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19 at All-Star Tourney in Pittsburgh

HS Boys

19 at All-Star Tourney in Pittsburgh

The Challenge Cup Regional All-Star Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pa. is set for this weekend with 11 Boys Varsity teams and eight JV boys teams.
 
Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia head up a very strong field.
 
The Saturday matches see the following games:
New York West v Indiana
New Jersey v Maryland
Empire v Florida
Illinois v Virginia II
Pennsylvania v Virginia I
Ohio v New York West
Indiana v New Jersey
Empire v Maryland
Illinois v Florida
Pennsylvania v Virginia II
Virginia I v Ohio
 
All of the teams will be re-seeded after Saturday’s games for the playoff rounds.

Illinois were the Varsity champs in 2013, while Virginia took the JV title.
 
The JV bracket of Indiana, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York West, and Pennsylvania will be a straight quarterfinal-semifinal-final bracket.
 
“Our team is coming along really well,” said Dale Roach of Rugby Virginia, who has seen his players go through some work with the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy. 
 
“We’ve been able to put together a team with guys who have made the national team, guys who have been to national camps, and then good state-level rugby players,” said Roach. “At the JV level, it mirrors the Varsity program with players who have played at state level, been in camps, and are just getting into the pathway. We have a very definite pathway with this program.”
 
Mike Engelbrecht of the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy worked with the team recently.
 
“We want players to be seen and make the national team, which is why I brought in Mike, and he did a great job with our players,” said Roach. 
 
Ohio had an interesting buildup to the RAST, as they didn't field a team in the Midwest tournament last weekend. Instead, the Cleveland Celts, a summer traveling squad of players from St. Ignatius and St. Edwards played. Head Coach Tom Cleary has been working with this program to get players from the two rival schools more playing time. 
 
"We call someone up and say, 'who's your best team? We want to play them,'" Cleary said. The Celts performed well at the Midwest Challenge, beating Michigan, losing a close game to Indiana South, and then beating Indiana South B for 3rd. Eighteen of the Celts are on the Ohio team, with Pat Berry, Nick Decore, and Vincent Hahn of St. Ignatius, and Zach Heisterkamp of St. Edward's playing well in the forwards, and Mike Mathews and Aeden Mangan of St. Igantius, and Ryan Bradfield and Porter Ramsey playing well out wide.
 
Indiana, of course, won in the Midwest and flanker Connor Marsh (Penn), No. 8 Jason Taylor (Warsaw), Brian Hannin (Royal Irish), Jake Ney (Royal Irish), and Nathan Fogley (Southeastern) all stood out as they were pushing for a place on the full state team.
 
The Pittsbrugh RAST also features a program where colleges are able to recruit players.