Seven years ago, TC Fusion brought the opportunity to play competitive rugby to the youth of Tooele County.
Earlier this year, the club brought home its first state championship, beating Brighton 38-17 in the Division 2 title game, thanks in large part to a group of seniors who have been a part of the club since they started playing for the under-12 squad and worked their way up to the high school team.
“It was definitely determination from the club,” TC Fusion coach Mike Lloyd said, noting that low numbers meant the club had to combine its varsity and junior-varsity squads by the end of the year. “It was a lot of hard work from the gentlemen.”
TC Fusion had to beat Skyridge in the Division 2 semifinals to advance to the final game, which was a rematch of a disheartening four-point loss in the regular-season finale. The championship game was similarly close for most of the way until TC Fusion pulled away.
“After a hard-fought match for the first 50-60 minutes of an 80-minute game, which was back and forth, we were finally able to pull away with a few quick tries and ended up beating them 38-17,” Lloyd said.
In seven years, TC Fusion has continued to grow and the rugby community in Tooele County continues to get stronger, Lloyd said. In addition to the 15-man high school team, the club boasts under-12 and under-14 squads, as well as a high school sevens team.
“There is definitely good commitment by a strong core of families and players,” Lloyd said. “A lot of the gentlemen that are currently playing have had older siblings that have been on the club. With that, we’ve also had a nice influx of younger players. We just had an under-12 team finish fourth just a couple weeks ago. It’s definitely getting a lot more noticed and respected out here in Tooele.”
The state-championship winning squad included Hinckley Alesana, Landon Atherley, Caleb Baker, Braxton Borders, Tylan Brady, Dallon Brooks, Joseph Brown, Bowen Colledge, Jamon Davis, Fineasi Fakahau, Amir Ffrench, Darien Garcia, Marcello Harryman, Patrick Iongi, Hayden Kay, David Kendall, Jordan Leakehe, Josh Leakehe, Jeff Lemmon, Derrick Merino, Zealand Randell, Ethan Rieffanaugh, D’warren Robinson, Cody Roseborough, Maxamillion Ross, Mateialona Taafuli, Jonathan Tellez, Niko Valerio, Tyler Wallis, Sean Warren and Blayke White.