Hawaiian Gardens
5 Images

In a scrum

An Eagles rugby team from Hawaiian Gardens lines up in a scrum to start the action. Coach Ernie Vargas has his two boys and one girls teams going to state playoffs this weekend. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Rugby player Chloe Venton carries the ball toward the goal as Josue Marquez, left, tries to tackle her during a scrimmage between the Eagles’ girls and boys teams. The girls squad went undefeated this season in division play. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Coach Ernie Vargas drills players at the Fedde Middle School athletic field. In a community plagued by youth gang violence, Vargas has coached three Hawaiian Gardens teams into top contenders in three years. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Coach Vargas gets in the middle of a scrimmage between the girls and boys junior high teams. Donyae Smith, center left, and Jasmine Johnson , lower right, team up to stop Peter Padilla. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Vargas demonstrates a pass technique as he drills players before the state playoffs. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)