Summit boys rugby comeback falls short at Monarch

Tigers girls to play at US rugby center in Little Rock as last hurrah

The Summit boys rugby team, wearing blue and white, plays in junior varsity action versus Monarch in Louisville on Thursday, May 27.
Photo by Stefan de Vogel

The Summit boys rugby team scrapped but ultimately fell 44-19 at Monarch on Thursday, May 27.

Summit roared back from a 22-0 first half deficit after Monarch strategically attacked Summit’s weakness in the back end. Summit responded in the first eight minutes of the second half with 19 points of its own. Monarch returned to what worked for them on the attack earlier in the game, running through Summit’s outside backs for four tries to run away with it in the game’s final 10 minutes.

“We have forwards trying to play as backs, and speed wins,” Summit head coach Lance French said. “So it was a tough loss, and no one likes to lose. But I tell you what, we knew that the season was going to be a tough season, and we knew going into it success is not judged by wins or losses or score; we’re judged by building for next year.”

French said Summit’s strength lies in its front line with numerous players who will return next year led by junior flyhalf Sam Daly.

French said senior scrumhalf Phineas Smith provided leadership Thursday while senior newcomers like Kyler Bryant also stepped up. Bryant is among the many seniors and underclassmen on French’s junior-varsity-level side trying the sport for the first time.

“Kyler is such a strong leader, and he keeps the guys up and supports ’em,” French said. “And we’ve established good leaders and a good foundation to build our front row around next year.”

Along with Daly at flyhalf, the future includes brave 125-pounder Lucas Salcedo.

“And he plays like he’s 190,” French said. “He’s just coming alive.”

Though the Tigers currently reside at 0-3 ahead of a final round-robin to end the season June 12 in Colorado Springs, French believes the side is trending in the direction of its first victory.

One of the guys leading the charge is GC Martinez at hooker, a long snapper for the Summit High School football team who has helped French’s squad excel on their line-out throws. On Thursday, the sophomore jumped up and down in celebration after scoring the first try of his career.

“He was all over the pitch making tackles, rucking everywhere,” French said. “And because of that hard work he got the try.”

Tigers girls to play at Little Rock national center sevens tournament

Two months after they won the Colorado high school state championship for a 13th-straight time, the Summit High School girls rugby team will have an added last hurrah at the end of the month at the national sevens tournament at the American Pro Rugby Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tigers head coach Karl Barth said some seniors will play one final time with Summit in the eight-team tournament that, in a way, is a replacement for the Tigers’ annual trip to Utah for the elite-level Pink Sevens.

The Tigers will play in the teams division at an event where elite collegiate and national program players, like Tigers alum PK Vincze, will play in divisions higher than high school. Barth said Summit will play some of the country’s best high school teams, including sides from California and Texas.

“It’s a vibe of going in and really challenging yourself to play against some teams who are really strong and seeing how you do,” Barth said. “It’s an opportunity to play one more time, mostly just test yourself.”

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