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KANSAS CITY BLUES RUGBY - NEWS AND EVENTS




Kansas City Blues Summer 2015 News and Events

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08.22.15 - 22nd Annual Kansas City Blues Golf Tournament
07.25.15 - Blues Win Frontier Region 7's Series, Advance To National Championships!
07.18.15 - Blues send developmental sides to inaugural Rugby 7’s event at Show Me Games
07.11.15 - Blues Repeat as Heartland 7's Champions, Take Lead in Nationals Qualification

06.27.15 - Blues Elite side falls to Denver Barbarians in championship at Denver 7’s
06.27.15 - Blues 7's Program will send 4 teams to Denver 7's this weekend; with 2 competing in the Qualifier Division
06.20.15 - Blues defeat Glendale for elite division Championship at Fountain City 7’s tournament

06.02.15 - Summer 7’s season is underway!


08.22.15 - 22nd Annual Kansas City Blues Golf Tournament

21st Annual Kansas City Blues Golf Tournament

Please save the date, August 22nd, 2015 and plan to bring a few friends and join us for the most entertaining Club fundraiser of the year! We need golfers!!!

All proceeds from the event will go towards off-setting the costs of operations for the Club during the 2015-2016 competitive season. Every dollar we raise at the Golf outing will help ensure we put a competitive team on the field, and continue to make the Blues proud!!!

Golfer Type
Golfer Name(s)

When:
Where:


Time:

Cost:

August 22nd, 2015
Hillcrest Golf & Country Club
8200 Hillcrest Rd, Kansas City, MO
(816) 523-8601
12:00 Check-in
1:00 Shotgun Start
$100 Per Person

Format:

RSVP: 
Registration:
Contact:



4-man Scramble
Food & Beverages Provided
By Friday Aug. 8th
Coming Soon!
Derek Mannell
derekmannell@hotmail.com
(816) 674-2561


07.25.15 - Blues Win Frontier Region 7's Series, Advance To National Championships!

Kansas City Blues Elite and Developmental sides celebrate in Denver on July 25th The Kansas City Blues Elite and Developmental sides celebrate in Denver on July 25th

The Kansas City Blues closed out the regular 7’s season with another Tournament Championship this past Saturday, as the Blues Elite defeated the Omaha GOATS in the final of the Barbarians 7’s Qualifier on July 25th in Denver, CO. With their 3rd consecutive finals appearance and 2nd consecutive Qualifier event championship, the Blues have won the Frontier Region 7’s Series and are headed back to the USA Rugby Club Sevens National Championships for the 3rd time in 4 years.

The National Championships will be held on August 8th & 9th in Des Moines, IA at the James Cownie Soccer Complex, 2600 East Hartford Avenue in Des Moines, IA 50320. A full match schedule and supporter event schedule will be posted at kcblues.org and via the Club's social media streams as soon as it is available. The matches will also be streamed live at USARugbyTV.com throughout the weekend.

The Frontier Region 7’s crown is the Club’s first since winning the West Region 7’s Championship in 2000, and comes on the heels of the Blues outstanding 15’s season in which they won their regular season conference title with a 14-1-1 record (17-1-1 overall) and won the Midwest Regional Championship. In 4 tournaments this summer, the Blues 7’s have amassed a record of 17 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie, and will enter the 16-team National Championships in Des Moines as the #3 seed.

In Denver, the Blues Elite were faced with adversity as they lost their final pool round match to Glendale Raptors 15-14, and then found themselves trailing the Denver Barbarians in their semifinal match 14-7 at halftime. However, the Club bounced back to overcome Denver in the semifinal 21-14, and then put away an upstart Omaha side 33-21 in the Championship. Denver defeated Glendale in the 3rd place match, and will again join the Blues at Nationals out of the Frontier Region.

Blues Elite roster at Barbarians 7’s: Michael Baska (Arkansas State Univ./St. Thomas Aquinas High School RFC), Walter Elder (Kansas State University), Sebastian Kalm (Lindenwood University), Connor McDonough (Missouri State), David McDonough (Truman State/Jr Blues U19), Kelly Mercer (SLU/Jr Blues U19), Gannon Moore (Southwest Minnesota State/Sioux Falls U19 RFC), Lloyd Saunders (Northampton, England), Kevin Schwartze (Rockhurst University/Jr Blues U19), Kenny Scott (Kansas State University), Lungile Tshuma (Lindenwood University), Cody Weber (Kansas University/Jayhawks RFC)

The Blues Development side also played in the tournament, their 3rd event competing as an at-large team in the top Qualifier bracket. Despite only having 9 players and featuring a very different roster from the previous 2 qualifying events, the all-collegiate Developmental side was competitive in every match and showed tremendous promise for the future of the program and these committed athletes. Special thanks to Coaches Scott Kram, Markus Valovalo, and Darlwin Nelson for their efforts leading both sides on the weekend.

