Monday, July 24, 2017

2017 WGR Fall Conferences

WGR agreed on conference realignment ahead of the Fall 2017 State Championship season.

The conference and playoff schedule is based on balancing travel, team size, and competitive strength  and was aided by the additional of two new school programs; Sussex Hamilton in Waukesha County and Stevens Point Area High School in the northern part of the state.

The State Final Tournament will take place Sunday Oct 29th at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex.

The State Semifinals will take place Saturday Oct 21st.

Stay tuned for full conference schedules

The Jeff Noe Conference
Divine Savior Holy Angels HS    (The Dashers)
Oak Creek HS                               (The Knights)
Brookfield                                     (The Blues)
Fond du Lac-Appleton-Oshkosh  Co-op (OFA ?!)
Stevens Point Area HS                 (The Panthers)

The Tony Oliver Conference
Catholic Memorial HS                   (the Crusaders)
Pulaski HS                                      (The Flyers)
Kettle Moraine                                (The Knightmares)
DSHA JV                                        (The Dashers)
Sussex Hamilton HS                       (The Chargers)

*Middleton will be playing a developmental schedule separate from conference play.   They will participate int he JV division of the State Tournament.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

CRC Girls High School Challenge 2017 (results)

Champion:  Utah All Stars 22 The Blaze 5

3rd place:  DSHA HS 24 Summit HS 5

Blaze 37 Summit 5
Utah 31  DSHA 0

DSHA HS 22 Doylestown 17*

(The All-Star version, not the local league team)-

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Girls Rugby Nationals 2017 as the Dust Settles

Sadly, this year's national high school tournament might be remembered by some more for a semifinal rivalry game that was called early, then for all the great teams and matches this past weekend or for the flexibility teams showed to get both school and club teams at the same location. 

About two years ago, one rugby media source wrote "there’s question as to whether girls high schools can support two separate competitions. Rugby may be the fastest growing sport in the U.S., but how many teams are playing at a level that deserves national recognition? The invitational has always struggled to bring eight top teams into the DI bracket. Additionally, there isn’t countrywide buy-in."

Two years later, supporting two competitions is the real triumph of this event and what should it should be remembered more for.   The girls game is stronger than ever and growing as a result.

In 2015 in Pittsburgh, the final year of the combined championship, there were 14 teams competing.  

In 2017 there were 24 teams competing.  More regions have come in to the schools bracket in particular, showing greater "country-wide buy-in" from as far away as Hawaii, Tennessee, New York, and Oklahoma.

The question isn't whether girls teams deserve national recognition; it's whether girls teams want to challenge themselves to earn national recognition and learn to play at higher levels.  It's not a question as to whether it's already there, it's a question of growing it.  The answer seems to be yes.

Not only were their eight strong competitors in the schools and club brackets, but there were second divisions for each.   Teams in both division two brackets have shown competitive scores against tier one opponents.   West End had beaten Morris at one point this spring, for example. 

Looking at the scores, there were competitive matches all across the board.  Gone are the days when it was an eight team tournament with frequent blowout scores in the first round.   There were tight games in the first round and the school's final was a tight, back and forth match.  We saw newer competitors emerge stronger, ready to fill the room to grow, even as programs like Kent and Danville were absent.  While it was sad not to see them participate; it was eye opening to see others like McMinn and Morris continue to improve and compete at a high level.    

Thank you to the ref crew on site who handled a ton of matches over the course of three days with little to no breaks.  It is a shame there weren't more refs assigned to the event to help the small crew and provide AR's.  To be honest, it's shocking there wasn't more coverage.  Not enough credit is given to these girls teams for the high level of play they achieve and their excellence needs to be matched by administrators and support staff in all aspects of the game.  The girls deserve better.   As the dust settles and the attention fades from the scores and the rankings, let's hope more attention is given to the overall experience and quality of play at this grassroots level.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Girls Rugby High School Nationals 2017 (results)


McMinn 12

Warsaw 7
Orchard Park  52

State College 17

Kahuku 22
St Joseph's 0

Orchard Park 5

Kahuku 17

Consolation Semifinals
McMinn 10
Warsaw 5

State College 23
St Joseph's 7

Kahuku 0

3rd Place
Orchard Park 40

5th Place
McMinn 19
State College 17

7th Place
St Joseph's 34
Warsaw 29

Division 2
Saturday Pool Play

Penn 35
Broken Arrow 39

Grandville 12
Oak Creek 37

Penn 10
Oak Creek 15

Grandville 19
Broken Arrow 19

Oak Creek 22
Broken Arrow 0

Penn 22
Grandville 17

Final Rankings
2 Kahuku
3 Orchard Park
4 Catholic Memorial
5 McMinn
6 State College
7 St Joseph's
8 Warsaw

Monday, May 15, 2017

Girls Nationals 2017

This coming weekend, the Girls National Tournament begins at the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Indiana.

