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Herriman Edges United In Utah Boys Fall 7s

HS Boys

Herriman Edges United In Utah Boys Fall 7s

Herriman won the Utah Youth Rugby Boys Varsity fall 7s competition, taking the final two tournaments of the season.

Herriman had encountered plenty of trouble with United this fall, losing the final of the first tournament of the fall series to their rivals from Alpine, before edging United in the second tournament. It came down to the final of Round 3, and Herriman was 21-17.

United Boys And Girls Lead Utah Youth 7s

United and Herriman both went 3-0 in pool play, and both won their semis relatively comfortably, Herriman 38-15 over Kearns, and United 30-0 over Genesis.

United had a slightly more experienced group this season while Herriman was younger, but grew together over the fall tournaments.

With several Herriman players playing football, it was the athletes who didn't opt for the pads who led the effort. Zach Thorum took on the coaching job for the Herriman 7s team and did well getting a young and disparate group on the same page. 

"United has a tremendous team," said Herriman Director of Rugby Jeff Wilson. "All three games were close because there was really no gap between the two teams, and if we played them 10 times, I'm not sure who would come out ahead.  United is so tough is that they are very balanced and very deep.  They can play 12 different players in a game and have no dropoff.  Lots of speed, well-coached and well-skilled, and there were no guys that you could focus on taking away because every player can hurt you. Coin Puriri and Seti Matua do a tremendous job with that program."  

Puriri had his players coming quick to the breakdown and forcing turnovers. It took some time for Herriman to adjust to that but resourcing the tackle area proved to be critical for the Mustangs.

Thorum gets much of the credit for working out where the Herriman team was having troubling and plugging in the adjustments.

The final on Saturday was a thriller. Jackson Hammer, a returning starter and a HS All American this past summer, rose up and led from the front in the final. A player with the ability to create and finish try-scoring opportunities on his own, Hammer has been working on his ability to distribute and use his teammates.

His development in that aspect of play has been part of Herriman's run of success. He also kept the team focused when Mason Barker was hit with a yellow card for a dump tackle in the first half. Barker, however, picked himself up and led the team well when he returned.

Nate Depew was a huge weapon with his restarts, as his kicking has seen improvement, and with his accuracy and the tall guys chasing those kicks down, Herriman was able to keep United at bay, somewhat. Strider Fountaine, Daxton McPeak, Sam Adamson, and Justice Anderson all played strong defense, helping corral United's offload game.

This was a huge win for Herriman. After just barely losing the national final in 15s, Herriman was able to win a very difficult Utah 7s fall with many major starters graduated or on the football team. Thorum got them playing together, and Herriman might well be on the road to another big run.