Blues Development roster at Barbarians 7’s: Colin Acedo (Kansas State University), Joel Drogge (Lindenwood-Belleville/KC Cougars U19), Jake Gillium (Lindenwood-Belleville), Rick Korvick (Kansas State University/Jr Blues U19), Josh Levinson (TCU/Blue Valley U19), Brendan Nachbar (Kansas University/St. Thomas Aquinas High School RFC), Weston Loder (Kansas State University), Andrew Vohs (Kansas State University).

Frontier Qualifier Final Standings after 3 Series Events

Kansas City Blues - 16 points (2nd at Denver, 1st at KC, 1st at Denver)
Denver Barbarians - 11 points (1st at Denver, 4th at KC, 3rd at Denver)
Glendale Raptors - 8 points (4th at Denver, 2nd at KC, 4th at Denver)
Omaha GOATS - 8 points (3rd at Denver, 3rd at KC, 2nd at Denver)


07.18.15 - Blues send developmental sides to inaugural Rugby 7’s event at Show Me Games, come away with Championships in 2 divisions!

Kansas City Blues - Show Me State Games Open Division Champions
Kansas City Blues - Show Me State Games Open Division Champions

The KC Blues once again proved their Regional prowess this past weekend, winning the Men’s Open Division at the Show Me State Games in Columbia, MO. The Blues, who featured a number of younger players on their weekend roster in an effort to provide opportunities to more players in the program via the 2 day tournament format, went 3-1 in pool play on Saturday. On Sunday they defeated the St. Louis Bombers 17-0 in the Championship match to claim the title. In the final, veterans David McDonough, Lloyd Saunders, Eirik Hartley, and Mike Baska were joined by Sam Tanner (Kansas University/Jr. Blues), Blake Baty (University of Arkansas), Alex Carr (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Jimmy Elder (Kansas State University), Weston Loder (Kansas State University), and Joel Drogge (Lindenwood-Belleville/KC Cougars), as the Blues shut-out their cross-state rivals to achieve their Gold Medals.

Sporting Club Rugby 7s Academy - Show Me State Social Division Champions
Sporting Club Rugby 7s Academy - Show Me State Social Division Champions

The Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy side won the Men’s Social Division at the Games, defeating the Kohlfield Scorpions 24-7 in Sunday’s Championship. Also 3-1 in pool play on Saturday, the SC7A Collegiate side coached by Darlwin Nelson proved to be a cut above the rest of the competition on finals day Sunday. Mo Mascary (Pittsburgh State), Jack Thompson (Pittsburgh State/St. Thomas Aquinas Saints), Colin Acedo (Kansas State), Andrew Vohs (Kansas State), Danny Buteyn (Kansas University), Jacob Gillium (Lindenwood University), and Keith Hicks (KC Blues/UCM) were the core group of players for SC7A in Sunday’s championship run.

Congratulations to the players who stepped up for both sides to represent the Blues 7’s Program across the 2 competition days at the Show Me State Games!


07.11.15 - Blues Repeat as Heartland 7's Champions, Take Lead in Nationals Qualification

 

The Kansas City Blues wrapped up another successful Heartland 7's Tournament on July 11th, with the Club’s Blues Elite team winning the five-team Qualifier Division and moving into 1st place in the Frontier Region’s qualification series for the Club 7’s National Championships. The Sporting Club 7’s Academy collegiate program advanced to the semifinals of the 10-team Men’s Open Division, and the SC7A High School team advanced to the championship of the 6-team High School Division. Drawing 21 teams across three Divisions in the Club's 9th year hosting the event, Legacy Park again served as an outstanding venue that welcomed a record number of spectators, with over 400 fans coming out to support the Region’s top 7’s programs.

