The Canarsie HS (Brooklyn, NY) Boys and Bard HS Girls RFCs were crowned champions of the 2011 New York City Public School Athletic League (PSAL) 7s competition before a large and enthusiastic crowd.
Organized by Play Rugby USA, Friday’s PSAL Championship was the conclusion of a four week, round-robin, league season consisting of boys and girls 7s tournaments on April 29th, May 6th, 13th and 20th.
BOYS’ CHAMPION – CANARSIE
A very athletic Canarsie HS RFC, with a side that included many of the school’s football players, won the 2011 Boys PSAL 7s Championship with a 10-0 victory over South Bronx in the final. Travon Ballentyne and Darius Grant were the Canarsie try scorers.
Canarsie reached the final with a 20-0 semifinal win over Murray Bergtram HS, while South Bronx defeated Eagle Academy 3-0 in its semifinal.
A try by Terrell Boyd gave Eagle Academy a 5-0 win over Murray Bergtram HS in the battle for third place.
GIRLS’ CHAMPION – BARD
Bard, a first-year girls program from Queens, NY, defeated South Bronx, 17-5, in the Girls’ final.
South Bronx took a 5-0 lead with a try by Taji Riley, but a touchdown by Bard’s Jackie Reyes knotted the score (5-5) at halftime. Second half tries by Jackie Reyes and Kendra Ellis, one converted by Reyes, gave Bard the 17-5 win.
Bard reached the final with a 17-0 semifinal win over Queens Teaching, while South Bronx defeated Canarsie 10-7.
The Canarsie girls defeated Queens Teaching 12-5 in the battle for third place. Canarsie’s scoring came on a try and conversion by Terry Ann Baptiste and a 17th birthday try by Trudy Phifer.
Katherine Lockward scored for Queens.
BOYS’ JV CHAMPION – BRONX STUDIO
Bronx Studio School for Young Artists defeated Queens Gateway, 10-5, in the Boys’ Junior Varsity final. MVP Stefan Carwell's 75-yard gallop broke a 5-5 deadlock. Foster Alcantara's first-half try gave Bronx Studio a 5-0 lead.
As a result of their participation in Play Rugby’s program, Bard’s Jackie Reyes and Kevin Jones of Edward R. Reynolds HS were awarded six-week scholarships to Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, beginning in July. Scholarship criteria were academics, attendance (both school and practice), attitude and athletic ability.
PSAL’s Donald Douglas
Over and above the usual pride and excitement involved in the contesting of championships, is the fact that rugby is now an officially sanctioned sport in New York City’s public schools.
Donald Douglas, the Public School Athletic League’s Executive Director, said: "I'm proud to say we're the first in the country to have rugby as a sanctioned sport. Once we figured out that kids played rugby in our middle schools, we wanted to give them a chance to play in high school. This season's been tremendous, with 300 to 400 students playing and it is great seeing the girls develop their skill level."