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KANSAS CITY BLUES RUGBY - NEWS AND EVENTS




Kansas City Blues Summer 2016 News and Events

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08.18.16 - 3 Kansas City Blues win Serevi Rugbytwon 7's Championship
08.18.16 - National Championships' best make up Men's Club 7s Dream Team

08.13.16 - Blues finish in 2nd place at Club 7s National Championships
07.23.16 - The Kansas City Blues closed out the regular 7’s season
09.20.16 - 23rd Annual Kansas City Blues Golf Tournament

07.16.16 - Results - Heartland 7's & Tulsa 7
06.25.16 - Heartland 7's Rugby National Qualifier Tournament. Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Park

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

06.25.16 - Blues 7's Program will send 3 teams to Denver 7's this weekend; with 2 competing in the Qualifier Division

06.04.16 - Kansas City Blues 50th Year Anniversary Celebration

06.13.16 - SC7A High Performance Rugby Program - Powered by the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club and CrossFit on 18th

HCA Health Midwest - Research Opthopedic

08.25.16 - 3 Kansas City Blues win Serevi Rugbytwon 7's Championship

Congratulations to three Blues players for winning the Serevi Rugbytown 7's tournament. Gannon Moore, Walt Elder and Naki Takarangi all started for Denver 7's in the championship match against Glendale where they faced off against fellow Blue, Kevin Schwartze. Ultimately Denver took home their second straight Rugbytown championship and a $10,000 prize. Having 4 Blues in the championship match of the most prestigious 7's tournaments in the country was a great way to cap off an amazing 7's season.

More Kansas City Blues also represented on Stars (Evan Pierson) and former Blue Nate Conkey (Army).

Read more at www.rugbytoday.com

  Kansas City Blues 2016 Utah 7s Runner Ups
 
Walt Elder, Naki Takarangi, Gannon Moore



08.18.16 - National Championships' best make up Men's Club 7s Dream Team including KC Blues Gannon Moore and Naki Takarangi

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Speed, strength and heart. It was all on display at the 2016 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships. So much eye-opening talent took the field at Nationals that it's almost a certainty that a few of the athletes who were making line breaks at Dick's Sporting Good Park will be representing Team USA at the 2020 Olympics.

A panel of former Eagles who commentated the Championship weekend has generated a list of the very best of the best from Club 7s Nationals to form the 2016 Men's Dream Team.

Read more at www.usarugby.org

Kansas City Blues 2016 Utah 7s Runner Ups



08.13.16 - Blues finish in 2nd place at Club 7s National Championships

Midway through the Club’s 50th Anniversary year, the Kansas City Blues have written another chapter in their storied history with an improbable run to the Championship match at the 2016 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships in Denver, CO. This Blues 7s team made it as far in Denver as any other team in the Club’s 50-year history ever has, joining the 1993 Blues 7s as the only in the Club’s history to earn a place in the National Championship final in 7s or 15s.

Coached by Scott Kram, the team nearly found a perfect end to an imperfect season - earning some huge victories along the way. Despite coming in as the 9th seed following a 2nd place finish in the Frontier Region qualifying series, the Blues beat 4 Regional Champions on their way to the finals. On Day 1 the Blues won Pool A with a 3-0 record, defeating the Austin Huns, New Orleans RFC, and three-time defending National Champions Seattle Saracens 21-7, en route to a quarterfinal bid. In the quarterfinals, the Blues beat Belmont Shore 28-12 to earn their 2nd semifinal appearance in three years. In the semifinals on Day 2, the Blues defeated the Chicago Lions 21-5 to setup the National Championship matchup with fellow Frontier Region team Rugby Utah. In the final, the Blues fell to Utah 48-12.

