We were treated to games between #1 and #2, and #3 and #4 this weekend. Even though the 1 v 2 matchup wasn’t a league game, it was played like one and BYU won it. St. Mary’s were right there for a while, but were blown out late, after they emptied their bench.
Don't get us wrong; BYU was the better team, but perhaps the score wasn't quite indicative of true competitive balance between the teams.
Meanwhile #4 Life did what we suspected they would, and won in Marietta. St. Mary’s drops from #2 to #3, and Life jumps from #4 to #2. Arkansas State drops a place.
That isn’t the only move in the D1-A Top 20. Colorado continues to provide us with some interesting fodder for rankings. Their 67-5 blowout of Arizona State has to move them up.
And we have one new team. Oklahoma drops out and Ohio State, which almost pulled off an upset over Kutztown, and looks stronger this year, goes in at #20.
BOULDER, Colo. – Twelve of the best American high school rugby players in the country will leave for the U.K. on March 24 to prep for theRosslyn Park HSBC National School 7stournament in London. The USA Rugby High School All-American Sevens team will compete in the open division of the tournament that kicks off on March 29.
The Rosslyn Park Sevens will be the second tournament for the HSAA7s this year. A run to the Cup final in the Las Vegas Invitational in February has given the team momentum and HSAA Head Coach, Salty Thompson, expects the team to perform well in a tough pool in London.
The HSAAs will face Welsh side Dyffryn Taf, Lycee Francais Charles De Gaulle, King Edward VI, and Nottingham in Group G. The Americans must win their pool if they hope to advance to the elimination rounds of the tournament.
Thompson knows that the team will face a stern challenge at Rosslyn Park, noting that many of the teams have highly competitive programs with long and proud rugby traditions, such as Nottingham H.S. and King Edwards VI.
“We’re going into deep water, it is going to be a huge challenge for us,” said Thompson of the open division of the tournament that is comprised of 21 pools with five teams in each pool. “To win this championship you have to play nine games in two days. It could end up being the survival of the fittest, literally."
The 12-man roster will get fully rotated the first day due to the demanding schedule. The HSAAs could play up to five games on day one if they win their pool. If they don’t, their tournament is over.
While wins are great, Thompson is always keeping an eye on the long-term development of the athletes as well as the HSAA program as a whole. The USA Rugby High School All-American program includes both fifteens and sevens teams, but players aren't limited to just one version of the game as Head Coach Salty Thompson sees sevens as a great development tool for new players. Case and point, a three-week South America tour in July for the HSAA fifteens team is an added carrot for an impressive performance in the London sevens tournament.
Some of the HSAA players may even put a hand up for National Team selection. Following the announcement in November 2011 that USA Rugby will contract its sevens athletes, many of the HSAAs are on the National Team radar and could earn a contract in the coming years.
The All-Americans may get a glimpse of another career path when they watch current Men’s National Team star (and former USA Men’s Eagle Sevens player) Chris Wyles’s professional team Saracens take on the Harlequins at Wembley Stadium in front of an expected crowd of more than 70,000.
BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICANS | ROSSLYNPARK SEVENS | MARCH 29-30
Name (Club; Hometown)
Nu’u Aiava (Hilo Reign; Hilo, Hawaii)
Dylan Audsley (TempeRugby Club; Phoenix, Ariz.)
Gavin Brown (North Central High School; Indianapolis, Ind.)
Jake Feury (Morris Rugby Club; Rockaway, N.J.)
Christian Hess (Los Angeles Cougars; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Jeremy Lutali (Wilson H.S./Belmont Shore; Long Beach, Calif.)
Sean Mahon (Glen Ellyn Ducks; LaGrange, Ill.)
Sam Peri (Lamorinda; Moraga, Calif.)
Anthony Salaber (Dixon Rugby Football Club; Dixon, Calif.)
The USA 7s team is now in Hong Kong after a long flight in. New Head Coach Alex Magleby’s plan was to have the players run some touch once they hit the ground, and then work through the short week leading up to the big tournament.
No one is under any illusions about what task lies before them. They face New Zealand, South Africa and Wales in pool play.
