The Tigers (4-0) and the team previously known as Douglas County (5-0) have put up some impressive numbers over the past month. Summit have shutout opponents 303-0, while Castle Rock have put 207 points between themselves and opponents.
The perennial state champion is favored in the matchup, but coach Karl Barth is using this match to gauge the relative strength of this year’s team.
“We have a senior backline that has been fun to watch,” Barth said. “They run some crazy angles, move the ball nicely, and have been playing some sophisticated rugby.”
Scrumhalf Haley Anderson, aka Peach, anchors the backline and racked up a lot of experience during this summer’s U20 Nations Cup.
“Peach was on song with the boot and watching her run the game is like watching Tom Brady running the no-huddle,” Barth had said of Anderson after the team’s 78-0 win over Regis earlier this month. “Calm and calculating, just pulling the strings.”
Also adding some punch to lineup is sophomore fullback Maddy Hunt-Snyder, who in the team’s last game against Chaparral (106-0), scored six tries.
“She’s incredibly fast and ran a 4.96 40-yard as a freshman last year,” Barth said. “When [USA U20 coach] Bryn [Chivers] held a players camp here, she definitely caught his eye.”
Chivers also took note of flanker cum center Bailey Thompson, who is new to the sport and epitomizes the strength of the sophomore class. The forwards are mostly underclassmen as well and are led by up-and-comers like prop Rachel Fitch.
Castle Rock isn’t without its stars either. During Chivers’ selection camp held on Sept. 17, Castle Rock captain and flanker Nicole Rowland was especially impressive during the final scrimmage.
Barth acknowledged that his team is likely favored for a repeat state title, and it’s hard to imagine anyone disagreeing. Douglas Country will give them the best challenge of the regular season, but the Tigers have done well to distance themselves from the competition over the recent years. Barth will take his team southern California in November, however, to take on Girls U19 National Champion Fallbrook, and questions as to how Summitt stacks up to the rest of the country will be answered then.