College football star chooses rugby over NFL

first_imgIsland heritageThough Wooching was born in Hawaii, the influence of his father — who heralds from the rugby-mad island of Samoa — has always weighed strongly on his shoulders.While most kids are told not to play with fire, Wooching was taught the opposite. As part of his Samoan heritage, he learned fire knife dancing from a young age and still bears the blistering scars from it today.”It ties into the whole culture thing and how I was raised,” he says. “It’s a Samoan thing. You know, the warriors do it. My dad taught me a lot when I was young, and you learn lessons through it.”Like the fire — the concept of not keeping your hands on too long. That relates to life and different things that you might come across.”Then there’s the maze of tattoos spreadeagled across Wooching’s shoulders, torso and limbs.”Most of my tattoos aren’t finished. They’re still telling the story of my life and as I progress and walk down the road, I’ll keep on adding things to my tattoos to signify big events or stuff like that, family things in my life.”Wooching’s faith — his Twitter bio refers to himself as a “Soldier of God” — shapes his life on and off the field. He first picked up a rugby ball on a Christian missionary visit to New Zealand and played the game well into his high school years until a coach recommended he try his hand at football.But he’s always had an ache to return to rugby, something which has been fed by watching highlight reels of Samoa’s Tuilagi brothers. Renowned for making big hits and scoring blistering tries, the five Tuilagis play an all-action brand of rugby Wooching dreams of emulating.”There’s a whole bunch of them but Alesana and Manu, I really try to mirror my game around them. I love to go into contacts and just be that fearless back taking the ball into tackles and making yards,” he says.”Those are the two that I generally look up to — some island players who have gone out and made a name for themselves.” USA: Rugby’s ‘sleeping giant’Rugby is considered to be the fastest-growing sport in the US. This month’s Las Vegas Sevens attracted record crowds for the seventh year in a row, boasting over 80,000 spectators across the three days.After a disappointing Olympics, the US team is enjoying its best season in the world series; having finished sixth for the past two seasons, it is fifth ahead of next week’s Hong Kong Sevens. The likes of Perry Baker and Carlin Isles are among the fastest players on the global circuit.”I think the best athletes in the world are in America,” Wooching says. “It’s just, you know, transitioning those guys into rugby and just gaining the knowledge — upping the knowledge in the game, people learning instead of just relying on pure talent and skill-set.”For Wooching, the rise of the game in the US is “awesome.” But he’s still unsure about which country he’d represent — the States or Samoa — if the opportunity should arise, nor which format of the game he’d specialize in.”I’m still trying to get to the top of whatever that may be: 15-aside, sevens, the US sevens, the US 15s, overseas, whatever that might be,” he says.”I think at the end of the day 15s is what is what I want to