindenwood, so she will be competing against older players for national team berths.

"I think it will be a challenge for her," Pinnell said.

Although four of the under-19 women participated in the under-20 Women's Tri-Nations Cup, Devore is one of five camp attendees who played in the Can-Am Futures Sevens tournament at the High School All-American level.

"It will be interesting to see how they all measure up," Pinnell said.

The objective of the All-American Winter Camps is to bring together promising players from throughout the United States.

"They're building to get players to come into the system," Pinnell said.

The program will play a role in identifying and developing future national team players.

"I hope that it doesn't just become a camp," Pinnell said. "I hope it goes to the next level."

 

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