Two of three Loudoun Rugby teams came away state champions during the Virginia State Summer Rugby 7’s Championship, held on July 23 in Culpepper.
In the U12 division, LoCo Rugby won a nail biter final. After going undefeated in pool play, LoCo Rugby faced off against the Barbarians. Despite a close game the U12 team was successful in putting pressure on the Barbarians and scoring on all conversions. They were aided in their win by precision kicking by Jack Fraine. In the end, the Barbarians missed their final kick, keeping the score at 28-26, and the U12 team bringing home the state champion title.
U12 coach Joe Decie said he was proud of the team. “This was the best final I’ve been involved [with] in my seven years with Loudoun. Not my favorite, due to how tight the game was, but the fact that we were able to maintain pressure meant that it came down to the very last act of the game to determine who was the winner,” he said.
The U18 team went 3-0 in its pool games Saturday beating Alexandria, Springfield and Richmond and securing a spot in the final. The U18 team beat Fort Hunt 31-12 in one of its top performances of the season.
Team Captain Scott Wilkins’ three tries helped lead the team to victory as well as senior Nicholas White’s scoring seven tries for the day. White lead an impressive group of scorers including Taylor Downer, Tyler Fraine, Chris Scheuerman, Asher Clark and Patricio “P-man” Anduaga.
“The boys played the best Rugby I have seen from them all season,” U18 Coach Matt McNamee said. This was the second state title the U18 team has won this year.
Despite having a limited bench, the U14 team won three of its four games and walked away with silver medals.
Try scorers included Nick Kellen Robert Kellen, Finn Brooks, Luke Hable, AJ Dvorznak and Simon Tavoi. Scrumhalf Tyler Gilbert finished with 17 out of 20 conversion points attempts.
U14 Coach Andy Gilbert said he was happy with the teams efforts and couldn’t have asked for more. “This is only the second state tournament this group has lost in seven years, and they took it in their stride. We are a young side and are returning the core of this team to U14 next year with a great group coming up. We are building something special in Loudoun,” he said.
Steve Lough, president of Loudoun Rugby Football Club, said “The boys and girls of Loudoun Rugby have shown an amazing amount of determination this year. Everyone has worked so hard all season–players, coaches and parents—and it paid off.”
“Rugby is such a great sport—it doesn’t matter how fast or strong an athlete is, they all make a significant contribution to winning, regardless of who scores. We are always looking for new players – so if you are interested, get in touch. You do not need any experience, just enthusiasm. We can teach you everything you need to know,” said Lough.
LoCo Rugby is a combination of Loudoun Rugby Football Club and Western Loudoun Rugby’s youth teams.
The team was featured as D.C. television station Fox5’s Home Town Team on Friday July 22 in conjunction with Visit Loudoun and Leesburg-based Major League Rugby Team Old Glory DC.