“We’re going to focus on our core tenets,” Magleby told RUGBYMag.com. “We play touch on Monday, then we train Tuesday and Wednesday, and then the captain’s run on Thursday. So there’s not a lot of time. We better have put our time in at the OTC.”
Magleby said the key thing for him the last week or so has been to put the players in situations that test them physically and mentally, to thus allow them to learn to handle those situations. With the team changing each assembly, due to injuries, family issues, and other factors, that has to be done every assembly.
The Eagles will also find some non-tournament-specific activities to do. One will be running a session at the Hong Kong International School, where the players will work with the kids.
“That’s something everyone is looking forward to doing,” said Magleby.
After a week hiatus, the DI-AA rankings return with a lot of movement, as ranked conference rivals and out-of-league foes butted heads the last couple of weeks.
The biggest non-conference meeting was between St. Bonaventure and Bowling Green. The Bonnies could still earn an automatic bid to the Sweet 16 by beating Iona in the Empire Conference championship match April 14, but Bowling Green, which finished second in the Mideast, needed a win to bolster its at-large resume.
St. Bonaventure won 24-13, possibly taking away a second seed from the Mideast. In our rankings, all of the Mideast’s teams fall, staying in their respective order.
The big conference matches featured Florida and LSU, Maryland and Clemson/Virginia Tech and Florida State and Central Florida. Florida, Maryland and UCF all won those games, so they either jump, or stay, in front of the teams they beat.
The Terrapins’ wins make Maryland the odds-on favorite to win the Atlantic Coast, Florida’s victory guarantees the Gators a rematch with LSU in the Southeastern semis, and the win over the Seminoles gives the Golden Knights a spot in the South Independent’s semifinals.
In Northern California, Sacramento State and Santa Clara have improved to 4-1, while Stanford and Chico have dropped to 1-4. So the Broncos and Hornets move up, while the Cardinal and Chico drop from the list.
Arkansas rejoins the Top 25 after back-to-back wins in the Heart of America. The only reason they dropped was a narrow loss to Missouri. The Tigers have jumped up the list by beating the Razorbacks and Kansas in back-to-back big league games. Mizzou fell to DII juggernaut Lindenwood, but the fully varsity Lions are ranked second in DII and would most likely be a top-10 team in DI.
1 (1) Davenport 7-0 Was beating Grand Rapids when game was canceled for lightning 2 (2) Dartmouth 7-0 Won 29-25 over Cayman National Team 3 (3) UC Santa Barbara 6-3 Won 29-3 over U. San Diego 4 (4) Tennessee 7-2 Idle 5 (5) San Diego State 4-1 Idle 7 (7) Florida 11-1 Won 17-14 over LSU 6 (6) LSU 5-3 Lost 17-14 to Florida 8 (8) Northeastern 6-0 Idle 9 (10) Oregon State 6-0 Won 39-0 over Oregon 10 (15) St. Bonaventure 8-1 Won 24-13 over Bowling Green 11 (16) Maryland 4-2 Won 45-40 over Virginia Tech 12 (18) Santa Clara 4-1 Won 44-20 over Chico 13 (19) Sacramento State 4-2 Won 41-24 over Stanford 14 (9) Bowling Green 6-3 Lost 24-13 to St. Bonaventure 15 (11) Miami (OH) 4-2 16 (12) Wisconsin 6-1 Idle until March 23 against Western Illinois 17 (13) Indiana 3-4 On Spring Tour 18 (14) Minnesota 5-1 Idle 19 (17) Texas 6-0 Idle 20 (20) Stony Brook 5-1 Idle 21 (25) Missouri 5-1 Lost 38-8 to Lindenwood 22 (21) Florida State 9-4 Lost 40-13 to Central Florida 23 (22) Clemson 4-2 Won 25-17 over North Carolina 24 (Unr.) Central Florida 9-4 Won 40-13 over Florida State 25 (Unr.) Arkansas 4-2 Won 24-18 over Truman State
Dropped out: 23 (Unr.) Stanford 1-5 Lost 24-41 to Sacramento State 24 (15) Chico State 1-5 Lost 20-44 to Santa Clara
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