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Raptors Girls Cruise To Tennessee HS 7s Title

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Raptors Girls Cruise To Tennessee HS 7s Title

The Ravenwood Raptors with their trophies.

The Ravenwood Raptors cruised convincingly through the field to win the Tennessee HS Girls 7s Saturday in Knoxville.

With COVID restrictions making it tough for teams to be able to prepare, only four teams competed, and the competition was then formatted into a six-game round-robin.

GRR predictions were that the Columbia Central vs Raptors game would be tight, but in the end it wasn't Riverdale pushed Columbia Central, and that was a bit of a harbinger of the day as it wasn't Columbia, but the Raptors, who dominated. The Raptors basically produced the same performance in all three games, winning comfortably each time to take the top spot.

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Scores and final standings:

Columbia Central 15-10 Riverdale
Raptors 34-0 Tribe
Columbia Central 5-31 Raptors
Riverdale 17-12 Tribe
Columbia Central 15-15 Tribe
Raptors 31-10 Riverdale

Tennessee HS Rugby Idaho Girls Fall 7s Standings
Team W L T PF PA PD Pts
Raptors 3 0 0 96 15 81 9
Columbia Central 1 1 1 35 56 -21 6
Riverdale 1 2 0 37 58 -21 5
Tribe 0 2 1 27 66 -39 4

Raptors Talent Holds Sway

Leading the way for the Raptors was scrumhalf Stephanie Esmonde. The sparkplug halfback was hugely influential in keeping the pace of the Raptors attack high. She directed traffic, kept her teammates on-task, and was also solid kicking for conversions.

"She's a spitfire," said Raptors Coach Richard Boone. "She was smart and aggressive and our MVP."

A USA South All-Star, the junior will be joining the Panther Academy, and she's not the only one.

Sisters Kelsey and Kaylan Thomas were two exciting additions to the team. New to rugby, the fraternal twins, who also run track, had a breakout tournament. With Kelsey in the forwards getting go-forward, and Kaylan on the wing torching defense, they sparked a superb Raptors run.

"Kaylan is the faster player I have ever seen in girls rugby," said Boone. 

The Raptors have benefited from an a big increase in interest this fall. Their numbers were good enough so that they could field a team in the festival that accompanied the Tennessee championship tournament. The Raptors 2nds went 3-1.

"We have a great group of girls and a great group of parents," said Boone. "We had some tough competition, but we're getting new kids coming out and we've got a lot of talent."