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Boys School HS Rugby Rankings Week 17

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Boys School HS Rugby Rankings Week 17

De La Salle, pushing for #1 school team. Where do they rank in proper mouthguard usage? David Barpal photo.

Back on April 23, which is not that long ago, Bishop Dwenger beat Penn 28-7. This seemed like a clear distinction between the two teams, and we were comfortable with that as Dwenger has done relatively well up until then.

They’d lost big to St. Ignatius but so had everyone else, so aside from that, they beat Moeller, St. Xavier, and lost to Royal Irish by a point.

Penn, for their part, had won convincingly against teams they’d be expected to beat, but hadn’t done much more than that. They had beaten Moeller early on, and lost to a KC Jr. Blues team that was right afterward slammed with injuries. 

And in there is also St. Edward, which has recorded several convincing wins against teams they were strongly favored to beat, which says … not a lot. 

But a close loss to Royal Irish and wins over Charlotte Tigers and Glen Ellyn gave them buoyancy. 

So that brings us to this past weekend, where two of our philosophies in ranking run into each other. You know we de-emphasize shortened games. You also know we add extra emphasis to playoffs and championship games. 

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The Midwest Championship features shortened (45-minute) games on Saturday, but it’s a serious tournament that teams are trying hard to win. This isn’t a play-everyone jamboree. (There is that aspect, but that’s their JV and Developmental brackets.)

In that tournament, Penn outperformed Dwenger and beat St. Edward. Meanwhile, St. Ed’s also outperformed Dwenger, who finished 1-2 and the game they won was three tries to four—they just kicked better.

So we weigh that against other results. Should we weigh Midwests over Dwenger’s 28-7 win over Penn just a few weeks ago? The final of the Midwest tournament was a full-length game, and in that game Penn beat St. Edward who had beaten Dwenger. And on the same day, in a full-length game, Dwenger lost to Avon, who had lost to Penn.

The rankings judge where these teams are NOW. We know that we fall into the trap of getting locked into old rankings (Team A beats Team B in early March and we have Team B ranked at #12 … but as time goes on it becomes clear Team B should really have been ranked #38, and yet Team A still hovers in the teens in the rankings based partly on them beating a #12 team that didn’t deserve to be a #12 team.)

We worry about that a lot, and try to adjust for it. 

This year we have watched, in person, about 24 boys high school teams, many ranked, some not ranked. We have a pretty good idea of what is an objectively good rugby team. St. Edward is a good team. Penn is a good team. Dwenger right now, perhaps  hit by injuries, isn’t quite as strong.

So right now we give the Midwest tournament more strength than Dwenger-vs-Penn from April 23. But it could all change. Both Dwenger and Penn are in HS Nationals, so we can revisit all of this in two weeks.

Oh … and we have a new #1. This actually was an easy move. You know we said that it has been a very close decision between De La Salle and St. Ignatius. The big issue has been the fact that DLS hasn’t played much outside its region. Well, they didn’t this past weekend, but they beat the #1-ranked HS Club. Granite Bay’s position at #1 is more solid and it’s really a case of De La Salle saying, in rugby terms, “how much more do you need us to do?”

If a #2 school team beats a #1 club team, even if it's just by two points, you have to seriously consider them for #1.

Rank Prev Team Notes
1 2 De La Salle (CA) Beat Granite Bay (C1)
2 1 St. Ignatius (OH) Beat Medina
3 3 Gonzaga (DC)  
4 4 Herriman (UT) Beat Mountain Ridge
5 5 Staples (CT) Beat Simsbury
6 6 St. Thomas Aquinas (KS) Beat Eagan
7 7 Torrey Pines (CA)  
8 8 Sacramento Jesuit (CA) Lost to Danville (C18)
9 9 Jesuit New Orleans (LA)  
10 10 Cardinal Gibbons (FL)  
11 12 Gregory the Great (PA) Beat Conestoga (S20)
12 11 Regis Jesuit (CO)  
13 13 St. Joe's Prep (PA) Beat West Shore
14 23 Greenwich (CT) Beat Xavier (14)
15 14 Xavier (NY) Lost to Greenwich (23)
16 19 Penn (IN) Beat Chargers, Avon (C42), St. Edward (21)
17 15 LaSalle (PA) Beat Cumberland Valley (48)
18 21 St. Edward (OH) Beat HSE-Fishers (C38), Dwenger(18). Lost to Penn (19)
19 16 Bishop Dwenger (IN) Beat Glen Ellyn (C40. Lost to Avon (C42), St. Edward (21)
20 17 Cathedral Catholic (CA)  
21 18 St. Augustine (CA)  
22 20 Conestoga (PA) Lost to Gregory the Geat (12)
23 22 Long Beach Poly (CA)  
24 24 St. Thomas (TX)  
25 25 Georgetown Prep (MD)  
26 26 St. Pius X (TX)  
27 27 Rigby HS (ID) Beat Rocky Mountain
28 30 Highland (UT) Beat Olympus
29 28 Strake Jesuit (TX)  
30 29 Dallas Jesuit (TX)  
31 31 Owyhee (ID) Beat Eagle (41)
32 34 East HS (CO)  
33 35 BC High (MA) Beat Algonquin
34 33 Camas (OR) Lost to Eastside Tsunamis (C39)
35 36 St. James (KS)  
36 37 Brother Martin (LA)  
37 38 Bixby (OK)  
38 39 Kingfishers (KS)  
39 46 Loyola Blakefield (MD) Beat Archbishop Spalding (32)
40 32 Archbishop Spalding (MD) Lost to Loyola Blakfield (46)
41 40 St. Augustine (NJ) Beat Christian Brothers
42 42 Fairfield Prep (CT) Beat Delbarton
43 43 Rye (NY) Beat Pelham (44)
44 Unr Trumbull (CT) Beat Ridgefield
45 44 Pelham (NY) Lost to Rye (43)
46 41 Eagle HS (ID) Lost to Owyhee (31)
47 45 Moeller (OH)  
48 47 Marist (IL)  
49 48 Cumberland Valley (PA) Lost to LaSalle (15)
50 50 Father Ryan (TN) Lost to Germantown (C33)