Tournament Directors Eric Munninghoff and Pete Kowalski would like to thank title sponsor Research Medical Center, Platte Rental Supply, Hooligan Rugby, and the Lee’s Summit Soccer Association for helping make the tournament a success. The event could not have happened without the Mid-America Referee Society, and without the tireless efforts throughout the weekend of Derek Mannell, Steve Jackman, Dave Penner, Conner Smith, and Kyle Smith. Well done guys!

The Boy's High School Division saw some exciting rugby and gave a glimpse into the bright future of the sport as 4 local Clubs welcomed 2 teams from Denver, to KC for the event. The Sporting Club 7’s Academy High School program’s team made it to the Championship game, losing in the finals to a very talented Rocky Mountain Rebels select side from Littleton, CO.

The Men's Open Division featured great competition throughout the day amongst the 10 teams participating. The Sporting Club 7’s Academy Collegiate program’s White team advanced out of the pool rounds and into the Cup semifinals. However, a talented field of men’s teams saw the Glendale Raptors Development side defeat the St. Louis Ramblers in the division Championship.

In the Premier Qualifier Division, 5 of the best teams from the Frontier Region battled through 4 rounds of pool play. The Heartland 7s Qualifier is the 2nd stop on the Frontier Qualifier Series, a 3 event series where teams build aggregate points based on finish at each event with the top 2 teams at the end of the series qualifying for the USA Rugby Club Sevens National Championships in Des Moines IA on August 8-9.

The Blues Elite won the round-robin pool rounds with victories over the Glendale Raptors (21-0), Blues Development side (47-5), and Denver Barbarians (31-5), tying the Omaha GOATS (26-26). In the semi’s, the Blues handled the Omaha GOATS 46-0 in the rematch, setting up the final with Glendale in the tournament Championship. Glendale, who finished 4th in the Denver 7’s Qualifier, had defeated the Denver Barbarians 17-14 in their semifinal. In the Championship, the hometown Blues jumped all over the Raptors out of the gate, and cruised to a dominant 40-7 victory for their 5th victory in 6 matches on the day. Omaha upset Denver in the 3rd place match.

The Tournament win puts the Blues into 1st place in the Series, but there is still plenty to play for with one tournament remaining in Denver on July 25th. This is the 4th year in a row that the Series Champion and runner-up will be decided at the final event.

Frontier Qualifier Standings after 2 Series Events

Kansas City Blues - 10 points (2nd at Denver, 1st at KC)
Denver Barbarians - 7 points (1st at Denver, 4th at KC)
Glendale Raptors - 7 points (4th at Denver, 2nd at KC)
Omaha GOATS - 4 points (3rd at Denver, 3rd at KC)


06.27.15 - Blues Elite side falls to Denver Barbarians in championship at Denver 7’s, currently in 2nd place in Frontier Region

The Blues Elite side advanced to the Championship of the Denver 7’s for the first time since 2012, and despite losing in the final to the host Barbarians by a score of 38-19 the Club garnered 4 valuable Series points towards qualification for the 2015 USA Rugby Club 7’s National Championships. The Blues went 3-0 in pool play and defeated the Glendale Raptors 24-0 in the semifinals, to setup a rematch with the Barbo’s from the 2014 Nationals quarterfinals. This time, the Denver side had the edge at home. The Blues Development side went 1-2 in pool play – losing to the Barbarians and to Glendale – but finished in 6th place overall.

The Denver 7’s was the first of three qualifying tournaments for teams from USA Rugby’s Frontier Conference, with the two other Series events being held in Kansas City (July 11) and again in Denver (July 25). The two Clubs who accumulate the most combined standings points at the end of the Frontier Tournament Series season will advance to the 16-team USA Rugby Club 7’s National Championships held in Des Moines, IA, August 8-9.

After one event, Denver leads the Series with 6 points, and the Blues are in 2nd with 4 points. Omaha is in 3rd with 2 points, and Glendale sits in 4th with 1 point.

The Blues 7’s program’s Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy fielded 2 additional teams in the tournament’s Collegiate Division, with the SC7A Blue side finishing in 2nd place, and the SC7A White side taking 3rd place.


06.27.15 - Blues 7's Program will send 4 teams to Denver 7's this weekend; with 2 competing in the Qualifier Division

The Kansas City Blues RFC announced today the Blues 7’s squads that will compete for National Championship qualification at the Denver 7’s Tournament in Denver, CO on June 27th.

