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High School Rugby Check-ins & Misc Notes

  • 05 Mar 2024
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HS rugby

Traditionally, the first couple of months of the year sees girls’ high school rugby activity concentrated in the warmer-weather pockets — California, Arizona, Hawaii, Texas and Carolinas — but by mid-early March, more states kick off their regular seasons. The following is a brief overview of competitions we’re watching and includes links to schedules/results where available. Omitted are the states that won’t start playing games until April, namely in the Northeast and Midwest.

RELATED: Girls & Women’s Rugby Scores

IN-SEASON

Fallbrook won the SoCal HS 7s Championship last month, and a feature with head coach Richelle Stephens will post this week. The Olympian was in LA for the USA Women’s 7s team’s first appearance at LA 7s, where the Eagles won bronze. SoCal’s HS club season begins this month and its fields U15 and U18 divisions, likely in 7s. [SoCal doesn’t really have a girls’ high school 15s footprint anymore, outside of teams like Belmont Shore.]

RELATED: La Costa Canyon Wins SCIRF Title

North Carolina has already closed on three weeks of 15s (and 10s) matrix play. Week 4 doesn’t occur until March 23, as several teams are involved with EGRL and those showcases. Hough (3-0) is currently undefeated but Clayton (2-0-1) is tied on standings points (13) due to three bonus-point performances. Hoke leads the six-team 10s division. Check out the standings.

Carolina Ruggerfest named five girls’ high school tournament champions in Charlotte, N.C., last weekend. Teams are divided into four-team pools and play round robins to determine champs. See all the results. The Badger Academy traveled from Wisconsin to beat Sparta-Rock (Mich.), Charlotte Cardinals and Raleigh. The Atlanta Valkyries won its pool in shutout fashion. Hough (N.C.) went 3-0 against St. Joseph (Ohio), Moon Area (Pa.) and Wando (S.C.). And Clayton (N.C.) topped two Ohio sides — Highland and Brunswick — and South Carolina winter champ Oceanside. Charlotte Tigress won the 10s competition.

Texas held its third girls’ HS 7s series tournament last Saturday at Texas A&M. The final two stops occur in Austin and Plano, and then teams will be seeded into the state championship on May 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Woodlands has close to 40 players across its HS and junior high sides. Brazoria, Falcon and Plano also have junior high teams and are getting game time at each stop.

RELATED: TRB’s 2024 Rugby Calendar

It’s collaboration city in NorCal! The region has been contesting league games for a month now, but there’s been a tangible effort to get those clubs in the 10s/12s bracket more 15s exposure and ideally grow those numbers. So intermixed into the 15s league games and 10s/12s round robins are combination 15s matches, where two smaller teams will join forces to form one 15s team. Lots of logistics involved but NorCal is trying to stoke 15s growth, which is important. College is 15s, but it is also the version of the game that welcomes a wider range of differently gifted athletes. State championships are May 11 in the Sacramento area, and TRB will be on the ground covering. This Saturday there’s San Mateo vs. Sacramento Harlequins — should be a good one!

Pasefika (Hawaii) has been active and hosted Mana Performance Academy on Feb. 23 (31-17 W), and just announced two games against Canadian 15s teams Brockville (March 9) and Maple Ridge (March 16). It’s no easy feat to get girls’ HS 15s games in Hawaii, but it helps when teams travel to you.

TBD on Rugby Arizona. Traditionally the high school 7s season is underway at this point, but there’s nothing in Xplorer or the website or socials. Stay tuned.

IN-SEASON THIS WEEK

Last weekend, Rugby Idaho held a 15s jamboree that also lured two Majestics teams from Utah. Both states kick off their club 15s seasons this weekend. Utah currently reflects five teams playing 15s, and many more (including some 15s teams’ B sides) playing 10s. Idaho has a full slate (waiting on season schedule). Both of these states send teams to HS and HS Club 15s nationals. Majestics and United are regulars, and Idaho’s Eagle and Rocky Mountain are expected in Wisconsin this May.

Elite Girls Rugby League (EGRL) is a regional competition with multiple divisions based on geography and emerging status. Founding members Morris, West Carroll and North Bay warmed up last weekend with some friendlies in Maryland, and some Southern Division members were active at Carolina Ruggerfest. The league opens up this weekend with Morris vs. Doylestown, and then the field converges on Guilford College for the EGRL Showcase (March 16-17). The EGRL championship is June 8 in New Jersey. See the full schedule.

Several Ohio teams featured at Carolina Ruggerfest last weekend, and now the state launches into league season on March 10. See the schedule. Teams compete toward Competitive Club (6 teams) and Single School (7 teams) titles.

Tennessee will have a pre-season scrimmage at Columbia Central this Wednesday, and the Lions will host Spring Hill, Riverdale, ICRON and Raptors, while fielding 2-3 teams with its 44 players. The first 15s league game is scheduled for March 15, and state championships are May 11 in Hendersonville.

Rugby Oregon holds its pre-season Jamboree this Saturday in Portland. Canby, Chinook, East County Grackles, Valley Panthers and Summit will be warming up for the spring 15s season.

MISC NOTES

Very excited to learn that the USA U18 15s program is planning an international tour to Scotland in mid-July. Eager to hear details and invites.

Indiana doesn’t start its season until April but the schedules are uploaded in Xplorer. DI has four well known teams, and then there are two five-team pools in Division II. Here’s hoping they’re all playing 15s because that’s fantastic. Also stoked to see Rugby Colorado take another step to full-fledged 15s for girls’ high schools. Club teams are already running around with the first league game scheduled for April 6. State championship will be May 11 at Infinity Park, Glendale.

The Girls’ High School Club 15s National Tournament is announcing participating teams via its Instagram (@girlsclubrugbynationals) account. Aspetuck (Conn.), Belmont Shore (SoCal), Majestics (Utah) and Morris (N.J.) have been confirmed so far, but rest assured there are many more teams heading to Madison, Wis. The Girls’ Single-School 15s National Tournament will announce its full lineup once the registration deadline passes, but expect to see some new faces like Hononegah (Ill.), which is taking advantage of the DII bracket to experience nationals. Learn more about the two separate championships occurring side-by-side at the Wisconsin Rugby Sports Complex on May 17-19.

What are we missing? E-mail Jackie Finlan and get added to the watch list.

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HIGH SCHOOL

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