do, and if I can get there through sevens then I’ll do that.”Wooching’s immediate plans are just to get on a rugby field and start pursuing the game he was born to love.”What attracts me the most is the brotherhood and the stuff like that you build through rugby and the travel and all that,” he says.”Yeah, oh I’m stoked, I get to run out with all these good players, couple of teams from international places, yeah, I just love it, it just brings a smile to my face.” He had captained the Washington Huskies to the national championship playoffs, and had an opportunity that most players can only dream of.But not Wooching. Ever since he was a kid growing up in Hawaii, this burly, tattooed linebacker had harbored dreams of a different kind.”My passion was rugby,” the 23-year-old tells CNN. “The first time I picked up a ball … that’s when my love for the game started, and ever since then it’s just been gaining.”I was getting a lot of interest from agents, 20-plus agents would call my phone, connect with me through social media and what-not. I know the thing that attracts most people to NFL is the income, the money and all that, but rugby is like a little brother that kept nagging at me saying, ‘Hey you got to play, you got to play.'”Wooching now plays rugby union for the Seattle Saracens — which competes in the British Columbia League — and sevens in an invitational, US-based franchise named after Fijian legend Waisale Serevi.He is still unsure where his future lies. But at 6 foot 4 inches and 241 pounds, his powerful physique is the sort that can wreak havoc in any format of the game.last_img read more


first_imgIt was a beautiful evening in Termon with perfect conditions for running. The winning time was 15:50 by Ivan Toner from Letterkenny AC.Over 200 people took part, and all participants were well refreshed with tea and sandwiches back in the Craobhin afterwards. The 15:00 minute challenge remains to be broken next year!Place Number Name Time Category Club1 15 Ivan Tower 00:15:50 SM Letterkenny A C2 96 Anthony Doherty 00:15:51 SM Letterkenny A C3 19 Roy McGilloway 00:15:54 SM Foyle Valley4 79 John McElhill 00:16:10 SM Finn Valley A C5 30 Daniel Hannigan 00:16:13 SM Letterkenny A C6 18 Pius McIntyre 00:16:25 SM Foyle Valley7 59 Darragh Crossan 00:16:30 SM Foyle Valley8 14 Terry Murphy 00:16:49 M40 Foyle Valley9 26 Raymond Birch 00:17:06 SM Letterkenny A C10 73 Paddy Ryan 00:17:10 SM Finn Valley A C11 60 Brian McCrea 00:17:15 SM Finn Valley A C12 57 Anthony Doherty 00:17:16 M40 Milford AC13 51 Gerard McGrannaghan 00:17:19 SM Letterkenny A C14 61 Paul Russell 00:17:29 SM Milford AC15 21 Sean Boyce 00:17:47 SM Milford AC16 328 Eoin Kelly 00:17:5417 12 Rodney Campbell 00:17:55 M40 Foyle Valley18 53 Zachary McGowan 00:17:56 SM City Of Derry19 82 Fionnuala Diver 00:17:57 SW Letterkenny A C20 35 Patrick Brennan 00:17:59 SM Letterkenny A C21 63 Aaron Cole 00:18:03 M40 Foyle Valley22 108 Kevin McElwaine 00:18:22 SM23 7 Padraig Friel 00:18:24 M40 Letterkenny A C24 22 Makita Burke 00:18:34 SW Letterkenny A C25 50 Monica McGrannaghan 00:18:37 SW Letterkenny A C26 344 Ben Harkin 00:18:3927 48 Martin Dunleay 00:18:47 M50 Foyle Valley28 122 Kevin McDaid 00:18:48 SM Termon29 52 Hannah