BHSAAs victorious on Ontario Tour

GUELPH, Ontario - The Boys High School All-Americans continued their run of dominance against Canadian opposition north of the border last week, defeating Ontario Blues' Under-19 squad on two separate occasions in the span of three days.

Assembling for the week at Guelph University, the new High Performance Center for Ontario Rugby, the 25-player squad prepared for the Thursday, June 29, and Saturday, July 1, match days with access to pitch-perfect training facilities including grass and turf fields, an indoor field house, and campus food. Gaining traction with the defensive systems under assistant coach Brendan Keane, restarts with coach Scott Bracken, and the attacking structure with Head Coach Salty Thompson, the BHSAAs went on to sweep the provincial side with 26-5 and 22-17 victories, respectively.

"[Ontario Blues Under-19 Head Coach] Mike Curran and I agreed to use all our players as often as we needed," Thompson said of the approach for the Thursday opener. "We went into Game One with the intent to get everyone on the field and see how they performed. We used 25 players and made lots of second-half changes. We lost rhythm and continuity in the second half, however the boys connected well and maintained a comfortable first-half lead."

Despite the opposition's bigger, physical pack, the Americans defended with an effective shape and discipline around the contact areas. The four BHSAA tries were scored from four different scenarios: from a maul, on turnover ball, and with separate clinical finishes.

 Allison Bradfield

Ontario came out of the gates in the Saturday matchup more prepared for the efficient American side, attempting to assert itself up front with continued strong play in the scrum. The BHSAAs countered with a scrum strengthened by Bracken's coaching and raced out to a 19-0 lead, but conceded two late tries - one on the back of a yellow card in the defensive end - for a 19-12 halftime score.

Another try just as the sin-bin session was expiring drew Ontario close at 19-17, but a 45-meter penalty kick not 10 minutes later brought the final score to 22-17. Neither team found the score sheet following a 30-minute delay due to lightning.

"This was an invaluable experience for both Ontario and the Boys High School All-Americans," Thompson concluded. "We both understand the importance of offering our boys a taste of faster, competitive rugby at this age-grade level.

"Our staff were especially delighted with the way in which our boys handled themselves in training, games, and off the field. This group were engaged learners, able to enjoy themselves, learn, and implement. A diverse group from 18 predominantly-eastern states, they bonded quickly and showed tremendous character and teamwork."

 Allison Bradfield

Eight BHSAA alumni were included in last week's squad in Ontario, including two young athletes from the western states of California and Colorado. The Mid-Atlantic region had a strong presence in the 25-player squad, including athletes from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and three from the talented Fort Hunt program out of Virginia.

Five Regional Cup Tournaments took place over the course of the past three weeks, with hundreds of young athletes representing their regions on all-star representative teams for the purposes of age-grade and collegiate scouting. Performances at this year's RCTs launched six athletes to the BHSAAs.

As they did in 2016, the BHSAAs have split summer tours between the predominantly-eastern squad and a predominantly-western squad in terms of player selection and tour location. A separate BHSAA team will travel to British Columbia next week.

Boys High School All-Americans | Ontario Tour

245 Pike, Indiana
Steven Benson Lock 6'4" 210 Little Rock, Arkansas
Jack Bradfield Center 6'2" 195 St. Edwards, Ohio
Connor Buckley Scrum half 5'7" 160 Xavier, New York
Asa Carter Lock 6'4" 215 Union, Oklahoma
Xavier Doering Prop 6'1" 245 St. Thomas, Kansas
Robert Figley Wing 6'2" 200 Fort Hunt, Virginia
Isaac Good Center 5'11" 185 Brownsburg, Indiana
Andrew Guhl Hooker 6'2" 230 Royal Irish, Indiana
Ryan James Wing 6'2" 185 Young Aztecs, California
Campbell Johnstone Center 6'3" 215 West Carroll, Maryland
Ian Kilcullen Center 5'11" 195 Gonzaga, Washington DC
Braeden Looper Hooker 5'9" 215 Phoenix, Arizona
Patrick Madden Full back 5'11" 185 Young Aztecs, California
Eric Naposki-Abdallah Full back 5'10" 175 Fairfield, Connecticutt
Marshall Ney Flanker 6'1" 185 Royal irish, Indiana
Patrick Poulin Lock 6'5" 250 Fort Hunt, Virginia
Zach Rademacher Flanker 6' 187 Harpeth, Tennessee
Trenton Rogers Prop 6' 290 Walnut Hills, Ohio
Joe Rusert-Cuddy Flanker 6'1" 201 Palmer HS Terrors, Colorado
Tom Stockton Scrum half 5'10" 165 Raleigh, North Carolina
Cameron Tompkins Flanker 5'11" 200 Sumner County, Tennessee
Daniel Trump Eight 6'2" 205 Fort Hunt, Virginia
Mike Weir Fly half 5'10" 155 Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Josh Zamudio Prop 5'10" 255 Little Rock, Arkansas

Boys High School All-Americans | Coaching Staff

Salty Thompson

Scott Bracken

Brendan Keane

Janie Kluempers