The Blues got the very best out of all 12 players on the team, with many of them playing near-flawless rugby all weekend long. Captain Kenny Scott was very effective in finding gaps and stretching the defense, Naki Takarangi was a tremendous threat every time he touched the ball, and Gannon Moore bruised and battered the defenses all weekend. Connor McDonough and Lloyd Saunders were a very imposing and disruptive combination, and Kelly Mercer’s kicking and his ball-hawking at the breakdown were impressive. Brendan Nachbar played very smart rugby in his Nationals debut, and 20 year-old Jack Casey was an absolute stalwart in defense against much larger and more experienced athletes on the wing. Scott McAvoy and Matt Behnami provided solid coverage, fresh legs, and a steady presence in the forwards. Outstanding overall play from Takarangi, Walter Elder, and Kevin Schwartze surely placed all three of them into consideration for the All-Tournament Team and nearly led to the Club’s first National Championship in its 50-year history.

While credit is due to all 12 players as well as coaches Scott Kram, Pete Kowalski, Markus Valovalo, and Manager Kyle Izard, it couldn’t have been done without the larger group of people who’ve helped make this 7s team so successful this summer. Every Developmental and Academy player who provided elite-level competition every week in training helped this group better prepare than any other team in the country. The medical and training staff from HCA Midwest Health Research Orthopedic & Reconstructive Specialists and Finan Chiropractic were invaluable in keeping the players healthy and on the pitch. Facilities support all summer by Scott Frankum at Swope Soccer Village, travel planning by Eduardo Sampere at Starwoods, and sponsorship by Crossfit on 18th and Brooksider Sportsbar & Grill, allowed the team to operate professionally. Matt Gunter, Pete Winklebauer, Doug Brown, and Tim Kram were very helpful throughout the weekend in Denver.

Finally, the incredible support this team got from the entire Blues family is unmatched anywhere in the country. The donations that the Club received to help offset the costs of traveling to nationals were generous, and the loyal contributions from so many fervent supporters of the Blues from over the years continues to be beyond remarkable. The team was very fortunate to have a vocal and unwavering group of awesome supporters who made the trip to Denver and inspired their spirited play throughout the weekend; a mixture of family, friends, and teammates who were as bought-in to the team’s success as the players and staff. Finally, the awe that many players felt when they had heard that over 60 additional supporters had gathered on short-notice to watch the live broadcast of the games at Brooksider on Sunday can hardly be put into words.

The Club may have come up just short of a perfect end to a previously imperfect season – but it was all made possible by the closest thing to perfection we will find in a rugby Club and a group of friends, family, and supporters.

Congratulations to the players, the staff, and everyone who calls themselves a Blue – let’s take it all next year!!!

Kansas City Blues 2016 Utah 7s Runner Ups

Blues Roster at Club 7s National Championships in Denver, CO.

Scott McAvoy, Scott Kram (Coach), Brendan Nachbar, Kelly Mercer, Kevin Schwartze, Gannon Moore, Matt Behnihami, Kenny Scott (C), Walt Elder, Jack Casey, Connor McDonnough, Naki Takarangi, Lloyd Saunders, Pete Kowalski (Coach), Kyle Izard (Manager), Markus Valovalo (Coach).


07.23.16 - The Kansas City Blues closed out the regular 7’s season

The Kansas City Blues closed out the regular 7’s season with on a high note befitting the Club’s 50th anniversary celebration year, as the Blues Academy side won the Championship at the Show Me State Games and the Blues Elite secured their 3rd consecutive bid to the USA Rugby Club Sevens National Championships with a 2nd place finish at the Pioneer 7’s Qualifier in Salt Lake City, UT.

The Blues Academy sent 2 teams to the Show Me State Games in Columbia, MO and both advanced to the quarterfinals. The first side made it into the final where they dismantled KC RFC 45-0 to take the Club’s 2nd consecutive Show Me State Games Championship.

Kansas City Blues 2016 Columbia Show me State Games 7s Champs

In Utah the Blues Elite needed to finish ahead of the Denver Barbarians to secure their place at Nationals, but were faced with adversity as they lost their first pool round match 19-7 to Utah NDA and then dropped their 2nd match 14-10 to the Denver Barbarians. In their final pool match they defeated Glendale Elite 19-14, setting up a semifinal rematch with Regional front-runner Utah NDA. In the other semifinal, Glendale defeated Denver while the Blues bounced back to overcome Utah with a long-range try by Naki Takarangi in overtime. Denver’s semifinal loss and the subsequent Blues upset win ensured that KC would finish the Frontier 7’s Qualifier Series ahead of the Barbarians. Undermanned and with their Nationals bid already in hand, the Blues were no match for Glendale in the Championship and settled for 2nd place at the Pioneer 7’s.

