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Clash of League-Leaders in Iowa

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Clash of League-Leaders in Iowa

Waterloo Columbus in action this season.

The top teams from 1A and 2A in Iowa Youth Rugby's boys HS 7s league will meet Friday night as the league enters a climactic phase.

Waterloo-Columbus sits 7-0 in Varsity Class 1A, with Bondurant-Farrar close behind at 6-1-1. In Class 2A, Fort Dodge leads at 7-1-1.

"We have two really tough matches," said Tom Mcclimon, Fort Dodge Head Coach. "Waterloo and Bondurant are both at the top of the 1A standings. Both are extremely well-coached and talented teams. Hopefully we are up to the test. As a team we have really started to come together as a unit. I feel like we have 13 guys that I can put in there and they would all know what they are doing and play hard."

Fort Dodge is a young program, only in its third year (and last year hardly counts). Only one player had any rugby experience before joining Fort Dodge.

Learning Quickly

"Our guys have done a great job being coachable and learning the game of rugby," said Mcclimon. "The thing I am most proud of with the team is how they have battled through adversity on and off the field. We have come from behind in several matches which is a testament to the character of our team."

As a team we try to play sound physical defense which we struggled with at the beginning of the season, but over that couple weeks we have improved. On offense we benefit from our athleticism and speed. We have some really fast guys on the edge in Sam, James, and Thomas Daniel (they are triplets). In the pack we have some work horses in Orion Larsen-Trott and Matt Surles Davis who do the dirty work. Antonio Prates is another guy that has helped us out. He comes to us from Portugal where he plays rugby. He usually plays fly half and does a great job kicking for touch, conversion kicks, and spreading the ball. He has really helped our team learn the game in our short time together. All of the guys are doing a great job. 

Unbeaten in 1A

Waterloo-Columbus is yet to lose, with three of their seven wins shutouts, and only two games that could be described as close.

"Overall the entire team is playing well," understated Kaleb Boleyn, who brings only two starters from the 2019 season in David Randall and Alex Purdy. "After having last season canceled, we coaches and players are forever grateful for the IAYRA for giving us the opportunity to play when many leagues are not. Things have been a little tougher for sure, with a lot of issues finding sites that would allow us to play and have fans. I can tell the kids are ready to get back into the normal swing of things for sure, I feel things are very close to getting back that way. The kids are being smart in what they do and where they go outside of school. We are also blessed to have the great state of Iowa behind our backs allowing these kids to compete and, better yet, still get their state tournament in."

Waterloo-Columbus is led by Purdy and Randall, as well as brothers Carson and Caden Hartz. Carson is a big, powerful hooker who has quickness and can create opportunities out of not much. He leads the team in tries. Caden has come into his own on the wing and has learned to add to his pace and finishing ability by being a menace poaching balls in the breakdown.

Purdy is a super passer and setup man at flyhalf, and, despite being one of the smallest players on the team, leads the team in tackles.

At scrumhalf Randall "really is the glue that holds this team together," said Boleyn. "He just brings a vast amount of rugby knowledge to the team. It's like having another coach on the field."

Forth Dodge plays very good defense but has some attacking flair as well. 

"On offense we benefit from our athleticism and speed," said Mcclimon.

Triplets Sam, James, and Thomas Daniel are a unique triple threat. Workhorses Orion Larsen-Trott and Matt Surles Davis do the unglamorous work and do it well. Portuguese transplant Antonio Prates has experience in the game and at flyhalf sets up his teammates well and is a superb kicker.

A Tough Game to Come

"I expect a tough physical battle with Fort Dodge," said Waterloo's Boleyn. "This is a game we have been looking forward to for a while now. Fort Dodge has a lot of size and they are aggressive on defense and quick on offense. If we don't align on defense how we prepared they will be able to execute a good pick-and-go game as they have done so well in games past. It should be a good scrumhalf battle as well between David Randall and Thomas Daniel. I've got my team prepared and we are ready for a 14-minute war against Tom and his Fort Dodge squad."

Iowa Youth Rugby Boys 7s Games April 30
Madison County (2-6-0) vs Denver (4-4-0)
Bondurant-Farrar (6-1-1) vs Ft Dodge (7-1-0)
Central Springs (5-1-0) vs CR Washington (6-2-0)
Van Meter (3-5-0) vs Waterloo Columbus (7-0-0)
DM Lincoln (1-6-0) vs Crestwood (2-6-0)
Valley (0-8-0) vs SE Polk (5-1-0)
Bondurant-Farrar (6-1-1) vs Denver (4-4-0)
Central Springs (5-1-0) vs Iowa City (0-6-0)
Cedar Falls (1-7-0) vs Urbandale (3-3-2)
Waverly Shell Rock (6-1-1) vs Ankeny (5-3-0)
Madison County (2-6-0) vs Van Meter (3-5-0)
Norwalk (5-3-0) vs Crestwood (2-6-0)
Waterloo Columbus (7-0-0) vs Ft Dodge (7-1-0)
DM Lincoln (1-6-0) vs CR Washington (6-2-0)
Waverly Shell Rock (6-1-1) vs DM Roosevelt (4-4-0)
Norwalk (5-3-0) vs Iowa City (0-6-0)
Cedar Falls (1-7-0) vs Valley (0-8-0)
DM Roosevelt (4-4-0) vs Ankeny (5-3-0)
Urbandale (3-3-2) vs SE Polk (5-1-0)