GREELEY, Colo. – The USA Rugby Stars and Stripes Camp ended Wednesday at the University of Northern Colorado with two intense matchups featuring the best high school rugby players in the country.
The morning rain did not faze the girls Stars and Stripes teams, who looked sharp in their World Rugby Shop kit bearing the new Stars and Stripes logo. The Stars got on the board first in the 12th minute of the 70-minute match, but the lead was short-lived with a Stripes try three minutes later. Stripes had a 10-5 lead at the end of the first 35-minute half with another try in the 22nd minute.
The level of play was indicative of the growth of women’s youth rugby, with scrums a strong suit for both teams and the ability to take advantage of scoring opportunities within the 22s showcased.
Stripes padded the lead with three unanswered tries in the first seven minutes of the second half to put the Stars relatively out of reach at 22-5. The two teams traded a try apiece in the final five minutes to bring the final score to 27-10 in favor of the Stripes.
Seven of the players in the match – Tess Feury, Haley Langan, Michel Navarro, Emily Prentice, Kat Ramage, Becca Jane Rosko, and Danielle Walko-Siua – were recently named to the U.S.’s Youth Olympic Games Rugby Sevens team for this year’s tournament in China.
The Most Valuable Player was Mata Hingano with an outstanding work rate and an ability to create space for her teammates. Prentice and Ashlee Byrge, who was one of 13 girls who attended last year’s Camp, were given the Spirit Award for their work during the week.
The boys Stars and Stripes match was not as lopsided as a 53-20 score might indicate. Stars came out of the gate ready to go and showed it with a converted try in just the third minute, but Stripes capitalized on decision-making errors by Stars to consistently put points on the scoreboard.
Up 26-13 at the half, Stripes replicated their girls counterpart with three tries to open the second half. Stars had multiple chances to cut into the lead but could not make the last pass or find the right hole, something the team’s head coach said was due to the missed opportunities earlier in the match.
“We came out all fired up and the first two minutes went all our way,” Brendan Keane, who was an assistant coach at the first Stars and Stripes Camp, said. “I think, when we didn’t score after having a bit of time in their end, we got outside our own headspace a little bit and, for the rest of the game, we seemed to try to force some things.
“The boys’ effort was excellent. At times we just didn’t have the mental piece right.”
The boys teams combined for eight successful penalty kicks and conversions in 14 attempts and displayed the tactical wherewithal to use the boot in open play to their advantage.
While there were many who contributed to the team in the Stripes’ win, MVP Andrew Fraczek stood out with an ability to win ball at the breakdown. Somtochukwu Iromuanya and Chance Wenglewski were given the Spirit Award for the Camp.
The athletes departed the University of Northern Colorado campus draped in their Serevi Rugby t-shirts. The continued contribution of Serevi Rugby in local camps across the country is a contributing factor to the increased on-field performances of the athletes in camp.
In addition to the on-field training, players had the opportunity to learn about other aspects that lead to success in rugby. Impact Sports’ Tim Naiman laid out some nutritional guidelines, including integrating Weetabix as a tool to fuel training. Finally, the players learned how to focus for the match through some practical sports psychology tools from Julie Sutcliffe.
USA Rugby would like to thank all of the sponsors who made the second Stars and Stripes Camp possible and the hard work of the athletes and coaches to create an environment of success for America’s next Eagles and Olympians.
|Boys Stars||Boys Stripes||Girls Stars||Girls Stripes|
|Matt Brennan||Malon Al Jiboori||Daja Curtis||Ashlee Byrge|
|Ollie Brookins||Bryce Beck||Lillie Darr||Sheila Decker|
|Bobby Butchofsky||Ryan Bradfield||Ali Decrane||Lily Durbin|
|Jamie Gillan||Justin Brown||Tess Feury||Rachel Finch|
|James Glavin||Jack Casey||Hanna Garcia||Ellie Fromstein|
|Renzo Gonzales Pesce||Andrew Fraczek||Alana Girardin||McKenzie Hawkins|
|Somtochukwu Iromuanya||Mateo Gowland||Renee Gonzales||Hedvig Karlsson|
|Austin LaGow||Cormac Heaney||Karee Helgerson||Grace Kiraly|
|Wyatt Latty||Antonio Jablonski||Mata Hingano||Haley Langan|
|Dom Lindstrom||Gary Jones||Joie Krahling||Maya Learned|
|Ryan Littlegeorge||Nick Kwasniewski||Paige Krahling||Ilona Maher|
|Michael Marino||Aedan Mangan||Hannah Lewandowski||Az Nalbandian|
|Connor Marsh||Alex Maughan||Meghan Mackay||Ashley Rolsma|
|Camden McGregor||Matthew Miner||Michel Navarro||Becca Jane Rosko|
|David Mershon||Sean O'Neill||Kate Payson||Emily Roskopf|
|Yoh Nakayama||Chayce Pannell||Emily Prentice||Caitie Sands|
|Christopher Nilson||Connor Plumb||Kat Ramage||Frankie Sands|
|Mason Pedersen||Noah Schrader||Annemarie Reid||Andrew Sarabria|
|Trevor Rothhaas||Nick Seimens||Lindsay Songer||Jordan Stewart|
|Courtland Smith||Kris Sheckels||Fina Toetu'u||Suli Tausinga|
|Manny Soto||Kellen Shockley||Caitlin Weigel||Abby Tobias|
|Matthew Williams||Garrett Soileau||Lily Weldon||Danielle Walko Sui|
|Luke Womack||Chance Wenglewski||Elizabeth Wilson|
|Kevin Woo||Nikko Zuluaga|