The Blues finished 3rd at the 2014 Club 7’s National Championships last August, and will enter two sides in the Qualifier Division in Denver - with only the Elite side competing for points towards Nationals Qualification while the 2nd Blues side uses the competition as a player development opportunity. The Denver 7’s is the first of three qualifying tournaments for teams from USA Rugby’s Frontier Conference, with the two other Series events being held in Kansas City (July 11) and again in Denver (July 25). The two Clubs who accumulate the most combined standings points at the end of the Frontier Tournament Series season will advance to the 16-team USA Rugby Club 7’s National Championships held in Des Moines, IA, August 8-9. The 2015 Frontier Series competition will include the Denver Barbarians, Glendale Raptors (CO), and the Omaha GOATS, among others.

A program on the rise following last summer’s impressive finish, a top-10 placement at the Elite LVI in February, and last weekend’s Fountain City 7’s Championship, the Blues Elite roster for Denver is loaded with International & invitational tournament experience. Captain Edward Mills leads a talented Blues side that features eight returning players from the Club 7’s Nationals semifinalist team, including forwards Walter Elder, Connor McDonough, Gannon Moore and Kevin Schwartze, halfback Kelly Mercer, and dangerous attackers Cody Weber and Kenny Scott. Mills is a former professional player with Munster in Ireland, and has represented the USA Eagles 15’s side in the America’s Rugby Championship. Elder was invited to a USA 7’s National Team training camp in January, and Scott, Schwartze, and Mercer have all played for the West Mustangs in the 7’s NASC. While Moore & Weber joined Scott and Schwartze on the Dallas Elite team who played in the 2014 Elite City 7’s, Scott has been on tour with Atlantis 7’s and played for the USA Hawks at the Serevi Rugbytown 7’s last summer, and Weber had been a fixture for Stars 7’s on tours to Australia and Trinidad & Tobago last fall.

Head Coach Scott Kram’s Blues Elite 7’s team in Denver will be bolstered by the addition of Johannes Swanepoel – a former U18 & U20 USA Eagle and javelin thrower at Kansas University who played well for the Blues at the LVI – along with a handful of highly decorated collegiate players: Michael Baska is an exciting local product form St. Thomas Aquinas High School who played for the Blues 7’s team in 2013 and has helped lead Arkansas State University to back-to-back Collegiate 7’s National Championships in 2013 & 2014, winning the 2015 LVI and playing in June’s CRC. 2015 Collegiate 7’s National Champions and Lindenwood University teammates Sebastian Kalm (Chile), and Lungile Tshuma (Zimbabwe) have represented their home countries in age-grade International Rugby, and add a wealth of athleticism and physicality to the Blues 7’s program.

The Blues 2nd side competing in the Qualifier Division in Denver will be coached by Markus Valovalo, offering a number of very high potential athletes from the Blues 7’s program an opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the country. Three former NCAA D1 track sprinters are making the move from the Blues 15’s team into the 7’s side full-time this summer, as Sean Murray (Loyola-Chicago), Will Whitehead (Saint Louis University), and Evan Pierson (University of Oklahoma) are eager to impress. Murray played for the Blues at the LVI and he and Whitehead are proven finishers not new to rugby or to the Blues, having featured on the Club’s D1 15’s team this past season. Pierson scored 5 tries in his first 7’s tournament last weekend and will bring truly elite speed (ran a 10.4 100M at OU and was an All-American 4x100 relay runner) to the rugby pitch this Saturday. Stephen Lomas is an explosive player who combines power (hooker on D1 15’s team) with top-end speed in the Blues forwards, while Josh Spangler is a versatile athlete who can play in the forwards or backs. Irishman newcomer Alex Kirwan comes to the Blues from Lansdowne RFC in the Leinster League (IRE), and recently represented an Ireland Select 7’s side at the World Club 7’s in Limerick last August. The Blues side will be rounded out by a group of very promising collegiate players: Will Ben Sims is a former standout for the Jr. Blues who currently plays at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Kansas University’s Brendan Nachbar played high school rugby at St. Thomas Aquinas and is in his 3rd summer in the Blues 7’s collegiate academy program, and represented the USA in high school in 7’s at the LVI. Arkansas State’s Blace Walser and ML van der Westhuizen add another level of athleticism to the forwards, while Lindenwood University’s Mike DeSouto and Alex Augspurg bring their National Championship pedigree to the backline. van der Westhuizen and Augspurg are local products having played for the Jr. Blues and Park Hill South respectively, while Augspurg has also been a part of the USA Eagles age-grade program. The Blues 7’s program’s Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy will also feature two teams in the Collegiate Division at the Denver 7’s, coached by Joe D’Agostino.

