EPA Razorhawks is proud of our highly experienced, dedicated, and passionate coaching and referee team. With deep experience playing and coaching rugby at levels from U8 through international competition, our team has the skills and expertise to ensure kids learn the fundamentals and enjoyment of rugby in a safe and professional manner.

We are always looking for new coaches and refs, so if you have played rugby and want to try your hand at coaching or becoming a ref, please contact us at: info@razorhawks.com. We will refund the cost of appropriate training courses and USA Rugby certification.

Sanita Thomas (sanita@razorhawks.com)

Sanita, our Club President, has been a proud supporter of the Razorhawks since 2015. Sanita Thomas, born and raised in the Fiji Islands - now a resident of the Bay Area for over 20 years, works as a nurse and newborn care specialist. Sanita is married to Jason Thomas and together they have 4 children. 

She joined the Razorhawks 8 years ago and has sat on the board in the capacity of hospitality, and also fundraising. She was a team mom for both her younger boys' teams and now sits as President. You will find Sanita walking the pitch at every practice and cheering her two younger sons on at every rugby game. The boys  play on the middle school and high school team respectively.

In her words, “Being raised in the Pacific Islands, rugby is like a religion. You spend every day of your youth watching some form of rugby 7s, 15s, or touch. I am proud to have my sons play for the Razorhawks Club. The coaches and players have helped my sons learn to be great team players, they have become confident, and respectful on and off the field. Playing at EPA allows for my boys to experience being with kids from different cultures and backgrounds. They are  making memories that they will carry for a lifetime I am excited to be with them on this journey.”.

Vaea Sanft (vaea@razorhawks.com

Vaea, our Club Co-President, was born and raised in East Palo Alto, CA. One out of eight children. Blessed to be married to Angelina and together have three children. John Hopate, Pafilio “Lio”, and princess Ariella Sanft. Vaea has deep roots in East Palo Alto, as well as the rugby culture in the neighborhood.

He played on the very first East Palo Alto Razorback High School Rugby team started by his cousin Coach Dave “TD” in 2002. Vaea then continued and played on the Men’s EPA Razorback National team in 2009 — a year in which they were undefeated and won the National Division 2 Title, as chronicled in the book "Crossing the 101" by Mike Klis.

Helps and currently coaches the U10-U12 youth rugby team. Out of his seven siblings, all of his nephews and nieces have played, or are currently playing for the EPA Razorhawks team. 

"The reason I came to the EPA Razorhawks team was because my two boys, Hopate and Lio. They said, 'Daddy we just want to go play with our cousins and play for EPA Razorhawks.'. Growing up in a city with drugs, crime, gang, and violence - sports I felt was the only way out. For me personally,  it is to give every kid the opportunity to experience what leadership, role model, respect, discipline, hard work, team work, accountability, and effort looks like in the game of rugby, which can translate into life.". "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22: 6 

Nicola Reidy (nicola@razorhawks.com)

Nicola, our Club Secretary, was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and moved to the Bay Area in 2012. She works as a Program Manager in a local tech company. Her son has played with the club for 4 years and is now on U10. She became involved in the Razorhawk’s management due to a desire to improve operations across the club. She is a fierce supporter of the Irish national rugby team, local rugby and all the benefits it brings to a community. 

Leinata "Lei" Takapautolo (leinata@razorhawks.com)

Leinata, our Club Registrar, is an East Palo Alto native who is no stranger to sports. She grew up watching her three older brothers play at the local EPA parks of MLK field, Kelly Park and Bell Street Rec Center.  Perhaps it’s here where she learned to love sports and later followed in their athletic footsteps by playing basketball, tennis and softball. Throughout her high school and JuCo athletic experiences, she earned many titles and was coached by the legendary Tom Martinez (RIP). Most significant was her two years of college softball where she earned a spot on the All American Team and was inducted into the College of San Mateo Softball Hall of Fame. 

It was 11 years ago when Lei discovered her love of rugby by watching her (then) 4-year-old son Andrew play.  Today, all three of her children are current Razorhawks and she enjoys staying involved by serving as a board member and registrar for the club.  She also volunteers her time as Team Mom for the high school boys team because she hopes to help this younger generation of student athletes understand the importance of hard work both on and off the field.

Greg “Smitty” Smith (smitty@razorhawks.com)

Smitty, our Club Treasurer, started coaching youth rugby for the RazorHawks in 2014 and is a NCYRA B and C License Certified Coach. Smitty’s playing career spanned 33 years as a flanker for a number of teams including Dartmouth College, the BATS of San Francisco, the New York Athletic Club, the Santa Monica Rugby Club, and the Wanderers of Singapore. He has also toured in Ireland, Spain, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. Smitty’s coaching experience includes serving as Forwards Coach at Dartmouth where he helped lead the men’s team to two National Collegiate Rugby final four appearances, losing to Cal Berkeley in the 1986 finals.

Alexander Key (alexander@razorhawks.com)

Alexander, our Club Chair of Fundraising Committee, played rugby for Hutton Grammar School for eight years in England. That team contained multiple future professionals and one future national team captain/coach (he wasn’t ‘anywhere’ near as good as them though!). Just before the pandemic he received USA Rugby Level 200 coaching certification and has been an assistant to Coach Katrina since January 2019. In 2023 he started working on fundraising with the new board. 

Katrina Logan (katrina@razorhawks.com)

Katrina, our former Club VP (and still very much involved), played for Stanford University Women's Rugby, the U-23 Pacific Coast Grizzlies and the U-23 National Team. After graduating from Stanford, she played for the Bay Area Shehawks, the Berkeley All Blues, and the Pacific Coast Grizzlies Senior 15s & 7s select sides. Katrina has served as an assistant coach for Stanford Women's Rugby team since 2008 and was head coach of the Berkeley All Blues for two seasons starting in 2015. When not on the pitch, Katrina is the Executive Director at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto.

Viliami "Pila" Pongi (pila@razorhawks.com)

Pila has over 25 years of experience playing rugby, from his start with Tupou College in Tonga through 20 years at the Men's Club level in the California Bay Area. Pila has been part of three national champion teams: San Mateo, Razorbacks, and Mission, where Pila earned the MVP title in the national championship match. He also played for the All Star sevens rugby team in 2006 and captained the Razorbacks in 2009—a year in which they were undefeated, as chronicled in the book Crossing the 101. Pila is very passionate about rugby and hopes to influence the younger generation (including two of his sons who are playing for the team) to find the same passion. One of the great values he has learned being a player on the field is, "Respect everybody, but fear nobody but God."

Rob Peterson is a Bay Area native who grew up playing soccer and basketball before discovering rugby in college. Rob quickly realized that this game that lets you move the ball with both hands and feet is far superior to anything else he'd played, and he's been in love with rugby ever since. Rob's playing career has included stints with representative sides like the Pacific Coast Grizzlies and with top-tier clubs like OMBAC.

Shaun Paga

Founding Board Member Shaun grew up in New Zealand and Menlo Park, where he wrestled and played football at Menlo-Atherton High School for the legendary Coach Parks, earned 1st team All-State honors in football at linebacker, and is in the M-A Hall of Fame. Shaun played football and rugby at Cal, winning five national championships as an All-American and team captain in 2001. Shaun played for the USA National Team the Eagles from 1998–2004, including in the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and locally for club powerhouse SFGG, where he is a member of their Hall of Fame.