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Atlantis' 14th Year in Tobago

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Atlantis' 14th Year in Tobago

Atlantis has an impressive history at the Tobago 7s, which was contested last weekend. Since 1995, the all-star 7s program has participated in 14 tournaments, the first 12 of which were hosted in Trinidad and the previous two in Tobago. In that time, Atlantis has fielded 18 sides (16 men, 12 women), with the women winning six titles and finishing second four times; while the men have been finalists three times and semifinalists eight. This year, the Emil Signes-driven program sent 17 Atlantis rookies (10 men, 7 women) to the Caribbean, and returned with a second-place finish for the women and fourth-place finish for the men.

“A great time was had by all,” Signes said. “The on-the-field results were identical to last year's results, and we had strived for better, but for that we congratulate our opponents and take pride in the good things we did on the field. Off the field, the men and women of Atlantis got along famously, and the cultural benefits of the tour were enormous.”

Lauren Rhode captained the women and was joined by three other D.C. Furies (Hunter Griendling, Eagles Sam Pankey and Kimber Rozier). Coach Dana Creager brought Abby Gustaitis and Ariel Johnson from her home club, NOVA, while Jess Wooden (Atlanta) and Josie Ziluca (San Diego) added some WPL experience. Hannah Gauthreaux (Notre Dame College), Neariah Persinger (Broken Arrow HS, Okla.) and Brianna Kim (Univ. Virginia) represented the youth contingent well.

There were essentially four teams that had the capability of winning the tournament: American teams Atlantis and the Stars, Swifts (U.K.), and the Howlers from Canada. Atlantis outscored its first two pool play opponents - Curaçao and T&T's Rainbow – 115-0, and then, in a fierce defensive struggle, managed to defeat eventual champion Stars 14-0 on two tries by Gauthreaux. The 20-year-old went on to lead the squad with nine tries, while the youngest player, 18-year-old Persinger, followed with eight.

Pool play resumed on Sunday, but the team’s 49-0 win over the University of the West Indies was last blowout of the tournament. A 12-0 victory over the British Swifts sent Atlantis to the Cup semifinals, where it eked out a 19-12 win over the Howlers. That set up a rematch with the Stars, who had improved since the teams’ first meeting. It was an even battle, where the conversion made all of the difference: 7-5 to the Stars.

Atlantis ended with a 6-1 record and outscored opponents 214-19, and Rozier was named tournament MVP.

The men produced solid numbers – 5-2, outscoring opponents 127-62 – but there was distance between Atlantis and U.S. leaders Stars and New York ODA, the reigning champ. During pool play, Atlantis beat Rah Rah Rugby (14-5), Rainbow (24-0), Tobago (17-0), Caribs 31-0 and RSCC 31-7, but dropped a 26-0 contest to the Stars. In the third-place match, Atlantis got out in front with the game’s first two tries, but the New York ODA turned it around for a 24-10 victory.

Atlantis' scoring was led by its only two returners from 2013, Chris Mattina and Glen Thommes, who scored more than half the team's points between them.

Check www.emilito.org for Emil Signes' full recap of the weekend.

Ty Anderson - West Chester U. / Schuylkill River Name TriesConvPoints
Ty Elkins  Charlotte ChrisMattina31035
Chris Frazier - Potomac Exiles GlenThommes6030
Luke Markovich - 1823 TyElkins3015
Chris Mattina - Wilmington / NYAC LukeMarkovich2112
Aki  Raymond - Potomac Exiles ChrisFrazier2010
James Rosato - Schuylkill River AkiRaymond2010
Robert Rosato - Temple JimRosato2010
Chris Schade - 1823 BobRosato105
Glen  Thommes - Wilmington / Schuylkill River Total 2111127
Louis Tulio - Philadelphia-Whitemarsh / Schuylkill River Opponents   62
Mitch Vannoy - Wilmington / Schuylkill River      
Hannah Gauthreaux - Notre Dame College/Old Blue 7s Name TriesConvPoints
Hunter Griendling - DC Furies KimberRozier31637
Abby Gustaitis - NOVA HannahGauthreaux9045
Ariel Johnson - NOVA NeariahPersinger8040
Brianna Kim - University of Virginia LaurenRhode4224
Sam Pankey - DC Furies JessWooden1821
Neariah Persinger - Oklahoma Tiger HunterGriendling2010
Lauren Rhode  - DC Furies AbbyGustaitis2010
Kimber Rozier  - DC Furies SamPankey117
Jess Wooden  - Atlanta Harlequins ArielJohnson105
Josie Ziluca  - San Diego Surfers JosieZiluca105
  Total 3227214
  Opponents 3219