A passion for mashin’

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© Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
Christian Galvan, a senior-to-be at Camarillo High, is a workout warrior and three-sport student-athlete. © Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers

Christian Galvan will never workout to Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical.”

Being physical in sports is what Galvan is all about, however.

The Camarillo High seniorto be is a multisport standout, excelling in football, wrestling and rugby. Toiling on the rugby field is what he does best.

“It’s about grunt work,” he said. “It’s about using brute force.”

The 5- foot- 8, 180- pound workhorse was named to the Southern California All- Star Men’s U-17 Rugby Team, the Griffins. Galvan will play in an all-star tournament in Denver on June 18-19.

“It’s a great feeling,” the Scorpion said. “My hard work paid off.”

At the crack of dawn on school days this year, Galvan jogged 4 miles one way from home to campus. He lifted weights and worked out with the ACHS football team during sixth period. Twice a week after football, he’d attend rugby practice. For three months, he was working out six days a week.

A flanker for the all-star squad, Galvan is a scrum half with the Orca Rugby youth club, which practices and plays in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks.

The Scorpion likes rugby’s nonstop action and teamwork.

“Everybody contributes,” Galvan said of rugby. “It’s not like the quarterback or running back in football making all the plays. We work together.

“I like that it’s more diverse than football. It’s an international sport. It’s played around the world. Even if you don’t speak the same language, you can connect by playing rugby.”

He also enjoys the sport because he has to think before making a tackle to protect himself. Rugby players aren’t bogged down in armor, like in football.

“Rugby teaches us to use our body and brain,” Galvan said. “It’s mental, too.”

The 17- year- old has been playing the sport for six years.

As a youngster, he tagged along to watch his brother Nico, now 19, practice with Orca.

Galvan soon found his niche with the sport.

“He’s determined,” said Jack Ireland, an incoming senior at Newbury Park High who also earned a spot on the all-star team.

“ He keeps working. Even if we’re far down, he’ll keep working. He even likes to smile, even if he gets tackled or he laid someone out.”

Orca coach Tim Hoffmann said the players on the girls’ club affectionately nicknamed Galvan “Giggles” because of his good nature.

“He’s always positive,” said Hoffmann, a Camarillo resident who helped form the Orca club more than a decade ago.

“He works hard. He’s fearless and he understand the game. The people that excel in rugby are generally not the most athletic, but he’s very athletic. It’s the ones who understand what’s going on and can understand their part on the team.”

Camarillo’s Courtney DiMauro and Amber Ruiz made the girls’ U-17 rugby all-star team with Sierra Brooks of Newbury Park.

The girls will play in a California Cup tournament against Northern California standouts on June 25 at a site to be determined. The trio’s expected to play another regional tournament July 9-10 in Portland, Ore.

Galvan works on his cardiovascular endurance and form tackling.

To maintain the strength in his legs, he does plenty of squats, lunges, yoga and plyometrics. Stretching is crucial to his workout routine.

Although he’s currently nursing a sprained ankle, he said he will be ready to play in Denver for his second all-star tournament appearance.

Galvan is involved in student government. He was elected by his fellow students for parliamentarian. Next year Galvan will help organize school events, including dances.

The son of Machelle and Adrian, Galvan has four other siblings: Dylan, 13, who plays rugby for Orca; Anakin, 10, who’s involved with drama; Mia, 8, a track, soccer, softball and ballet standout; and little brother Bodie, who is 16 months old.

On the gridiron, Galvan plays running back and outside linebacker. He’s wrestled for two years.

But he wants rugby to have more cachet at the high school level. The Scorpion dreams of playing rugby in the 2016 Olympics.

“I wish we had a school (rugby) team,” the Scorpion said.

“ Most people don’t know rugby exists. I want to bring it out of the darkness.”

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