Canett, seen here at the LVI with the Atavus U18 All Stars
The most impressive wins of last week occurred in Vancouver, where the Girls High School All Americans won the first Vancouver Rugby Festival U18 division. The 12-player squad dominated the field and saw veterans and newcomers alike output a high-functioning 7s game. Although hard-pressed to choose, GHSAA 7s coach Emilie Bydwell singled out Kayla Canett as MVP and Player of the Week.
Canett burst onto the scene in 2013, when the then-freshman center scored two tries against Danville in the national championship quarterfinals. She continued to score tries throughout the tournament, working seamlessly with Fallbrook veterans like Megan Pinson, Richelle Stephens and Casey Karl, who taught newcomers like fellow freshman Michel Navarro and 8th grader Lilly Durbin about championship rugby.
Canett continued to feature at nationals, leaning on her excellent field vision developed in soccer and ballhandling skills honed in basketball to make her a mult-threat back. She’s played flyhalf and center for Fallbrook, and played fullback for the GHSAA 15s team that beat the BC U18s twice last summer. She’s played high-level 7s at the OTC high school residency camp and select sides like Atavus All Stars.
“Kayla represents the new generation of young players,” Bydwell explained. “Not only because of athleticism but now we have athletes coming out of high school who have had a ball in their hands for 4+ years. Her comfort with the ball and her ability to time her pass to release her teammates into space continues to impress me. I can’t wait to see how she does in collegiate rugby and beyond!”