Summit girls rugby trying for seventh straight state title | SummitDaily.com

Summit girls rugby trying for seventh straight state title

Sebastian Foltz
sfoltz@summitdaily.com
Tiger girls rugby players fight for the ball in a scrum during the team's final home game against Northside earlier this season. The girls closed their seventh consecutive undefeated season last Saturday at Fort Collins. They'll start their post season pursuit of their seventh consecutive state title Saturday, Nov. 1.

Summit High Playoff Schedule

Saturday, Nov. 1

11 a.m.: Girls Rugby vs. Chaparral High School

3 p.m.: Boys Soccer at The Classical Academy, Colorado Springs

The last time the Summit girls rugby team lost a regular season — or conference playoff — game, George W. Bush was still sitting in the Oval Office and the world had yet to hear anything from a 13-year-old named Justin Beiber. That loss was in the 2007 state championship against Fort Collins.

The Tiger girls put a stamp on their seventh consecutive undefeated season last Saturday, shutting out the last team they lost to, 76-0, on the road in Fort Collins, in their final regular season game. The Summit girls will begin their post-season campaign for a seventh straight state title — 11th in their 17-year history — starting Saturday, Nov. 1, against Chaparral High School.

The state championship will be played the following Saturday, Nov. 8, at Infinity Park in southeast Denver, with the winner matching up against the winner of the matchup between Fort Collins and Northside.

So what’s the secret behind the Tigers’ seven-year run? By all accounts, it would appear to be pretty simple — teamwork, consistency, a culture of winning, a humble attitude and a desire to always be better.

‘REASON FOR OUR SUCCESS’

And it starts with head coach Karl Barth, who’s been there since day one when the team was founded in 1997.

“He’s definitely the reason for our success,” senior Caroline Wilson told the Daily Friday at the team’s final practice before Saturday’s playoff game. “He always knows what to say.”

Barth on the other hand was quick to credit his players.

“It’s the culture they pass on to each other,” he said. “I think the school pride thing is a big part of it.”

He added that seven years of winning doesn’t hurt when it comes to getting girls to come out for the team year after year.

A desire to always be better may have as much to do with it as anything for a team that regularly beats its opponents by more than 30 points.

“They don’t look at it as how much are we going to score,” he explained, but rather as “can we play better?”

Barth and his players described one of their early-season matchups against Northside almost like a loss because of the players poor performance in the game. A game they won by 52-7.

As to the mentality it takes to sustain a 62-game winning streak and not become complacent, senior Alex Whitt said they go into every game like the underdog.

“When we act like No. 2; we play like No. 1.” Looking ahead at Saturday’s playoff and what it’s going to take to win, she added, “If we go in tomorrow acting like we’re going to win, we won’t.”

The team’s winning tradition also depends on a family mentality. Ask any player and that’s likely one of the first things she’ll say.

“I think they walk the walk a little more than some teams who say they are a family,” Barth said of his team.

Will state title No. 12 come their way this year?

“Never count your chickens before they hatch,” Barth said, smiling. “Obviously we’re confident, but I don’t think we’re going into it cocky.”

Soccer still rolling

The 10th-seeded Tiger boys soccer team will continue its playoff push on Saturday with a 3 p.m. quarterfinals matchup against The Classical Academy down in Colorado Springs. The game will be a rematch of the teams’ earlier season contest in which the Titans handed the Tigers their only loss on the season, 3-1 on the Tigers’ home turf in Farmer’s Korner, Sept. 6.

Tigers coach Tommy Gogolen described his team as loose and ready, during the team’s Thursday practice.


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