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James Madison Saves Best for Last

College Men

James Madison Saves Best for Last

The JMU team celebrates winning the conference.

James Madison played in all four of the Chesapeake Conference 7s series tournaments, and didn't win any of them, but in the final championship tournament this past weekend, JMU came through with a series of surprise results to take the title.

Madison finished 3rd, 2nd, 4th, and 2nd in the first four tournaments - good performances all, but not enough to finish it off. This past weekend, JMU beat Virginia 17-5 in pool play but lost to Salisbury 12-7. Still, the 1-1 record was good enough put them in the quarterfinals against Georgetown. There JMU seemed to switch on. Down went Georgetown 38-14, and Mary Washington - who had upset Mount Saint Mary's - was next 17-12. That set up the final, in which JMU beat Virginia Tech 14-5.

Salisbury beat Mary Washington 20-0 for 3rd. In the end, JMU ended the Series with the best overall record, too - 15-7, just ahead of MSM at 15-8. But the key was their three victories at the end of it all.

"We have worked towards this Championship event by developing our system over a sustained period of time," said James Madison Head Coach James Lambourne. "We've been developing a true squad of 12-15 players that allowed for me to use a strategy of saving our better players for the key late games this weekend. We lost to Maryland at the first event in the last minute, lost to Virginia Tech at Mary Washington in the final in the second event, and so we were due. We learned a lot from losing twice to Bowling Green at the non-conference events after winning the early games with ease."

It was all a useful learning experience, and shows the value of having a series of events - a true 7s season.

Lambourne said that the approach meant that everyone in th squad contributed. Even when captain Mike Barry went down to a knee injury, the players stepped up. Barry's injury came on the heels of injuries to Chris Marcelin and Matt Petrik, and yet the depth held.

Also, the Chesapeake Conference selected its all-conference 7s team. Here it is:

Player School Class Position
Blake Carroll Salisbury 2017 Flyhalf
Brandon Drummond Maryland 2018 Scrumhalf
Brandon Johnson Mount St. Mary's 2020 Prop
Brian Hay-Stuart James Madison 2018 Back
Chen Han Georgetown 2017 Hooker
John Gerard Virginia Tech 2018 Wing
Luke Agness Virginia 2017 Flyhalf/Scrumhalf
Marcus Allen Salisbury 2017 Wing
Matthew Gordon Mary Washington 2019 Prop/Center
Michael Barry James Madison 2018 Back
Peter Duca Towson 2018 Flyhalf
Ryan Maguire James Madison 2018 Utility
Terence McPhillips Mary Washington 2018 Flyhalf/Center
Thomas Whitaker Virginia Tech 2017 Scrumhalf
Trevor Bruley Virginia Tech 2019 Hooker
Tyler Myles Mount St. Mary's 2017 Flyhalf