The Oakland Warthogs Youth Rugby Program exists to improve the lives and character of young men in Oakland, while motivating them to obtain a college education. Our program teaches young men principles of success through the sport of rugby. They learn the power of teamwork, discipline, hard work, respect, and being a family. Our coaching staff mentors our participants on and off of the rugby pitch.  We require a 2.0 minimum grade point average to play in games and we push our players to exceed that requirement in order to improve their chances of being accepted to the college of their choice.  A winning record is not our priority, rather a reward to our participants for their hard work and efforts.  The vast majority of our participants live in poverty.  It is only through fundraising efforts, donations, grants, and sponsorships that our program is able to survive. 

Each season, we learn from the past season and are committed to continously improving. Each year we are looking to expand our program to more participants.  We are also looking to obtain community support to assist us with efforts such as after school tutoring, college applications, grants and scholarship applications, and mentoring.  You do not have to be a rugby fan to assist. We only ask that you be determined to make a difference in the lives of our participants, if you are kind enough to donate your time and energy to them.  We want the best for each and every one of our participants.  If you want and know that you can make a huge difference, please contact Ryan Burke at .  Please feel free to email us with any form of support, advice, or suggestions.  This is our community and if you have the tools to be successful, why not pass them on with us?  Seeing the difference in our boys and knowing that YOU improved a life is so fulfilling and one of the greatest rewards of being alive!

2013 Season Accomplishments


Earned the Jefferson Award for Voluneerism

Began pre-practice tutoring program


Rhino Rugby donated many pads and gear to our team this season


Our former teammate moved to Las Vegas and has been training for the 2013 Junior Rugby World Championships and made the team to represent our country in France


We donated $600 to a former player at CSU, Chico for him to travel with the team to collegiate playoffs


NFL Alumni sponsored us and held a fundraiser with us to profit over $10K


We sent 4 players to Central Washington University for a College Recruiting Trip. One was offered a $9,000 scholarship per year.


We sent 4 players to Western Washington University for a College Recruiting Trip in which they wanted two of the players.


Performed 4 community services including handing out 60 pizzas and warm clothing to homeless in Oakland/Berkeley, assisted with a Rebuilding Together at Fort Funston in San Francisco, provided labor to beautify Merritt College Horticulture Department, and assisted Play Rugby USA in setting up Inagural San Francisco Rugby Cup Tournament


Teamed up with Oakland Firefighter and USA Rugby Coach to raise nearly $50K for the families after the tragedy that took the lives of two of our former teammates


Held first ever Team Training to improve communication, commitment, and brotherhood


Held college seminars and sent players to other local college seminar programs


5 graduating seniors are planning to attend community colleges and one former player was accepted to CSU, Chico and will attend in the fall of 2013.


Rugby Opportunity Fund sponsored 2 Warthogs to attend Cal Rugby Summer camp


We toured the CSU, Chico campus, won the tournament beating the Northern California Varsity Silver Division Champions, and camped for two nights

Sending a total of 12 players to summer rugby camps


Descriptions of Volunteers we are seeking.  All positions allow for individual growth, service to youth, as well as capacity to perform other duties in the program if desired.  Each volunteering position is to be fulfulling for the volunteer as well to create a win/win for all:

Assistant Program Administrator - This position would assist the current program president with administrative duties that include registering players online, data entry into League database for weekly scores etc., assist with fundraising duties, game day duties, and provide their input on what they believe the program needs in order to be most successful.

Full Time Backs Coach - We are looking for someone who has experience playing as a back and is interested in coaching young men.  This person is understands that the programs primary focus is the success of the participants off of the field and after that, we can increase our focus of the success on the field.  This person is looking to give back the gifts he was given by this great game and to pass on the life tools that he was fortunate to be given by others in his life.  Practice is 2-3 days per week, games 1 day per week (working for Friday nights), and fundraising events/college campus tours are TBD. Presence at games and practice must be a minimum of 90%.

Team Mom(s) - This person(s) loves to assist young men by making a difference in there lives. This person not only assists with hosting the other team by providing snacks and drink (paid for by the program), but also has input with the players at practices and games.  Team moms are encourged to provide feedback to the coaches and the players.  Ideally this person is a mother of one of our participants, but we are happy to have anybody fill in this team need, who is up to making a difference in the lives of young men in Oakland.

Team Photographer - This person enjoys taking photographs of rugby or sports and wants to provide our young men with memories of their youth experience in rugby.  This person makes it a priorty to make themselves available at the vast majority of most games, especially tournaments, fundraising events, community service events, and other program activities. We welcome as many photographers as possible to capture our season.

Team Videographer - This person enjoys recording rugby or sporting events and will burn a dvd for the team to view the following week.  We will also utilize this video to send college recruiters and USA Rugby U-19 Officials to provide our players with greater opportunities. The team videographer makes themselves available  at the vast majority of our games and tournaments.  We also will use the season's footage to create a season highlight film.  We welcome as many videographers as possible to capture our season.

Team Tutors - This person is interested in assisting our participants in raising their grades in their effort to obtain higher learning.  We will work together to establish a schedule that works for the players and the tutor(s).  If a player is falling below a 2.0 GPA, we will work to have the tutor spend time tutoring that player(s) during our scheduled practices, and as felt necessary by the tutor.

Assistance with College & Financial Aid Applications - This person understands the college entry applications and Financial Aid process and spends time with players and their families to obtain and complete college and financial aid applications. This position is the opportunity to create the biggest difference with our participants and their opportunities for a higher education.  We will work together to establish times and meeting locations to make us most effective with this process.

Collegiate Liason - This person assists us with contacting colleges and universities for campus tours as well as promoting our players to college rugby programs.  This position does not require an extreme amount of time and energy, though the more time and energy this person chooses to take on, the more participants we provide the utmost collegiate opportunity to!




Where Are They Now?

(These former Warthogs are up to good things)


Lavaka Maile - Contra Costa College : Siliveinusi Tomasi - College of San Mateo : Tesimoni Tongauiha - Laney College : Simione Havea, Majerle Taugavau, William Moa, David Moa - Laney College : Samson Higano - CSU, Chico : Luis Portillo - Laney College


Roman Navarro - UCSB  : Felipe Lopez - CSU, Chico: Eric Pena - Merritt College : Olo Fifita - College of Alameda : Roydon Finau - College of San Mateo : Tavake Moa - UCSC : Ruben Cornejo - Expressions College


Miguel Pena - Merritt College


Jose Pena - University of California, Berkeley

Daniel Cornejo - Oakland Police Officer, CSU, San Francisco

Jesus Jimenez - CSU, San Francisco : Leon Tan - UCSB