Kansas City Blues Heartland 7s

KC Blues 2015 Fountain City 7’s Champions:
Standing l-r: Tshuma, Mills, Kalm, Elder, Murray, Valovalo;
kneeling l-r: Mercer, Schwartze, Scott, McAvoy, Baska


06.20.15 - Blues defeat Glendale for elite division Championship at Fountain City 7’s tournament

The Blues Premier side went undefeated in winning the elite division championship at the Fountain City 7’s, passing some early season tests in defeating the Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy’s top side in the semifinal before beating the Glendale Raptors in the Championship, 35-12. The match with Glendale provided the Blues with a rare opportunity face a top team in a non-Qualifier event, a good primer for both sides as the Frontier Region 7’s Series gets underway this coming weekend at the Denver 7’s in Denver, CO.

The Blues 7's program entered a total of 6 adult teams and one high school team in the Fountain City 7’s on Saturday June 20th, an event hosted by KC RFC at the Polo Fields near 151st & Kenneth Rd in south Kansas City, MO.

The Blues Premier side was led by Tournament MVP Walter Elder. With veterans Ed Mills, Kelly Mercer, Kenny Scott, Kevin Schwartze, Scott McAvoy, Sean Murray, and rising collegiate stars Michael Baska (Arkansas State), and Lindenwood’s Sebastian Kalm (Chilean National Team) and Lungile Tshuma (Zimbabwe National Team), the Blues top side looked very in-form for a mid-June tournament, sweeping through pool play without giving up a single try before yielding a lone score in the semifinal to the SC7A. In the Championship, the Blues jumped on Glendale early and never looked back, winning 35-12.

The Blues Club side also competed in the elite division. After defeating KC RFC in the opening round, the Blues Club dropped a tough match to Glendale before winning out the rest of the day. Paced by 5 long range, scorching trieds from former OU sprinter Evan Pierson, the team featured a number of Blues players with bright rugby futures pushing for a place in the Qualifier Series.

The Blues 7’s program’s Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy fielded 3 additional sides in the tournament with players from 10 different University programs, with the SC7A Blue team competing in the elite division and the Grey and White sides playing in the open division. The Blue side went 2-2 on the day, defeating the KC Islanders and the Arkansas Gryphons before losing to Glendale and the Blues Premier side. Will Ben Sims (KC Jr. Blues; Trinity University in Dublin) and Alex Augspurg (Park Hill South RFC; Lindenwood University) had stand-out days for the Blue side. The Grey side and the White side both had strong days as well, as a number of athletes were able to get some much-needed game time to aid in their development as rugby players. Ryan Russell (Kansas University), Mo Mascary (Pittsburgh State University), and Jimmy Elder (Kansas State University) all stood out for the Grey & White.

The SC7A High School team went 3-1 on the day, finishing in 2nd place. Coached by John Franklin and Chuck McKeon, the side was mostly comprised of athletes from the Blue Valley RFC and the Olathe Gentlemen programs and they made enormous progress throughout the day.

Kansas City Blues Heartland 7s

SC7A Blue went 2-2 on the day.
Standing (l-r): Jimmy Lillis, Brendan Nachbar, Rick Korvick, ML Van der Westhuizen, Alex Aguirre, Blace Walser, Alex Augspurg; Kneeling (l-r) Coach Pete Kowalski, Will Ben Sims, Jack Casey, Mike DeSouto, Sam Tanner.


06.02.15 - Summer 7’s season is underway!

The Blues will look to improve on their 3rd place finish at last summer’s Club 7’s National Championships, integrating the successful SC7A Collegiate program into the Frontier 7’s Series where the Club will now field 2 Qualifier Division of each tournament on the Series. The Club will field multiple developmental Blues and SC7A Collegiate teams in the Open Divisions of these and other tournaments as well.

  • 7’s training for Blues players and SC7A Collegiate athletes is on Tuesday & Thursday nights at Swope Soccer Village, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
  • On Tuesday nights, the SC7A High School program will join us for training.
  • On Thursday nights, there will be field space reserved for social touch players to come out and get a run!

For more on the SC7A and the summer 7’s program, as well as a detailed practice schedule and tournament schedule, visit www.kcblues.org/sc7a


Kansas City Blues Rugby Club
www.kcblues.org