New Orleans has had a good couple of months. In June they won the DII National Championship, the club’s first, and Saturday, they finished second to Atlanta Old White at the South 7s Championships in Marietta, Ga., earning the club’s first trip to 7s Nationals.
Getting to the South final wasn’t an easy trip for NOLA, who advanced by a mere conversion.
In their three-team pool were Life and Charlotte. When Life and Charlotte played, they tied. When Life and NOLA played, they tied. When NOLA and Charlotte played, a late centered try by Bobby Allen and a conversion by player/coach Jeff Reuther gave NOLA a 14-12 win.
Reuther said he knew what turned out to be the game-winning conversion kick was important, but the awareness didn’t have any adverse affects.
“It was definitely some pressure there, but I guess I’ve been playing a while and I just tried to block that out and focus on the ball rather than the game or the uprights. I just focused on where I needed to kick it and where I needed to place it. It was definitely a big moment, for sure.”
There have been a lot of big moments for New Orleans lately, and according to Reuther, they’re the fruit of a lot of labor, especially for guys like himself, who have poured a lot of time into the club.
“I’m 30 now and I’ve been playing with New Orleans, I started on our youth team when I was 13, and it’s just great to have not only myself, but so many other people putting the work in and make the successes happen,” he said. “It’s just kind of a high point for me.”