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2016 USA RUGBY EMIRATES AIRLINE CLUB 7s NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK | COMMERCE CITY, COLORADO AUGUST 13-14, 2016
Updated 17:39 – 25 Jul 2016 by Randy Helsman
One of the most successful 7’s programs over the last decade, Schuylkill River RFC adds a new layer to its young, but storied history.
Schuylkill River 7’s launches U23 Academy Team
One of the most successful 7’s programs over the last decade, Schuylkill River RFC (Philadelphia, Pa), adds a new layer to its young, but storied history. Beginning this summer, Schuylkill River is proud to announce the formation of its U23 7’s Academy that will compete throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. SR has tabbed one of nation’s most well-known and renowned coaches, William “Biddy” Boyle, to guide this young squad.
“For the last couple of years, we fielded 3 to 4 sides a weekend many of them almost entirely made up of college players, so this is decision was easy to make and actually long overdue” stated SR 7’s Director, Pat Boyle (no relation to Biddy Boyle). “Now we have given these young athletes an identity and we know it will only fast track their development.”
The U23 Academy Team will train side by side with SR’s Men’s Team creating a true pathway for up and coming 7’s players. Regardless of age, any player talented enough will still compete with SR’s Premier Men’s side, but the U23 Academy will serve as a vital tool in preparing the next generation of great 7’s players. SR’s renowned coaching staff will individually track each player, communicating with their College coaches and Touring Side selectors about their development.
Chris Ryan, Head Coach of SR 7’s added, “We hang our hat on developing 7’s rugby players. We aren’t a club, nor want to be one that flies in players for tournaments. The Academy side is the next level of enhancing our ethos of developing rugby players. We finished 6th in the country last year with every player living locally, 8 of which were 23 or younger, and not one international (1st thru 5th place at Nationals in 2015 all had at least 1, many placing below SR), so we aren’t just saying these things, we truly believe it and the results bear it.”
For new U23 Academy Coach, Biddy Boyle, it’s just another notch in his long history of developing rugby players. Most recently, Coach Boyle has been aiding in the development of Atlantis U19 side which recently won Vegas 7’s as well as resuming his duties as 7’s Coach at the University of Delaware since their reinstatement. “My work with the U19 Atlantis team has really reinforced my beliefs in what works in rugby. We have been lucky enough to have that group for a couple tournaments and practices and the results have been amazing. It is not a group of superior athletes thrown together and said go win. It’s not to say they aren’t great athletes, but the key was they actually got to train together a bit and results followed. The same is true for my new role with SR’s U23 side except it takes it a step further. These athletes will train and play together all summer long. Whatever their goal is SR Men’s side, College All-American, an Atlantis cap, or hopefully the Eagle’s for some, our program will fast track that goal.”
Schuylkill River’s 7’s program we still field multiple Men’s side this summer, but it’s clear they will have many young players pushing them every day. Schuylkill River’s 7’s program is open to all athletes 18 years or older regardless of experience, or 15’s club affiliation.
Pat Boyle concluded with saying “You can pay a lot of money these days for camps and other types of instruction in our sport. Those certainly have a place, but the feedback we have gotten from college coaches is a summer in our program where you are training and actually playing every week far exceeds the camp setting. Sides targeted specifically for the U23 group I think will only lead to more local players choosing our development path. We are honest, we don’t tell kids you’ll be the next Eagle if you play for us, but certainly tell them we can take their game to the next level and if a player’s next level is the Eagles then our coaches will get him there.”
Any U23 or men’s player interested in joining should contact Pat Boyle, Director of 7’s. firstname.lastname@example.org
Schuylkill River’s 7’s program was established in 2008. Since that time, SR has qualified for the USA Rugby 7’s Nationals 6 times, winning the MAC Championship 4 times and finished 6th at the 2015 USA Club National Championship. The program has produced 4 USA National Camp invitees, 7 Collegiate All Americans, and over 25 players have gone on to play for US select/touring sides.
Updated 17:51 – 25 Jul 2016 by Randy Helsman
The week that was, is and will be ….
THE WEEK THAT WAS
The Exiles travelled to Pittsburgh on Saturday and ended up earning a 20-20 draw. Matt “The Hawk” Henderson scored a try and Bob Rosato scored twice. Owen Jones earned a “Jones-Bro” hat trick which consists of a penalty kick, conversion, and a black eye.
The Exiles currently sit in third place but have a home game against Norfolk coming up so it appears that we control our own destiny in our quest for a home playoff game. According to Coach Bill Jalbert we’ve got our work cut out for us and it’s time to grind hard. One up tackling must be our top priority.
Captain Randy Helsman’s view is that it was a tale of two halves. Oddly enough both sides played better/more aggressively against the strong winds because you had to run it out instead of relying on the foot. Though it’s not an ideal outcome a tie allowed us to come home with some points from one of the tougher spots to travel to.
The Troop had a clear mission on Saturday, travel to Happy Valley and get a win in order to qualify for MAC playoffs, and I am happy to report that thanks to our emphasis on friendship the mission was accomplished in a 41-17 victory. Coach Michael “Arizona” Clark’s win streak has already crossed international and state lines and now he can add Centre County PA to the municipalities that have felt the wrath of his victory march.
Try scorers in this match includes Sea Isle’s Finest Frank Feola X2, Austin Lucas, Tim Lowe, and John “Hines” Hines Jr X2. Dan Callahan’s foot was golden as he added 4 conversion and a penalty in very difficult conditions.
According to Coach Arizona, after struggling with kick offs and the winter conditions, the team was able to come together and get an early lead by working our system and playing stingy defense. We were able to make up for our mistakes with our strong scrumming and our ability to move the ball.
Captain Dan Callahan stated that Troop’s ever rotating ensemble of players looked good this weekend. We overcame adverse weather conditions and a long drive to get the win and Captain Callahan thinks this team looks ready for the playoffs. As a Kutztown Golden Bear Dan has less than fond memories of Penn State so it also felt good to get a victory on their campus.
The Nomads travelled to North Penn on Sunday and tied 15-15. According to Coach JB both teams fought to the end in sloppy conditions. The tie brings the Nomads record to 1-1-1 (2-1-1 overall). Scoring for the Nomads were Keyon McCloud X2, and Alandy Fleury (1/2 on conversions, 1/1 on penalty kicks). Congrats to David Barksy on being named Nomad of the Match. His leadership in the back 3 really shined through.
The Otters unfortunately were snowed out this weekend against Warwick and are looking into make-up dates.
THE WEEK THAT IS
Friends and Family Day is this weekend!
At Pennypack on Saturday we’ll have an Old Boys game against Harrisburg followed by D3 hosting North Penn and D1 hosting Baltimore. This will be a family friendly event so please make an effort to be there and spread the word to your loved ones.
On Sunday the Nomads are home against Blackthorn and the Otters travel to Elizabethtown.
THE WEEKS THAT WILL BE
The Exiles have a big home game on April 30 against Norfolk and could use as much support as possible on the sidelines. Troop has qualified for playoffs starting May 7 so we’ll be sure to update everyone once we know where that match is taking place. We are hosting a 7s tournament on May 21 for High School, College and Men’s sides and anyone who is interested in entering a side can reach out to me directly.
Updated 22:38 – 11 Apr 2016 by Randy Helsman