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High School Ranking – April 21, 2016

  • 21 Apr 2016

Morris won the West End rematch by one point. /// Photo: Diane Gutschmidt Ramage


The NorCal championship and Northeast Invitational lent good insight into teams’ relative strength at this point in the season. Those comparisons necessitated some movement in the High School Top 20.


Danville and Sacramento met for the first time this NorCal season in the championship play-in, and the Amazons triumphed 26-7. The following weekend, Sacramento defeated Pleasanton 48-12 for the NorCal title. Those performances pushed the Amazons into Danville’s previously held #2 spot behind Fallbrook (which won its second game against South Bay 43-10). Those back-to-back losses was the room United needed to get ahead of the Lady Oaks, who had dropped an eight-point game to the Utah side earlier this month.  Herriman will get a second look in terms of ranking after its game against United this Saturday.


Morris won the Northeast Invitational with a final 13-12 win over East Coast rival West End. The Ruckettes pummeled Pennsylvania’s Valkyries (thus removing the North Penn-area team from the rankings) and Doylestown on day one, while Morris played competitive games against Canadian Cobourg and Maryland’s North Bay. Morris needed to rejoin the rankings (the New Jersey side had been removed after an early-season 20-12 loss to Play Rugby Academy), and West End needed to drop. There was no reason to alter St. Joseph’s place at #13, and Kahuku’s two wins last weekend for the Hawaii state championship was promotion worthy. So Morris joined at #14, and West End slid in right behind them at #15.


Play Rugby Academy is nipping at these two teams’ heels. The New York City-based team was added to the Top 20 when it beat Morris a month ago. It joined the Northeast Invitational on day two and beat Cobourg 39-15, although the Canadian side had played two big games on Saturday. A trusted on-site source who knows both West End and Play Rugby well gave the edge to the Ruckettes.

As always, teams that push themselves with more and better competition are rewarded in the rankings, as those challenges produce stronger teams. Morris and West End are competing at the Maryland Exiles international tournament this weekend and will be joined by Downingtown (arguably #21 on the rankings) and Eastern Ontario U18s in the elite division. When West Carroll dropped out of the Northeast Invitational and opted for the open division this weekend, it fell out of the Top 20.


The previous two weeks has seen the Midwest come to life and the big fixture – the Midwest high school championship – will occur April 30-May 1. The tournament will bring the region’s best together and is led by Wisconsin state finalists Catholic Memorial and Divine Savior Holy Angels. Both teams have posted lopsided shutouts recently and look to challenge themselves against Indiana’s Warsaw and Penn, Ohio’s St. Joseph and Hudson, Illinois’ Plainfield and Minnesota’s Armstrong. The Minnesota league kicked off yesterday and Hopkins (which absorbed Orono this year) defeated the longtime reigning state champion 24-17. It’s early in their season, and lots can happen, but that upset deserved a spot on the rankings.


Aside from the Midwest championships, we’re eager to see:

  • North Suburban and Armstrong on Wednesday, April 27, as both teams are on the watch list

  • New York state champion Orchard Park vs. Hamburg on April 27 – a first look into two of the region’s top teams

  • The real showdown between Grant and Lady Barbarians on Friday, April 29. The first attempt was a wash when the game moved to Friday and the Barbos lost players to work. They took on some North Clackamas players and Grant triumphed 44-29.

  • Pennsylvania leaders Downingtown and State College on Sunday, May 1



New Rank (Old Rank) Team / State (League Record). Results


1 (1) Fallbrook / Calif. (4-0). Defeated South Bay 43-10


2 (4) Sacramento / Calif. (6-0). Defeated Danville 26-7, Pleasanton 48-12 in NorCal final


3 (3) Kent / Wash. (2-0). Went 3-0 on New Zealand tour


4 (6) United / Utah (5-0). Defeated Thunder Rugby 110-0


5 (2) Danville / Calif. (4-1). Lost 26-7 to Sacramento


6 (5) Pleasanton / Calif. (3-3). Lost 48-12 to Sacramento


7 (7) Catholic Memorial / Wisc. (7-0). Defeated Fond du Lac 54-0


8 (8) South Bay / Calif. (2-2). Lost 43-10 to Fallbrook


9 (9) Divine Savior Holy Angels / Wisc. (6-1). Defeated Pulaski 52-5, Oak Creek 102-0


10 (12) Herriman / Utah (5-0). Defeated Silverbacks 30-0, Kau Toa 36-15


11 (10) Summit / Colo. (7-0). Finished 4th at Atlanta 7s Festival


12 (14) Kahuku / Hawaii (9-0). Defeated Hilo Reign 23-17 for Hawaii State Championship


13 (13) St. Joseph / Ohio (1-0). Defeated Brunswick 84-0


14 (unr) Morris / N.J. (2-1). NE Invitational: 22-17 W v Cobourg, 39-21 W v North Bay, 13-12 W v West End


15 (11) West End / Va. (2-0). NE Invitational: 73-0 W v Valkyries, 68-0 W v Doylestown, 13-12 L v Morris


16 (16) Grant / Ore. (4-0). Defeated Battle Ground 60-25


17 (15) Lady Barbarians / Ore. (3-1). Forfeit win vs. Columbia County


18 (18) Play Rugby Academy / N.Y. (3-0). Defeated Cobourg 39-15 at NE Invitational


19 (20) Warsaw / Ind. (1-0). Defeated Westfield 59-3


20 (unr) Hopkins / Minn. (2-0). Defeated Armstrong 24-17



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