Summit High: Rugby girls head to Cali |

Summit High: Rugby girls head to Cali

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Summit County, Colorado

FARMER’S KORNER ” While most Summit High students were working on their tans in tropical destinations last week during spring break, there were 22 girls that stayed behind. Opting for cleats rather than flip-flops, the Summit High girls’ rugby team wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Everyone who’s here, really wants to be here,” senior captain Lauren Danielsen said. ” … It’s a lot of dedication, but our team understands what it takes to reach our goals.”

Those goals are pretty simple: win a national championship.

Nearly six months after the Tigers finished off a dominating and undefeated season that ended in a Colorado State Championship, the team is preparing for the Rugby High School National Championships, which take place May 14-18 in Pittsburgh.

And the Tigers are in San Jose, Calif., for the Pacific Coast Invitational Tournament this weekend

as a warm-up.

“This is good for us,” SHS head coach Karl Barth said Thursday, the night before the Tigers headed for the West Coast. “It gives us a chance to get on the field and get some good competition before nationals.”

The Tigers will play three games between today and Sunday. They face off with a team from Davis, Calif., this morning before playing the Motherload club team in the evening. Sunday will be the team’s toughest test, Barth said, when they play the top team in the country, the Sacramento Amazons.

“They are gigantic,” Barth said with a laugh. “They don’t call them the Amazons for nothing.”

The Tigers will be the only team in the tournament that is not in its regular season, as Colorado and Wisconsin are the only two states that have rugby in the fall.

Regardless, Barth and his players like their chances.

“I think we’ll do well,” the coach said.

“We’ve watched video on them, and they’re massive,” Danielsen said of the teams in this weekend’s tourney. “From watching them on film, they don’t run much and they just try to herd you. So, if we can break their lines, we can do it.”

Running is what the Tigers made a habit of in the fall. Danielsen, along with fellow senior and Colorado Most Valuable Player Jozy Gessner, scored on a number of long tries.

The Tigers will have a bit of a different look for the tournament, as only 22 of the team’s 44 players will be participating, but Barth said the talent of his team might be unmatched in California.

“Obviously with (junior) Bri (Barto), Lauren and Jozy, we have pretty much the top three high school players at their positions in the country,” the coach said of his three stars, who are all members of the U.S. National Team. ” … Then, right now, (sophomore Alex) Cooper, (senior Catherine) Scanlan and (sophomore) Rosa Foth are in the top few at their positions in the country, as well.”

The slew of talent is what helped the Tigers blow out every team in Colorado last fall, but now, the team is looking at something else for their advantage ” dedication.

“Our spring break was rugby,” Scanlan said. “We didn’t go anywhere, because we were all completely dedicated. It’s been a lot of hard work, and I think we’ve improved.”

Scanlan is one of a number of rugby players to pull double-duty between sports this spring. She is also a captain of the SHS track and field team.

Foth, who missed most of last fall due to injury, is excited for her team’s chances this week.

“I think it will be a really good test for us to see how we’re playing,” the sophomore said. ” … I definitely just want to get back into it. That’s what we’ve been working for.”

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