Highland Rambler

The student news site of Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah

Highland Rambler

Highland Rambler

True Brotherhood – The Tupua’s and Highland Rugby

Brayden King
(Left to Right) Sione, Dalin, Dan, and Jason Tupua.


With a past as famous as Highland Rugby, one of the biggest aspects of the team is brotherhood. But that part of the team has a different meaning to the Tupua boys than the rest of the team.  

Highland senior Dan “Dan Dan” Tupua, Highland junior Jason “JJ” Tupua, and Highland sophomore Sione Tupua are brothers who are irreplaceable for the Highland Rugby team. They are team leaders, and all run the field together when the varsity team plays a game. They all enjoy the years that they get to spend running the field with each other.   

“I feel grateful, because at least there are people that care, and not a lot of people care,” Dan Dan said. “It’s definitely easier, it’s not easy taking on stuff alone. It’s always easier with family.” 

The Tupua family is a huge part of Highland rugby. The boys are talented and dedicated players, but along with that, their father – Dalin Tupua – is the coach of the team. They find it much easier and more fun with so much family surrounding them on the team.  

“It’s easier because we can yell at each other more. They know it’s all out of love and were just trying to make them better.” JJ said.  

Although their dad is the coach, there isn’t much pressure for them. They trust what they know and are all about the business. 

“Ya a little bit of pressure, but I just look at him as another coach on the field making me better,” JJ said.  

Rugby has been a part of this family’s culture for the boys’ entire lives. It’s been built into who they are.  

“Our dad wanted us to play because he played in high school,” Sione said.  

JJ and Dan Dan have a different perspective.  

“Rugby means staying fit,” Dan Dan said.  

“Our parents want to keep us active and not sit around and be lazy,” said JJ.  

These brothers grew up playing rugby. It’s been second nature to them since a very young age.  

“We started in elementary and now were all the way into high school,” JJ said.  

Besides being brothers, that’s not the only biological family they have on the team. They have cousins that play on the team as well. They love the brotherhood feeling that is installed into the Highland Rugby team and enjoy seeing the team practice each day. 

“Definitely a feeling of brotherhood. I grew up with most of them and I’m chill with them,” Dan Dan said. 

“Off the field we grew up together. We have a bond on and off the field,” Sione said. “The chemistry makes us better.” 

The brothers love that they have the opportunity to be leaders in the next chapter of a storied Highland Rugby history. Highland Rugby was world famous for many years under Coach Larry Gelwix. Highland won nationals 20 of the 27 years under Coach Gelwix and had an astonishing record of 418-10. In other words, there’s a lot of weight on these boys to play their part in keeping Highland in its prime, but they feel blessed to be part of the legend.  

“I feels good. It feels cool to know that our uncles and our family were good. It feels like we need to carry that on even more,” JJ said. 

“I feel proud. I wouldn’t change up for any other team,” Dan Dan said. “We love Highland Rugby.”  



Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Highland Rambler Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *