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Minutemen Take HS Division at Surfside

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Minutemen Take HS Division at Surfside

Minutemen won the Surfside 7s. Photo Kate McAuliffe.

The Minutemen RFC summer 7s HS team defeated Berks County in the final to win the HS Division of the Surfside 7s in Stone Harbor, NJ this weekend.

The Minutemen is a select 7s club comprised of players from the DC area. This year’s side included players from Georgetown Prep, Gonzaga, and St Johns College High School. 

They opened pool play against a strong St Augustine side and fell behind 12-7 in the first half before bouncing back to win 28-12. Their second pool match was against crosstown rivals, the Roosters out of Bethesda, Md.  The Minutemen prevailed 17-0, setting up a Cup semifinal match with a speedy Bishop Shanahan side. 

In this match, the Minutemen held possession for the majority of the match, not allowing Bishop Shanahan to exploit their high-tempo, agility-based game.

The win guaranteed the Minutemen their first Surfside final appearance against the defending champion Berks County. Berks, meanwhile had done pretty well to make the final. They defeated the Roosters in convincing fashion 26-7, shut out Conestoga, and then in the semifinal took care of Downingtown.

Both teams came out strong with Berks drawing first blood with a try from Jake Stelluti converted by Matt Cleland, punishing after a Minutemen turnover. The Minutemen answered with one of their own by Will Breslin. Cleland then converted his own effort scored after a scrum at the center of the field and Berks led 14-7.

But possession rules in 7s and if you can keep the ball you can control the tempo. The Minutemen did superbly well to win restarts and as a result were able to ramp up the pressure on Berks. This results in tries by Patrick McHale, Pierce McGlynn, and Quinn Long scoring, all converted by McHale, to seal a 28-14 victory.

McHale, who scored 52 points in the four matches, was named tournament MVP.

“We brought up 15 talented and well-disciplined 7s players for this tournament and we played our style of rugby exactly how we wanted to," said Minutemen Coach Finn Tuite. "We went through some adversity against St. Augustine and Berks, but we stayed cool and collected, and took care of business.”

Aiden Perrenoud, fellow coach and co-founder of Minutemen added, “It’s been an incredible and rewarding experience coaching these young men, many of whom have been with us since our inaugural season in 2020 as underclassman. They bought into our culture and bought into our system and back themselves and each other from the start. I am extremely proud of this group and look forward to watching them develop as players and even better men in the future.”