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Rough and tumble rugby players give back

Recognizing Youth Achievements
By: Russell Postell
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This month we would like to shine the light on a program that has become a great part of our community. Granite Bay Rugby has brought real opportunity to its players to go on to live the dream of playing a collegiate sport.

Four years ago John Kimble brought rugby to our community. The program started with 30 high school players and has grown to over 200 players from third grade to high school. More impressive is the fact that eight players have graduated and gone on to become collegiate athletes. Two of those players are starting as freshmen for a couple of the nation’s top collegiate rugby programs. 

John Kimble, who graduated from Granite Bay in 2012, is now starting hooker for the University of Arizona Wildcats. John started his rugby career with the inception of the Granite Bay Rugby team and was a star player from the start.

John says, “Rugby has made me the person I am today,” a scholar athlete with a world of opportunity in front of him. John’s dream is to represent the United States of America in the upcoming Olympics on the rugby Sevens team. 

”My goal in life is I want people to see me and think that I made a difference, whether its rugby or something completely different. I hope to influence as many people as possible for the better.” 

Taylor Honnette also graduated from Granite Bay in 2012 with a 4.1 GPA and was a member of the California Scholarship Federation his sophomore, junior and senior years. Taylor is now the starting fly half at California Polytechnic University. Taylor also started his rugby career with the inception of the Granite Bay program and was an outstanding player for all four years. 

Taylor’s greatest attribute is the help and time he provides and brings to others. In high school, Taylor spent his spring breaks in Mexico building homes for the homeless. In 2011 he volunteered time at the San Francisco Rescue Mission and organized children’s day camps at the Acres of Hope women’s shelter. Taylor is studying engineering at Cal Poly and wants to be a civil engineer. In addition, he also hopes to use his life experiences to help others by being a high school small group leader.

Granite Bay Rugby, John Kimble Sr. and Jr. and Taylor Honnette are examples of R. Postell’s vision. Improve the life of one person each day.

Russell Postell is owner of Postell Insurance in Granite Bay. Recognizing Youth Achievements is a monthly column highlighting the accomplishments of local students. E-mail your student’s achievement to rpostell@farmersagent.com.