This Columbus-based team has developed a really strong program, but they weren't quite there this year. Certainly some injuries and a tough travel schedule didn't help. Ian Muir photo.
Atlanta Old White
The South needs to fix its 7s season, which isn't the best, but that's a situation all teams in the South need to deal with. Atlanta Old White are almost as good as Charlotte and Daytona, who took the 2 seeds to nationals. Dobson Images.
The West boast at least four very solid to really good teams, and the Woodlands Exiles were one of them. They are just a little bit on the outside. Phillipa Snyman photo.
Head Coach Andre Snyman has a pretty tired team to deal with this summer, and somehow he eked out some good performances. Perhaps with a little more rest Glendale might be going to San Francisco. Phillipa Snyman photo.
A young and up-and-coming group, Tempe nevertheless has a long history in playing storng 7s. In 2013 the Southern California 7s Series will have a stop in Arizona, and they deserve it.
Utah ... Somebody
The state of Utah should have a team competing at the national level, if only in the Pacific Coast Championships. They don't - no Warriors, no Brothers, no Provo, no Humless. That's a shame, because the talent (Maka Unufe pictured above) is excellent. Dobson Images.
San Francisco Golden Gate has the players, the coaching, the setup ... all they lacked was the right competition. They stayed home and played in the Nequik series, while their main rivals looked to play in other tournaments as well. That turned out to be the difference. Austin Brewin photo.
It came down to a period of two minutes. Middlesex scored to lead Old Blue in the Northeast championships semifinals. Old Blue came back and scored to take the lead again. Middlesex had one more shot, and were right on the line, but couldn't score. If they had scored, Middlesex would be making the trip to the Bay Area, and we'd have a picture of Old Blue here. Dobson Images.
How close can you get? Santa Monica amassed as many points in the SoCal 7s Series as OMBAC (also pictured) but were denied the #3 seed from the region on the tiebreaker. Still they did well in a region that produced at least six strong 7s teams.
So very close in the Mid-Atlantic semifinals. Tony Pianta photo.