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Doylestown Takes Girls Fall Fest In Pa

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Doylestown Takes Girls Fall Fest In Pa

Doylestown girls celebrate. Alex Goff photo.

Doylestown was the class of the Fall Fest Girls Bracket in Rugby PA's official high school 7s tournament on Sunday, but once again the key to the weekend was that young student-athletes actually got to play some rugby, a rare thing this year.

Doylestown fielded two squads, a Gold team made up of mostly younger players (with one or two moe experienced players to lead), and a Green team made up of mostly more experienced players. The teams were actually relatively even, as evidenced by the opening game which Green won 19-17. The experienced players showed well, with Sophia Linder nudging the Gold ahead with a try in the second half, and Nina Mason playing well for Gold. 

Challenging these two were Bishop Shanahan, which was a little shorthanded and just couldn't match the overall pace of Doylestown, and the Hempfield Knightmares, who had a nice attacking combo going with Jaylee Stringham and Hope Campbell. Added in there for the Nightmares was 8th-grader Bella Vogel, a skilled attacker with some heart who was the most sure kicker on the day, kicking every conversion in the games against Doylestown, not missing once.

Shanahan did not win a game on the day, but it's a fair illustration of how they approached their rugby when, in their final game of the day, down 30-0 against Doylestown Gold, Doylestown was on a breakaway that seemed sure to lead to a try; Katie Aaronson got on her horse, chased the runner down and made a perfect ankle tackle to stop that attack. In a hopeless cause, she continued to play hard.

Round Robin Scores:
Doylestown Green 19 Doylestown Gold 17
Bishop Shanahan 5 Knightmares 27
Doylestown Gold 36 Knightmares 21
Doylestown Green 37 Bishop Shanahan 5
Doylestown Green 34 Knightmares 7
Doylestown Gold 35 Bishop Shanahan 5

Doylestown then essentially combined their squad to face the Hempfield Knightmares in one more game. It was a competitive game early on, but the power, speed, depth, and supporting play of Doylestown showed as they ran away with it 48-7. 

Several players showed some ability — Gracie McCullough on Doylestown Gold was one — and colleges such as Marywood, Alderson Broaddus, AIC, and Susquehanna had coaches or representatives in attendance to find talent.  

A ton of work was done by volunteers as well as Mike McCandless and the Doylestown Rugby Club to make this happen. Rugby PA Executive Director Dylan Hamilton ensured temperature checks, proper distancing, and other safety protocols (disinfecting the balls, for example) were in place. And special note should be made of Phil Moyer and Mike Bowen, who, between the two of them, refereed every game over the weekend.