The schools bracket begins Saturday and concludes Sunday.  Club teams compete on Friday and finish Saturday.

Schools D1 Championship
Quarter Finals Bracket A
DSHA (WI) v  McMinn (TN)  10am

Warsaw (IN)  v  Orchard Park (NY)  10am  (webcast)

Quarter Finals Bracket B
Catholic Memorial (WI) v  State College (PA)

Kahuku (HA)  v  St Joseph's Academy (OH)

330pm  Winner's/Consolation Matches
430pm  Winner's/Consolation Matches

Schools D2 Championship

Round I
Penn HS (IN)  vs  Broken Arrow (OK)  9am
Grandville (MI) v  Oak Creek (WI)  9am

Round II
Penn HS v Oak Creek 130pm
Grandville v Broken Arrow 130pm


Schools D1

3rd,5th,7th Place Matches  1130am
Championship   1pm (webcast)

Schools D2
Round III
Penn HS v  Grandville 10am
Oak Creek v Broken Arrow 10am

Club Brackets Have Yet to be Confirmed.  Participants Include

KC United
Land Park
North Bay
South Bay
United Utah
West End

*Kent and Danville are not participating this year

**If our archival records are correct, we are saddened to see Kent not involved as they have competed in every single national tournament.  They had quite the run and as the old baseball adage goes, sadly "records were made to be broken." 


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Historic 2017 Girls High School Rugby Midwest Championships

The most significant highlight of the 2017 Midwest Girls High School Rugby championships, and one that probably hasn't gotten enough attention, is the historic and impressive growth at the heart of this long-standing event.  Even at a championship event like this, this is still all about grass roots development and seeing more young athletes competing.

Brackets filled with school teams, club teams, developing teams, and full JV sides of 15 players all took the field for three matches.  This was the first Midwest with a separate school bracket, and in fact there were more than enough teams to do so, with some participating in other brackets. The sheer numbers of players and the diversity of the programs reflect a clear trend of growth all across the girls game.  These girls were the main event instead of a side bracket on the worst field at a bigger tournament.  The new teams that came were very competitive; whether it was Walnut Hills out of Ohio or Pulaski showing they are as athletic as anyone out there.  

Bringing two states back-in with expanding girls rugby offerings, Michigan and Minnesota,  helped re-energize the event and helped this event be a true reflection of girls rugby across six different states.  Kudos to Grandville and Hopkins for doing the extra work to participate.  Maybe one day we can get Iowa involved and represent all the girls rugby being played in the Midwest.

One person is deserving of far more recognition and thanks for these accomplishments and although we're sure he would prefer to stay in the background; his efforts need to be recognized by all the participants.  Midwest youth coordinator Bob Cronquist is an unsung hero in American rugby's youth development; managing all the logistics, teams, leagues, refs, and schedules year after year.  As an unattached volunteer, he has for many years done this job thanklessly and with professionalism.  He does the same for the boys event too.  He's brought together all these different states with different schedules and development models.  More importantly he's helped KEEP them together in what has to be the longest-running and largest celebration of competitive high school girls rugby teams in the country.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Midwest Championships 2017 (Results)


Single-School Quarterfinals
DSHA 59-0 Grandville
Warsaw 39-10 Hudson
St. Joseph 38-15 Oak Creek
Catholic Memorial 38-12 Penn

Single School Semifinals
5th SF: Grandville 44-5 Hudson
5th SF: Penn 31-20 Oak Creek

SF: DSHA 46-0 Warsaw
SF: Catholic Memorial 32-0 St. Joseph

Sunday Finals
7th: Oak Creek 22-19 Hudson
5th: Penn 23-5 Grandville
3rd: Warsaw 20-5 St. Joseph
Final: DSHA 27-0 Catholic Memorial

2017 Order of Finish
4St Joseph's
5Penn HS
7Oak Creek

Club Pool Play
Hopkins 22-0 Brookfield
Plainfield 5-5 Pulaski
Brookfield 20-5 Brunswick
Walnut Hills 22-5 Plainfield
Pulaski 32-17 Walnut Hills
Hopkins 44-5 Brunswick

Sunday Final Matches
5th: Brunswick 5-0 Plainfield
3rd: Brookfield 10-5 Walnut Hills
Final: Hopkins 22-0 Pulaski

Open Division
Knightmares 45-0 Brownsburg
Knightmares 79-5 South Bend
Knightmares 29-5 Parma
South Bend 15-10 Parma
Parma 20-19 Brownsburg
Brownsburg 21-10 South Bend

JV Division
DSHA 70-0 Brunswick
DSHA 40-5 Penn
DSHA 25-0 St. Joseph
St. Joseph 33-0 Penn
St. Joseph 43-0 Brunswick
Brunswick 39-5 Penn