2016 - 2017 : Rebellion Rugby Board Members
PRESIDENT: PHILLIP KHOMMARATH
I have been playing rugby for 4 1/2 years. My favorite moments with the Rebellion are when we compete at local, national and international tournaments. The Rebellion is important to me because it provides a community to be a part of. The bonds that I have formed could not have been created from any other organization. It is a fraternity the transcends language, age, gender, sexual identity and geographical boundaries. Making connections with players from all walks of life has been an experience that I would not trade for anything.
TREASURER: WILL PADILLA
How long you have been playing rugby: 13 years
Favorite moment with the Rebellion: My favorite moment was the overall trip to Sydney for Bingham Cup 2014
Why is the Rebellion important to you: The Rebellion is important because it allows me the opportunity to help develop myself and others in the sport of rugby. It also allows me the ability to help other LGBT members in sport, giving them a safe space to be active and welcomed
What you do for a living off the pitch: HR Business Partner, Red Bull Media House
VICE PRESIDENT: ERIC ANDERSON
I started playing rugby when I was eleven years old, back in Argentina. A very popular sport down there and part of the sports activities at school. Rugby is one of the few sports where all players are important and must rely on each other to succeed.
In 2001, I co-founded and coached the Rebellion RFC with the objective of giving the LGBT community the opportunity to feel welcome to a competitive team sport that builds camaraderie and lasting friendships. My favorite moment would be the first Bingham Cup in San Francisco, 2002. The team was barely a year old and after many injuries we made it to the semi-finals with only twelve players left. We refused to forfeit for being short the players needed, playing our best and earning fourth place in the tournament.
There were only twelve teams back then. The LGBT rugby community has grown globally in a rapid pace, now reaching seventy teams worldwide. Having now played in three clubs internationally, and helping found clubs in Rome and Montpellier, I'm proud to continue to be a part of this movement and to be a Rebel.
2016/17 will be my seventh year with the Los Angeles Rebellion and playing rugby in general. I have played a variety of forward positions (and even wing once in a 7s game), but I enjoy and excel at Prop the most. My favorite memory with the team is definitely Bingham Cup 2014 in Sydney. I got to travel around Australia with a teammate the week before the tournament. There was torrential rained all three days of games, which was new for a team from Southern California. One of the highlights of the event was the pool party after the first day of games. I am looking forward to the Bingham Cup in Nashville 2016. For a living, I am a Workers' Comp paralegal. Rebellion rugby is the first athletic endeavor of my choice and I have found it to be a great way to balance work and play.
GAME DAY COORDINATOR:
This season will be my fourth, both with the Rebellion and playing rugby. Like most, it's difficult to identify a singular best experience, but recently it was travelling to Seattle for Magnitude 2015. It's always such a pleasure to kickback and have fun with friends, on and off the pitch. Rugby has a special place in my heart as the first team sport I'd ever played. As such, I strongly identify with the social, comradery, and teamwork aspects of the game, rather than the physicality and competition; however, those are pretty great, too! On the pitch, I make my living as a hooker, while off the pitch, I work nights as a medical social worker in the Emergency Department at Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s Hospitals.
FUNDRAISING CHAIR: JIM LOUSSAERT
After moving back to Los Angeles and spending several boring months in the gym, Jim (aka Tex) joined the Rebellion in 2014 having never played rugby before. He was hooked from the first game and never looked back, even after suffering an injury that benched him early on in his rookie season. Back on the field, Jim plays tight head prop for the team, and was thrilled to participate in his first Bingham Cup this past May 2016. Now serving in his second year as Fundraising Chair, Jim is proud to support the team's efforts to promote equality through sport. A "mad scientist" by day, Jim is an analytical chemist specializing in surface science, spectroscopy and materials science, helping prove that nerds are just as tough on and off the pitch.
FIELD COORDINATOR: CHRIS NAFTZGER
I joined the Rebellion last season despite being 35 years old, out of shape and never playing a second of rugby in my life. I was looking for a new way to get fit and make some new friends. I quickly felt accepted by the Rebellion as rugby combined my love of sports, beer, friendship and equality. My favorite rugby moment was after spending much of the season coming off the bench, being thrust into the starting lineup on short notice and receiving the forward of the match honor in our final home game. When not playing rugby, I'm a reality TV development coordinator, husband to Jennifer and father to Chloe.
ACTIVATION CHAIR: CESAR ROMERO
I've been playing rugby for almost eight years now, and have been played with the Rebellion on-and-off for about five of those years. I recently finished school in San Diego, so I now have the opportunity to finally commit myself to bettering this team. The first time I played in a match with the Rebellion, I knew there was no other team like them. I haven't found a team who has such a strong sense of comradery, respect, and a love for this amazing sport.