McGowan 00:18:52 SM City Of Derry30 89 Neil Kelly 00:18:55 JM31 8 Paul Cosgrave 00:18:57 M50 Letterkenny A C32 38 John Hughes 00:19:05 M50 Letterkenny A C33 64 Raymond McGahey 00:19:08 M4034 348 Ruairi Dennehy 00:19:1235 34 Sinead Peoples 00:19:14 SW Letterkenny A C36 133 Anthony Grant 00:19:14 JM Termon37 116 Eoin Boyle 00:19:15 M40 Errigal Cycling38 321 Caolan Gallagher 00:19:1939 9 Francess Judge 00:19:20 W50 Letterkenny A C40 11 Barry Mackie 00:19:21 M50 Letterkenny A C41 349 Ryan McFadden 00:19:2942 99 Paul Lee 00:19:32 M40 Letterkenny A C43 101 Dereek Alcorn 00:19:33 M4044 4 James Whoriskey 00:19:34 SM Milford AC45 106 Donal Haughey 00:19:35 M60 Tír Chonaill A C46 36 Paul Sweeney 00:19:36 SM Letterkenny A C47 37 Colin O’Donnell 00:19:42 SM Letterkenny A C48 10 Seamus Gallagher 00:19:43 M60 Letterkenny A C49 49 James Donaghue 00:19:44 M40 Convoy50 104 Naoise Enright 00:19:47 M40 Letterkenny A C51 23 Maire Boyle 00:19:51 SW Letterkenny A C52 66 Franic Pinder 00:19:51 M5053 152 Joe Devine 00:20:06 M4054 6 Martin Kerr 00:20:07 M6055 135 Stephen Cunnighan 00:20:12 SM56 352 Oisin Harkin 00:20:1457 305 Cian McMenamin 00:20:1658 105 John McCafferty 00:20:18 SM59 107 Steve McElwaine 00:20:28 SM60 157 Terence Boyle 00:20:28 SM Kilcar61 81 Deirdre Diver 00:20:32 SW Letterkenny A C62 162 Therese McCafferty 00:20:38 SW63 147 Darren Murray 00:20:39 SM64 92 Keith Gordon 00:20:40 SM Shanling65 55 Sean O’Leary 00:20:43 M50 Finn Valley A C66 43 Marie Rooney 00:20:48 W50 Tír Chonaill A C67 31 Manus Peoples 00:20:51 M5068 93 John Fealty 00:20:54 M5069 389 Oisin Cassidy 00:21:0070 80 Eamon Kerr 00:21:05 M4071 20 Emma McGilloway 00:21:06 JW Foyle Valley72 165 John A Mullen 00:21:07 M4073 88 Pat Kelly 00:21:10 M5074 65 Nat Doherty 00:21:12 M40 Milford AC75 134 Liam Ferry 00:21:15 SM Run 4 Fun76 25 Richard Raymond 00:21:20 M60 Letterkenny A C77 28 Margaret Shields 00:21:28 W40 Letterkenny A C78 29 Stephen Shields 00:21:30 M40 Letterkenny A C79 76 Kilian Nulty 00:21:31 M40 24/7 Triathlon80 58 John Ferry 00:21:38 M5081 359 Conor McFadden 00:21:3982 111 Sean Sweeney 00:21:44 M5083 102 Conor Faul 00:21:47 JM 24/7 Triathlon84 72 Roisin Ni Dhuibhir 00:21:52 SW85 27 Evelyn Boyle 00:21:53 W50 Rosses A.C.86 119 Chris Carr 00:21:57 SM87 313 Niall Murray 00:22:0688 320 Chloe Sheils 00:22:1189 56 Pat Byrne 00:22:12 M50 Killybegs A C90 100 Frank McTaggart 00:22:16 M40 Milford AC91 90 Joe McLaughlin 00:22:21 SM92 40 James Doherty 00:22:25 M60 Milford AC93 163 Petra McCafferty 00:22:26 SW94 365 Conor Casey 00:22:3095 161 Seamus Sweeney 00:22:32 M4096 67 Jackie Harley 00:22:35 W50 Tír Chonaill A C97 5 Maeve McDaid 00:22:36 JW98 428 Shannon McLaughlin 00:22:3799 33 Maeve McEnhill 00:22:38 SW100 121 Kieran Murray 00:22:39 SM Milford AC101 3 Aine Uí Fhíoruisce 00:22:49 SW Milford AC102 68 Annette Sheehy 00:22:50 W40 Milford AC103 83 Thomas Cullen 00:22:51 SM104 307 Rionach McMenamin 00:22:51105 342 Jack O’Neill 00:23:05106 47 Barry Foley 00:23:07 SM107 86 Rory Kennedy 00:23:10 M50108 78 Angus Hunter 00:23:12 M50109 306 Oran McMenamin 00:23:13110 129 Patrick Durning 00:23:23 M40 Errigal Cycling111 361 Blake Boal 00:23:25112 148 Marie Mullen 00:23:26 W40113 126 Nancy McNamee 00:23:26 W50 Finn Valley