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Rugby Maryland Takes 1st Mid-Atlantic HS 7s

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Rugby Maryland Takes 1st Mid-Atlantic HS 7s

Rugby Maryland took the first tournament of the HS summer 7s season in the Mid-Atlantic, defeating West Carroll in an extremely tight final. 

Comprised of players from teams that didn't field their own sevens squads, RM demonstrated solid passing and aggressive pressure defense all day.

Rugby Maryland struggled through their pool matches, and had to come from behind to win two of them.  The team defeated the Bethesda Roosters 31-5, Howard County Hurricanes 20-19 and Loyola-Blakefield 24-17 on their way to the cup final.  

Head Coach for Rugby Maryland John France was pleased how his team had improved throughout each game: "The boys cleaned up their passing and tightened up their defense throughout the day, which is what we were looking for." While RM Assistant Coach Marcus Wood added: "These boys demonstrated outstanding teamwork and the ability to learn from their mistakes,  I am really impressed with their growth as young men today."

The West Carroll Marauder's path to the cup final took them past Ron Brown 24-15 and the Bethesda Roosters 24-0, before a short hiccup against the Howard County Hurricanes 5-19.

In the final, Rugby Maryland took advantage of two West Carroll yellow cards and scored twice moving the ball through the hands leading to a 12-0 lead at the half.  With all of their players back on the field, West Carroll came storming back after the intermission to score two successive converted tries by Wyatt Johns and Preston Jones.  

With the game on the line and no time left on the clock, Rugby Maryland came up with a bit of magic.  RM's Tyler Lopes created a turnover and the ball was sent wide, eventually finding it way into the hands of Jamie Mathwasa.  Mathwasa made the initial line break, and then passed the ball to Noah Wood.  Although he had space, Wood still had a lot of work to do breaking an arm tackle and using his speed to beat the cover defense to score the winning try.  Final: Rugby Maryland 19 West Carroll 14

West Carroll Coach Chet Rockwood was pleased with his teams effort: “It was a very exciting game to be involved in. Both teams showed a lot of athletic talent. Championships are always fun with a close score. Everyone made an impact in the final. West Carroll was very pleased with our young freshman Zach Kinloch. He stepped up and made some huge tackles as well as some very powerful line breaking runs. Senior, Preston Jones played his heart out and scored 30 points on the day. We were also very excited to have sophomore Dimitri Berry back from injury. Rocky Gorge hosted a great tournament once again.”

In the third place game, the Howard County Hurricanes won the third place trophy by beating Ron Brown High School 24-15.  Ron Brown is a brand new program in the District of Columbia and evidence of rugby's continued growth in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Rocky Gorge Tournament Director Zaven Mnatzakanian was pleased with the quality of the teams and over all play.  "I really wish that I had the opportunity ten years ago to do what these boys are doing today.  The talent on display will insure that rugby in this area will continue to grow and improve.  We hope all of these teams will want to come back next year."

Rugby Maryland

1. Joe Vitolio -- Maryland Exiles

2. Keshawn Raiford -- Washington Warriors

3. Moose Carroll -- DeMatha

4. Isaac Balladaras -- Good Counsel 

5. Rylan Wareham -- Maryland Exiles

6. Jamie Mathwasa -- DeMatha

7. Noah Wood -- DeMatha

8. Jihad Alcorn -- Washington Warriors

9. Tyler Lopes -- Maryland Exiles

10. Shemar Lewis -- DeMatha



West Carroll Marauders

1 Wyatte Johns

2 Cooper Meyers

3 Dimitri Berry

4 Sam Kinloch

5 Gavin Rouse

6 Preston Jones

7 Zach Kinloch

8 Seth Hartman

9 Hayden Johns