Charlotte beat a very good Atlanta to advance to the South championship. /// Photo courtesy Charlotte Rugby Club
Here’s a look ahead to some important matches and championships occurring this weekend …
The South will name its representative to the DII national quarterfinals this weekend. The regional championship will pit Charlotte and Fort Miami against each other, and Augusta and Nashville against each other in the semifinals. The victors will meet Sunday for the berth to national quarterfinals in either Pittsburgh (likely) or Tucson May 21-22.
This Saturday, the Midwest takes its first step in naming a DII regional champion to nationals, as the East and West divisions contest crossovers, i.e., Midwest quarterfinals. Wisconsin hosts the Chicago Sirens, and Milwaukee Scylla travels to County Will Morrigans in the West. In the East, Buffalo hosts Louisville, and Cincinnati gets the bye since the Pittsburgh Highlanders forfeited. The four victors will head to the Midwest championship on May 7-8 for the semifinals and final.
Nearly every level of collegiate 7s is hosting championships this weekend. DI teams comprise the first Varsity 7s Championship, which is occurring alongside the ACRA invitational 7s championship at Army West Point. North Carolina’s Rugby Athletic Center is hosting 12 small colleges for the NSCRO 7s championship.
The Midwest High School Championship dominates headlines this weekend, as state champions and runners-up head to Elkart, Ind. There’s been a slight change since last week’s preview, as Brookfield is replacing Armstrong, which has since withdrawn from competition.
There are some one-off games toward which we’re looking forward, including:
Idaho: The first semifinal occurs between undefeated Capital and #4 Idaho Falls. Capital hasn’t surrendered more than points against any opponent. The second semifinal between #2 Eagle and #3 Portneuf will occur May 7
Massachusetts: Rematch of the 2015 state final – Algonquin vs. Newton. Reigning state champion Algonquin won handily last year, 43-0.
Oregon: Tonight, April 28, is the Grant vs. Lady Barbarians showdown. The pair are the best in both leagues (club and varsity), and this match is always a good one.
Pennsylvania: Undefeateds State College and Downingtown duke it out this weekend and look to snap each others’ perfect records.
Tennessee: The state semifinals occur this weekend. In the East, McMinn faces Columbia, and in the West, Storm takes on Ravenwood.
Texas: Top-ranked Kingwood leads the eight-team field at this weekend’s state 7s championship. Pool play will be contested in two groups of four before teams are reseeded for playoffs.
One game we failed to mention this week was United vs. Herriman. The top two teams in Utah played through windy conditions that affected an interesting kicking game. Herriman fielded a strong side, led by the hard-running Alex Sedrick, but leading performances from scrumhalf Kat Stowers and center Maili Schaap aided United in a 34-0 victory.
“Joe Hoff, Herriman’s coach, thought they looked flat to him, but they looked strong to me,” United coach Matt Kanenwisher commented. “I’d hate to see them on fire. … We will face them again in the state final. I’m sure they will come even harder, and we don’t take anything for granted.”
Stay tuned for all of the reports.