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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge


Rugby action under Colorado Skies

The 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge, a showcase of America’s emergent men’s and women’s talent, got underway yesterday at the Aurora Sports Park with 35 matches in 5 divisions from middle school through girls’ and boys’ varsity brackets. It will culminate today after an additional 35 matches. Today’s competition begins at 8am and concludes with an awards ceremony at 5pm.

Elite sides of student-athletes from the Midwest to the West Coast get after the rugby under scrutiny of USA Rugby scouts, college recruiters, friends, family and fans of the game. Within the continuum of rugby, this weekend is an interval packed with promise, rife with opportunities for transience and transcendence. Five, quick-hit profile from the Varsity Emerging Men’s competition:


Joey Sharron: Colorado All Star; 2nd year player; explosive from the midfield and on the wing; looking at a number of college offers, including a full rugby ride;


Isaac Good: Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA) - Midwest; 6th year veteran; two-year High School All-American at outside center; bound for Purdue University this fall to apply himself to an engineering discipline;


Patrick Madden: EIRA - Southern California; 11 year vet; captain of the side excels at either standoff or fullback; a 3-year High School All-American with one year on the Men’s Junior All-American squad; looks to continue his academic and athletic success at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo;


Tyson Lucas: Rugby Texas; 4th year on the pitch out of Allen High School; began on the wing, then scrumhalf, then current slot at 10 where Mr. Lucas is fast, elusive and a fine string-puller at the pivot; college opportunities yet under consideration include University of Oklahoma and University of Arkansas;


Robert ‘Beto’ Lui: West Valley Warriors; 4th year vet and vice-captain of the Utah club from his position at fullback; sees his spot on the premier XV as a “very humbling experience”; Beto is awaiting word on where his upcoming LDS mission will transport him.


A common thread expressed by these eminent examples of our game is one of humility and appreciation for their teammates; recognition of the criticality of collaboration in the truly team effort that is our sport. 
University of Wyoming head coach Dave Finnoff, (in black w/clipboard), chats with West Valley Warriors coaching staff

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