Texas Wraps Up HS Boys Season
Texas Wraps Up HS Boys Season
Capping off the Rugby Texas season was a multi-tiered affair, but in the end we have what we knew already—there are at least six very strong teams in the state, and most aren’t separated by much.
Rugby Texas ran a season-capping tournament that was not attended by Dallas Jesuit, although Strake Jesuit did attend. Dallas and Strake instead met two weeks before in a de-facto single-school showdown, which Dallas won 38-26.
Dallas then went on to beat Brother Martin in a regional clash between the top school teams from Texas and Louisiana.
As he has all season, center Sy Mendenhall was a force in these games, while prop Benoni Mesfin put in a massive performance in the front row. Anthony Lucido came on at scrumhalf and played very well in a pressure situation—he is usually a reserve but has a tendency to sub in at critical moments and play well.
“Overall it was a great year," said Head Coach Matt Upton. "It was our first undefeated year in program history, and a great way to start off the new single school competition we entered with Louisiana. It was a great year for one of our best teams and we are glad that given COVID we were still able to compete for something, and hopefully start something new that will help us grow the game down here in the South."
Upton said the hope is to create an expanded competition among school teams in Texas, Louisiana and then further afield to Oklahoma and Tennessee and, said Upton, "anyone else willing to grow this idea of a regional series."
Plate, Bowl, Shield
Strake Jesuit did attend the tournament this past weekend, which was split into Cup, Plate, Bowl, and Shied brackets. It was a way for everyone to have a competitive game to wrap up the season. Strake took on Westlake, another ranked single-school team, in the Plate Final, and it was a tight affair, with Strake beating Westlake 31-29. The result helped to nicely stratify the school teams in the state, with Dallas Jesuit having beaten Strake in a close game, and Strake having beaten Westlake in a close game.
The Bowl and Shield brackets had a semifinal-final format and teams played shortened games as a result. Four Points beat Woodlands II 26-14 for the Bowl, while Katy took the Shield.
That left the Cup Championship, which was Woodlands against West Houston. In the end this was not a close game as Woodlands rolled 57-0. West Houston is still a young program and were coming up against a seasoned and talented Woodlands side. Front-rowers Manuel Guzman and Zach Raper touched down for Woodlands as did flanker Federico Garrigos, wings Joseph Golden and Lane O'Brien, and centers Hyrum Myers and Mattox King. Off the bench forwards Tommy Kratt and Aiden King also scored tries, while flyhalf Alex Clarke slotted six conversions.
Nine tries from nine different players, including the entire threequarter line. Junior hooker Zach Raper was the Alex Rayton Man of the Match for scoring a try and being a ferocious presence around the field, making tough meters and laying in massive tackles.
Woodlands now looks ahead to the Boys HS National Championships in June.