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Tiger rugby takes on ‘equally undefeated’ Douglas County High

Geoff Mintz
summit daily news

The Summit High girls’ rugby team will take on a 5-0 Douglas County squad for its Homecoming game at Tiger Stadium tonight. Head coach Karl Barth said the game will likely be the most competitive of the regular season.

“They are equally undefeated,” Barth said. “They pretty much trounce everyone they play, except for a couple teams. They’re a very physical team with a couple very talented players.”

Summit High has faced (and defeated) Douglas County in the state finals the last two years.

“We’ve beaten them, but it’s definitely one of those games where you have to work hard for everything you get,” Barth said. “They’re physical and geared up to play us. It’s their biggest game and it’s our biggest game.”

The game plan includes picking a very physical starting lineup and preparing for a very aggressive game. There are a handful of Douglas’ players on the Lady Tigers radar, including the team captain, who is in the national team pool.

Summit will also have to tweak some things due to recent ACL injuries to Rita Foth and Diane Matson. They’ve had to juggle things around on the back line, but other than that, the team is healthy and physically in good shape for the game.

Summit is coming off of a recent 106-0 blowout versus Chaparral. A chance to play in a more spirited game is a welcomed occasion for the team.

“Having a more competitive game is good – period,” Bath said. “The game last week doesn’t really do anyone any good. It doesn’t help them to be blown out and it’s not really helping us either.”

It’s difficult for the girls to pull the reins back and not run up the score in a rugby game because playing a medium speed makes them more susceptible to injury. And they’re limited in terms of substitutions, so they can’t exactly send in the middle school to close out the game.

“(This year’s team) is doing some amazing stuff. Some of the stuff tactically that we’re trying to do is pretty impressive,” Barth said. “It’s those things you always hope you can get a team to do, and we’ve never really done it. So we’re definitely pushing the envelope.”

The team is eager to see where they’re stacking up against a better opponent tonight. The Lady Tigers will get another chance to measure themselves when they head to California in November to take on one of the best teams in the country.

“It’ll be a matchup of the No. 1 and No. 2 in the country, so we’re trying to shoot for bigger things, even though some of our games aren’t quite as challenging. But, I think part of that is they’re playing so well,” Barth said.

Today’s varsity game starts at 2:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.


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