Who’s the favorite to win the first ever college 7s national championship in College Station, Texas Saturday? That depends on who you ask, but, chances are, St. Mary’s will come up in the conversation with anyone.
The Gaels have long been considered maybe the best team in the country that won’t win a national championship. Forever, it’s been because they had to get past NorCal neighbor Cal. The Bears won’t be in the way when St. Mary’s takes the field in Texas, because the Gaels, not Cal, won California 7s and an automatic bid.
Las Vegas isn’t producing odds on 7s nationals, but if it were, St. Mary’s would quite possibly be the favorite, with highly touted and decorated players like Bubba Jones, Chad Clark, Nick Wallace and Andrew Cook on the roster. Garrett Brewer and Kinglsey McGowan would be lynchpins on practically every other roster in American, too.
The big expectation to perform isn’t lost on the aforementioned Gaels.
“I don’t see them being humble or not humble, really,” said St. Mary’s 7s technical director John Tyler of his players. “I think they read some of the stuff.”
Part of Tyler’s job leading up to kickoff Friday is to remind his team how upset-happy the game of 7s is.
“I tell them this: It’s real simple, any team can win any game at any time in 7s. All you have to do is have one fast guy, one guy to win the ball and one guy to deliver the ball to them, so all you need is three out of the seven guys to have a good game and you can beat anybody,” said Tyler.
“Even though they’re not even ranked, somebody like Milwaukee (UW-Milwaukee is in the Gaels‘ pool this weekend), they’ve probably got somebody to win the ball and they got a fast guy, and if they can deliver the ball to the fast guy, they can win a game, they can win a couple games, they can beat anybody. That happens at the IRB level as well. It’s harder, obviously at the higher level, but anybody with a fast guy can win.”
The only team to beat St. Mary’s so far is UC Davis, who lost to Central Washington in the CRC qualifier final in Las Vegas in February. Central Washington lost in the CRC in June to Dartmouth and Army. Army lost to Dartmouth in the CRC final, and the Big Green fell to Brown in last year’s Ivy League 7s championship. So, using deductive reasoning, there are a lot of teams capable of beating the Gaels.
But, that won’t stop St. Mary’s from being confident.
“We’ve only been beaten by UC Davis, and I would say UC Davis is a real good team,” said Tyler, “and if we were playing again, I would pick us.”
(Editor's note: John Tyler was originally referred to as the coach of St. Mary's, incorrectly, and Lloyd Evans' name has been removed from the article, as he has been replaced on the roster due to a conflict.)
Boulder, Colo.-- This weekend theUSA Rugby College Sevens National Championshipswill take place in College Station, Texas. Presiding over the weekend of matches are some of the nation's top referees and evaluators.Among the weekends referees and evaluators are:
Brian Arciero (Houston, TX)
Phil Akroyd (Sacramento, CA)
Leah Berard (Minneapolis, MN)
Tim Day (Los Angeles, CA)
Karen Fong (San Diego, CA)
Brad Kleiner (New York, NY)
Brighton Khumalo (Denver, CO)
Tom Lyons (Silver Spring, MD)
Gareth Morgan (Atlanta, GA)
Nick Ricono (San Diego, CA)
Haylee Slaughter (Oxford, FL)
Kurt Weaver (Boulder, CO)
Jerry McLemore (Nashville, TN)
Peter Simpson (Demarest, NJ)
Ed Sorensen (Chevy Chase, MD)
Tammy Cowan (Minneapolis, MN)
Patrick McNally (Garden Grove, CA)
Ed Todd (Boulder, CO)
For more information on the weekend's events including tournament structure, pool information, and match times please visit the USA Rugby College Sevens pagehere.
SFGG in green, St. Mary's in stripes. Michael Geib photos.
St. Mary’s completed their fall 15s warm-ups with a victory over a San Francisco Golden Gate 15 this past weekend.
