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Girls HS Team Rankings for 2022-23 Season

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Girls HS Team Rankings for 2022-23 Season

Majestics at HS Club nationals. Any Nicholson photo.

OK! Are you ready for this?

After months of hemming and hawing and self doubt we have unleashed our Girls HS rankings for the 2022-23 season.

Now, yes, it's very late. Why? Well the main issues are this: fewer girls teams travel to play out of their state compared to boys teams; The EGRL, the Gonzaga Tournament, the Midwest Championships, and the national tournaments are all is hugely valuable in helping us track how teams compare with those in other regions, but in the end there are many teams that play only in their state and we have to make some judgments about that.

The second issue is that COVID still undercut some leagues. It's rather startling how slowly girls leagues and girls teams rebounded compared to boys teams once the truth of COVID's threat to young people became clear to decision-makers. The girls game is indeed coming back strong now, but not everywhere (ahem, Minnesota ... ) so that's made assessing regions and leagues and teams a little tougher.

And finally, there's the fact that several leagues still just play 7s. Should we exclude those teams, or should we include them because, in our observations, they're still a group of good rugby players?

It took us a while to judge all of this, and also mix up HS clubs and single-school teams—in our opinion there are not enough girls teams, especially strong girls teams, to separate the national championships into School and Club. We ended up relying on some third-party observers to help us figure our who was the stronger.

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OK ... so on to the rankings and explanations.

It's a debate between Majestics and DSHA as to who gets to #1, and we used some dispassionate third-party opinions and observations to help us with this one. In the end it was Majestics' athleticism and power that put them at #1.

No disrespect to DSHA or anyone else, but HS Club rugby at the very top is bigger and badder, and when Majestics beats just about everyone by a wide margin, and then backs that up with some 7s success, you have to take notice. Sparta-Rock was very close to beating DSHA at Midwests, which is why we have them at #3. Rankings 5-11 are very tough because Rocky Mountain performed quite well at the national tournament but lost to were pushed by a good Eagle team in their state final. However, Eagle tied Catholic Memorial at the national tournament, while Rocky Mountain won comfortably over Columbia Central, who edged Memorial the next day, winning by five points. Meanwhile, Charlotte Cardinals beat Morris and Aspetuck in EGRL action, but the Showcase finals ended with Morris and Aspetuck facing off. In the regular season Aspetuck won by a relatively wide margin over Morris, but later on Morris Aspetuck won the rubber match.  

Aspetuck also lost a close one to United, while Morris lost a close one to SacPAL. Columbia Central's tie with Eagle was an excellent result, and they then beat Catholic Memorial. But overall they didn't have quite as many head-turning results through the season. CC could be Top 10, and we feel a little lousy that they aren't. The point is, they are all very close. 

As we go down the list we have very good teams that concentrated on 7s (Belmont Shore, Summit), longtime successful programs that just didn't play outside their region (Kent, Summit), and teams that didn't win tournaments but competed well (Grandville). East Valley in Oregon crushed all before them in Oregon, but they didn't travel. Grandville, San Mateo, even Warsaw or Clayton might have had more losses, but traveled and competed and showed where they stood against the very best.

You see the travel aspect come into play, for example, with St. Joe's, which competed in Ohio but also Charlotte Ruggerfest, Midwest Championships, and the School-team national tournament, ranked ahead of Belmont HS which just played in Massachusetts, but dominated.

So that's what we have:

Rank Team State
1 Majestics Utah
2 DSHA Wisconsin
3 Sparta-Rock Michigan
4 Sac PAL California
5 Rocky Mountain Idaho
6 United Utah
7 Charlotte Cardinals North Carolina
8 Aspetuck Connecticut
9 Morris New Jersey
10 Eagle Idaho
11 Columbia Central Tennessee
12 Catholic Memorial Wisconsin
13 St. Joseph’s Ohio
14 Belmont HS  Massachusetts
15 East County Oregon
16 San Mateo California
17 Belmont Shore California
18 Kent Washington
19 Grandville Michigan
20 Liberty Washington
21 Knightmare Pennsylvania
22 Perrysburg Ohio
23 Summit Colorado
24 Valley Panthers Oregon
25 Carmel Indiana
26 Bitterroot Montana
27 Waverly Shell Rock Iowa
28 Texas Nuclear Thunder Texas
29 Warsaw Indiana
30 Woodlands Texas
31 Clayton North Carolina
32 Doylestown Pennsylvania
33 CRC Valkyries Illinois
34 Corning New York
35 Big Dawgs Arizona