KC Jr. Blues Win HOA
KC Jr. Blues Win HOA
The Kansas City Jr. Blues won the Heart of America Tournament in what was a somewhat strange finish.
Consider that the Jr. Blues had lost to St. Thomas Aquinas earlier this season 15-0. And so, when Aquinas was pipped at the finally whistle by Colorado Springs in the semis, you’d think that the Grizzlies would have a solid chance of beating the Blues. Instead, the Blues won big, 41-7.
So back to the pool play, where Aquinas, Colorado Springs, Jr. Blues, and Blue Valley won their pools. That set up the semifinals where the Jr. Blues won their third straight blowout, this time over Blue Valley. Aquinas v Colorado Springs was a lot closer The teams battled to a 10-10 halftime tie, and then both scored unconverted tries to tie it at 15-15. Aquinas kicked a penalty to lead 18-15, but on what was essentially the final play, Springs No. 8 Nick Warman went over to score the winner 20-18.
“It was a good game,” said STA Coach Tim Kluempers. “We played some good rugby but we made some uncharacteristic errors, and that hurt us.”
So on to the final, and Springs found it tough to bounce back from a physical and demanding semi.
“Our boys don’t have down from any game, but we’d had an emotional match, a physical match, and it was difficult to come back for the final,” said Springs Coach Otis McGregor. “KC is a very good team and they played a heck of a match. They are just a really good side.”
“It’s taken us a little while to hit our stride this season,” said Jr. Blues Coach Eddie Cummings, who added that he felt his players took Aquinas a bit lightly in that earlier loss. “We’ve not got the whole team together, and we’re just starting to play the way we want to.”
The Jr. Blues was led by captain Daniel Simon, and hooker Roman Fisch, who both put in a ton of work during the weekend of four shortened games. And with flyhalf Jake Bergner back on the field, the Jr. Blues might just be poised to make some noise.
Oddly, the Blues weren’t even going to be in this tournament. But some opponents bailed in some early games so - just as Aquinas had done earlier in the season - they latched onto a tournament to get some games. That’s why we have this weird doubling up of opponents - the Jr. Blues are taking a trip to Colorado this coming weekend where they will face East HS, and, on Saturday, Colorado Springs. It’s not every week you get a chance at revenge so quickly, but the Grizzlies will.