A C114 128 Anne Doherty 00:23:26 W50115 164 Sean Moffitt 00:23:27 SM116 54 Caroline McNulty 00:23:34 SW Finn Valley A C117 17 Brian Gallagher 00:23:35 M60118 77 Mark Russell 00:23:41 SW119 355 Patrick Fegan 00:23:42120 351 Cormac Gallagher 00:23:43121 382 Nathan Grant 00:23:44122 39 Paddy Toye 00:23:45 M40123 75 Noelle Doherty/Ryan 00:23:57 SW124 74 Liam Doherty 00:23:58 M40125 366 Eoghan McElwaine 00:23:59126 146 John McElwaine 00:24:04 M40127 1 Paul Gallagher 00:24:06 M40128 378 Evan Coleman 00:24:15129 127 Chris McNulty 00:24:20 SM130 13 Dessie McCourt 00:24:22 M40 Foyle Valley131 387 Emmet McGettigan 00:24:23132 42 Noel McBride 00:24:29 M50133 149 Orla Blades 00:24:29 JW134 159 Sean McAuliffe 00:24:31 M40 24/7 Triathlon135 32 Michelle Ferguson 00:24:37 SW136 143 Oisin Kelly 00:24:38 SM137 71 Michael Gibbon 00:24:50 M40 Run 4 Fun138 87 Noel Heekin 00:24:51 SM139 44 Gerry Burke 00:24:52 M50140 45 Nigel Keonn 00:25:00 M40141 110 Barry Tinney 00:25:06 M40142 85 Charlie McSurley 00:25:13 M40 Letterkenny A C143 145 Gloria Donnaghey 00:25:17 W50 Finn Valley A C144 132 Paula McCusker 00:25:20 JW Termon145 304 Steve McDaid 00:25:29146 319 John McCallig 00:25:31147 150 Emily Oflynn 00:25:32 JW148 62 Rosemary Russell 00:25:34 W40149 136 Hannah McSharry 00:25:34 JW150 160 Eileen Morning 00:25:50 W40 Shanling151 115 Paul Bucanan 00:25:57 M40152 2 Sinead Thornton 00:26:02 W40 Milford AC153 154 Kieran Black 00:26:20 JM154 325 Peter Russell 00:26:30155 112 Bernie O’Donnell 00:26:34 W40 Milford AC156 91 Kim Nugent 00:26:37 SW157 46 Billy Broderick 00:27:02 M50 Killybegs A C158 109 Anne Marie Stewart 00:27:24 SW159 70 Noreen Pinder 00:27:44 W40160 118 Susie Bogan 00:27:58 SW161 113 Josie Gallagher 00:28:14 W40162 131 Andrea McGettigan 00:28:18 SW 24/7 Triathlon163 153 Kieran Kelly 00:28:54 SM164 329 Eileen Pinder 00:28:55165 103 Amanda Faul 00:28:56 W40166 97 Amanda Toland 00:29:13 SW167 331 Eoin Watson 00:29:14168 337 Adam McElwaine 00:29:22169 130 Bridie Devenney 00:29:25 SW 24/7 Triathlon170 373 Dianne McMahon 00:29:34171 330 Frankie Pinder 00:29:55172 125 Grainne Doherty 00:30:04 W40173 144 Ailbhe Dunne 00:30:08 W40 24/7 Triathlon174 422 Eamon Diver 00:30:16175 123 Maureen Gallagher 00:30:22 W40 Termon176 151 Annette Toye 00:30:35 W40177 94 Noreen Fegan 00:30:56 W40178 120 Fiona McConnell 00:30:58 W40179 333 Oisin McGroarty 00:31:08180 95 Linda McGroarty 00:31:09 SW181 41 Ann Doherty 00:31:12 W60 Milford AC182 141 Desmond Brownliy 00:31:34 M60 Lagan Valley183 339 Ronan Burke 00:31:44184 314 Rebecca Murray 00:31:46185 117 Kathleen McCourt 00:31:53 W40186 69 Darina Nugent 00:32:04 SW187 367 Seanan Boyle 00:33:06188 309 Eithne Duggan 00:33:43189 310 Roisin Duggan 00:33:45190 315 Shane Murray 00:33:50191 303 David Lyons 00:33:52192 24 Patricia Murray 00:33:57 SW Milford AC193 124 Ann Doherty 00:34:06 W40194 84 Edel McDermott 00:34:26 W40195 332 Jack McDermott 00:34:26196 420 Ryan Moffitt 00:34:36197 301 Dermot Lyons 00:34:46198 374 Dan O’Connell 00:35:12199 385 Ciaran Casidy 00:36:08200 386 Cormac Brady 00:36:09MORE THAN 200 TAKE PART IN TERMON 5K – WHERE DID YOU COME? was last modified: June 28th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalTermon 5Klast_img read more