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National Youth 7s Set for Friday in Ohio

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National Youth 7s Set for Friday in Ohio

Panther vs Atlantis in 2023. Greg Miranda Photography.

The National Youth Sevens Championships kicks off Friday at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio with brackets for Boys U16s and Boys U14s.

We’re seeing a little bit of a shift to some more single-program teams involved.

U16 Boys Pools

Pool A
Gorilla Rugby
St. Ignatius

Woodlands out of Texas is one of the most involved clubs when it comes to taking players from the very young up through into high school and beyond. They will bring a unified group. St. Ignatius has young talent and is a local (Cleveland) program with a ton of players with 7s experience.

Gorilla has been an effective select side mostly out of Texas, while Atlantis is the gold standard of this type f select 7s program and could well be coming in as one of the favorites.

Pool B
Tribe Rugby
USA Panther Academy
Badger Rugby Selects

Tribe is more of a self-contained club and they won the U14 bracket last year with plenty of power. Panther Academy is always strong and they have a well-organized buildup, which is why they won it last year.

This year’s team includes some outstanding talents from all over, including a couple from The Woodlands(!). Elijah Pimentel from Pendleton, Wyatt Appleton from Raptor Rugby, Bryson Cook from Tampa, Jake Orefice from Raptor, Trace Snellman from The Woodlands, and Harrison Redmond from Rebel. 

Pasefika travels the furthest and probably works the hardest to get there, and they have a ton of talent. Badger Selects will be an interesting group to see as they are just coming out of their league season.



U14 Boys Pools


Pool A
Panther Rugby Academy
Bremer County
Badger Rugby Selects

Panther has to be the top dog here, with Iowa’s Bremer County a chance for the players who go through the Iowa 7s youth/HS leagues. Badger is expanding younger, which is good. CATS is Cleveland Area Touring Side and is a group of players from the older levels of the Rookie Rugby Cleveland teams.

Pool B
San Diego Mustangs
West Park
Roosters Rugby
Wasatch Rugby

This is a terrific pool from four different states. West Park is a self-contained youth club from a neighborhood in Cleveland that usually ends up winning the Rookie Rugby Cleveland title. They would be one of the most physical teams in the competition. 

San Diego will bring passing skills and pace. Roosters out of Bethesda, Md., has a more French approach to their rugby, so when things get random, watch out. Wasatch is out of Utah and another high school feeder program with experience.

Pool C

This is a very tough pool. Loudoun is an excellent youth program out of Virginia, while the Utah County team is from the massive youth league in the Provo, Utah area. Pasefika we mentioned above; Hawaiian, mostly, and very athletic and dynamic. Hawkeyes is a compilation team that has players from all over and they are branching out into boys rugby after really kick-starting within the girls' sphere.