In an entertaining match, the Gaels won 39-31. Leading 31-27 SFGG had a chance to kick for goal to possibly put the game away, but opted instead to go for the try. St. Mary’s turned the ball over and eventually scored, adding another try moments later.
It was a spirited exhibition match and while SFGG ran out some experienced players, St. Mary’s Head Coach Tim O’Brien said the result shouldn’t cause fans to read too much into it.
“It was a preseason runaround for both teams, and pretty competitive,” said O’Brien, who dressed 55 of his 67 players for action this weekend. “[SFGG Coach] Paul Keeler always puts up a good team to test us. We played against what is, in my opinion, the best halfback combination in the country, in Mose Timoteo and Volney Rouse. Playing against players like that changes the dynamics of the game. I wish we could play with a team like that every weekend.”
Rouse also is on the St. Mary’s staff as their strength and conditioning coach. As a result the St. Mary’s players got quite a kick out of playing against one of their staff.
St. Mary’s got their part, has a strong SFGG connection. O’Brien said nine of his current roster played rugby for SFGG as youths.
Wheeling, W. Va. --- After an 18-year hiatus, Rugby Football is making its comeback to Wheeling Jesuit University. Rugby was first established at Wheeling Jesuit University in 1967 when its first match was played against powerhouse Notre Dame.
From 1967 to 1994, Wheeling Jesuit teams regularly played schools such as Penn State, University of Pittsburgh and Ohio State. In one of its most successful seasons, WJU ruggers beat both Ohio State and Penn State.
Wheeling Jesuit will play its first match in September 2012. Matches against Georgetown, Boston College, and Army, as well as teams in the tri-state (West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) area are being scheduled. The team also is planning an international tour to Argentina for its 2013 season.
During its 30-year existence at Wheeling Jesuit, Rugby was an organized club sport run by its students.
With its renaissance, Wheeling Jesuit will launch its Rugby program as a full varsity sport, which will include scholarships for qualified athletes.
President Richard Beyer said, “Our Alumni ruggers have been especially pleased with the decision to return Rugby as a varsity sport. The game of Rugby has a strong Jesuit tradition and offers an opportunity for the University to participate at a high level of competition.”
Assisting with the launch of the new Rugby team is Chip Hulbert, the team’s conditioning coach. A resident of Washington, D.C., Hulbert recently joined the WJU staff and is heading-up recruiting in the Mid-Atlantic states. A decorated veteran of the United States Army, Hulbert has coached and participated in numerous endurance events including the JFK 50-Miler and Ironman triathlons.
“Study, sportsmanship and community service at home and abroad are expected of the ruggers,” Hulbert said. “I am especially pleased about our plans to compete against teams in other countries. These opportunities will provide life-changing experiences for our players who visit other cultures and reflect on life in America compared to the global village.”
As a varsity sport, the Rugby program will report to Athletic Director, Danny Sancomb. “We have conducted a national search and expect to announce our head coach prior to the end of the month,” said Sancomb. “We will have our first Rugby combine for high school recruits on Jan. 14 with a goal to have a 45-man roster filled by the spring of 2012.”
Wheeling Jesuit University is one of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Wheeling Jesuit has earned a place among America's Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine since its rankings began. Wheeling Jesuit has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top regional university for the past 14 years.
The University's 20 varsity sports include 19 men and women's NCAA Division II athletic teams and its USA Rugby Program. Jesuit teams have won 61 conference championships and boast 45-plus Academic All-Americans.
James Madison and UW-Whitewater will take each other on Sunday at 10:30AM ET in USA Rugby's DII 3rd/4th consolation game.The game is livestreamed below or here on RUGBYMag's YouTube channel. Read more...
The ACRA Women's DII championship game between Notre Dame College and Winona State starts Noon on Sunday, Dec 8, 2013.It will be live webstreamed below or on RUGBYMag.com's Youtube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/RUGBYMagazine1 Read more...
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