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DSHA Wins Midwest, Sparta Rock Makes Impact

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DSHA Wins Midwest, Sparta Rock Makes Impact

The Sparta Rock team at the Midwest Championships this past weekend.

Divine Savior was impressive in winning this past weekend's Girls Midwest Championships, winning all three games by a combined score of 153-34.

That is, in part, the story, but DSHA was favored to win, along with, perhaps, Catholic Memorial. But Michigan's Sparta Rock was not that bright on the radar. The team, however, not only upset Catholic Memorial 35-24 on Day One, but pushed Divine Savior. The score for the final, 53-29, means that of the 34 points DSHA gave up more than 85% of their points to one team—Sparta Rock.

Despite missing a couple of players to other sports because they play most of their rugby in the fall, Sparta Rock showed very well at Midwests. 

"We just keep trying to always be improving," said Sparta Rock Head Coach Andy Dauser. "We came into this knowing we wouldn't have all our players and we were just trying to get the best out of the girls. We had only one practice a week and just worked on basics and catch-pass."

The team showed up well and showed why they are the Michigan state champions from the fall. Having come together to play at the Tropical 7s, where they finished 2nd in the Girls U18 Open Division.

That was 7s, the Midwest tournament was 15s, but the 7s success certainly boosted the team's confidence.

Leading the way for Sparta Rock is senior captain Ashley Cowdrey. She can play pretty much anywhere and has been asked to do that, suiting up at scrumhalf and flanker, and also flyhalf and center. Everywhere, she's a leader and a talent.

"She's the smallest player on the field but she has the biggest heart," said Dauser. 

No. 8 Charlotte Dauser led the defensive effort and was an imposing runner with the ball while Abby Zurek and Lilly Nowak were also outstanding during the weekend.

The performance by Sparta Rock, then, was a bit of a coming out party, and might put other teams in the region on notice. Interestingly, their main season, as we said, is the fall, and that's also true of the the 1st and 3rd teams at the tournament, DSHA and Catholic Memorial in Wisconsin. It would be interesting to see teams from these states meet up during their peak.

Girls Midwest Championship Scores
Brunswick 19-38 Sparta Rock
Catholic Memorial 36-0 Carmel
Highland 19-20 Carroll
Divine Savior 61-0 Grandville
Sparta Rock 35-24 Catholic Memorial
Brunswick 29-17 Carmel
Divine Savior 39-5 Carroll

5th-6th Grandville 17-7 Brunswick
3rd-4th Catholic Memorial  24-22 Carroll
Final Divine Savior 53-29 Sparta Rock

Open Division
Fort Wayne 29-0 Berkley
Perrysburg 22-34 Warsaw
Divine Savior JV 20-15 Penn JV
Perrysburg 60-0 Berkley
Warsaw 32-10 Fort Wayne
Divine Savior JV 32-7 Carroll JV
Warsaw 17-10 Divine Savior JV
Penn 26-10 Fort Wayne
Carroll JV 29-10 Berkley
Perrysburg 22-12 Highland