Summit rugby’s second varsity team wins 2 of 3 at Regis |

Summit rugby’s second varsity team wins 2 of 3 at Regis

Tigers led by Comai, Roque and Jackson

Summit High School varsity girls rugby player Joselin Roque is tackled by teammate Natalie Alderete during an indoor practice at Summit High School on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

The Summit High School rugby program’s second varsity team won two of three matches Saturday on the road versus Regis High School.

The team, known within the program as the “Gold” team, recovered from a 12-0 deficit in the first of three games versus Regis for a 28-12 win on the power of four tries in the second half. Summit then won the second game 17-14 to win the day before dropping the final game 22-19.

Tigers head coach Cat Scanlan said junior wing Isabella Comai was a standout player throughout the day. She scored three of the Tigers’ four tries in the first contest, and she scored a majority of the Tigers’ points in the second game thanks to her role as the team’s conversions kicker.

Scanlan said the first game’s comeback was predicated on the team passing the ball out wide, which led to more possessions and opportunities, namely for Comai.

“She is incredible in the sense that we are able to put her on the wing, or at flyhalf or center, and she just creates opportunities for her teammates and is able to find space super easily,” Scanlan said. “And she is the fastest girl on all three teams at Summit. She’s an awesome player to have on our team.”

Scanlan said she and Tigers program head coach Karl Barth have opted to play Comai on the second varsity squad to maximize her playing time and development ahead of her senior season next fall.

Scanlan also said sophomore Joselin Roque stepped up to provide Summit with another game-breaking player Saturday. Roque scored the side’s first try in the second game, and used her stiff-arm and agility throughout the contest to make Regis players miss.

Roque’s heroics included a 70-yard run through five defenders, where Scanlan said she read the field like a running back or kick returner in football. The exclamation point on Roque’s day was a kickoff return for a try in the game’s final 10 seconds.

“It’s awesome to have a player who goes out of her way to fight for this team,” Scanlan said. “Also, hands-down she’s our best tackler on our team. She’s a force on offense and defense. In the second game there was a moment where she tackled a girl, she got up, and the girl the other girl passed it to, Joselin ended up tackling her as well. It was all in five seconds. That just takes a player who is hungry for the ball and hungry to tackle.”

Summit’s other defensive stars Saturday included freshman Reegan Jackson, who played both hooker and wing. The versatile first-year player has played for both the Tigers’ top side, the “Green” team — which did not play this weekend — and this second varsity side. Scanlan said Jackson is an elite natural athlete who’s picked up the game quickly.

“She knows exactly where to be at the right time,” Scanlan said. “She will chase a girl down for 50 yards, if she has to, to get that tackle. It’s awesome to have her part of our team this weekend, and it’s exciting to see where she’s going to end up being in next couple of years at Summit High.”

Scanlan was assisted in coaching Saturday by senior star Lily Hess. The future Coastal Carolina University player can’t play her senior season due to a wrist injury. But like Tigers before her, such as 2020 grad Abby Daughtery, that hasn’t stopped Hess from bestowing her knowledge to younger players.

Scanlan said Hess — who was the head coach for a couple of weekends when Scanlan was out due to a COVID-19 quarantine — has become a “co-coach” and helped Roque to blossom into the kind of top-level tackler Hess is known to be.

“She’s such a good energy, and the Gold Tiger girls I don’t think would be doing as well without her this year, truly,” Scanlan said.

The Gold team will next play May 1 versus Denver East at Cook Park in Denver. The games may give the team the opportunity to finish in third place in the Colorado Interscholastic Rugby Association. The Green team will play Monarch at Cook Park the same day for the program’s 13th-straight state title.

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