The Blues and Utah NDA will now represent the Frontier Region at the USA Rugby Club Sevens National Championships on August 13th & 14th in Denver, CO at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Kansas City Blues 2016 Utah 7s Runner Ups

Blues Roster at Pioneer 7’s, Salt Lake City, UT

Jack Casey (STA Saints; University of Arkansas), Walt Elder (Kansas State University), Scott McAvoy (Kansas University), Kelly Mercer (Jr Blues; Saint Louis University), Gannon Moore (Sioux Falls RFC; Southwest Minnesota State University), Brendan Nachbar (STA Saints; Kansas University), Lloyd Saunders (Northampton, UK), Kenny Scott (Kansas State University) Naki Takarangi (Auckland, NZ), Kevin Schwartze (Jr Blues; Rockhurst University)


09.20.16 - 23rd Annual Kansas City Blues Golf Tournament

23rd Annual Kansas City Blues Golf Tournament

Please save the date, Saturday August 20th, 2016 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 2016-2017 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:

Saturday, August 20th, 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


07.16.16 - Results - Heartland 7's & Tulsa 7's

Blues Elite side follows up 3rd place finish at Heartland 7’s Qualifier with prolific Championship at Parrothead 7’s – now need a top finish in final Frontier Region Series event in Utah this weekend for Nationals berth

If the Blues Elite 7’s side felt some understanding disappointment following a 3rd place finish at the Heartland 7’s Tournament at Swope’s Children’s Mercy Victory Field on July 9th that keeps them tied for 2nd in the Frontier Region with one Qualifier event to go, they certainly rebounded nicely with a Championship finish at the Tulsa Parrothead 7’s over the weekend. With a roster mixed with veterans and players new to the Elite pool this summer – including two Elite side debuts – the Blues did not concede a single point in any match throughout the day, cruising to a 36-0 victory over the Tulsa RFC in the finals. With the SC7A season having concluded at the H7’s, the Blues Academy side featured a mix of SC7A and Blues Developmental players and did well to advance to the semifinals, before losing 28-7 to Tulsa. The tournament also featured two promising debuts for the Blues Elite, with Jack Casey (STA Saints, University of Arkansas) making the jump from standout on the SC7A team all summer to the Blues Elite side this past weekend, while Afa Tapusoa (Jr. Blues) played his first match for the top side after playing well for the Blues Developmental team in two previous events this summer.

The Blues now look ahead to the Pioneer 7’s in Salt Lake City, UT this weekend, where they will need to hold off the Denver Barbarians in order to clinch their 3rd consecutive berth to the 16-team USA Rugby Club 7’s National Championships held in Denver, CO August 13-14. The Pioneer 7’s is the last of three qualifying tournaments for teams from USA Rugby’s Frontier Conference. The two Clubs who accumulate the most combined standings points at the end of the Frontier Tournament Series season will advance to Nationals. After two events, Utah NDA has clinched their bid to Nationals with 12 table points while the Blues and Barbarians are tied in 2nd with 6 table points. The Blues will need to finish ahead of Denver in Utah to take the Region’s 2nd seed. Glendale Elite and Omaha are tied in 4th with 1 point each, however only Utah NDA, Denver, and Glendale will join the Blues in the Qualifier pool in SLC.

Kansas City Blues 2016 Tulsa 7s Champs

Blues Elite Championship side at Parrothead 7’s: (standing) K. Schwartze, M. Behnami, K. Scott, W. Elder, A. Tapusoa, S. Kram, R. Takarangi; (kneeling) B. Nachbar, J. Casey, K. Mercer, S. McAvoy; (front) W. Whitehad


06.25.16 - Heartland 7's Rugby National Qualifier Tournament. Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Park

Kansas City Blues Heartland 7s

When: July 9th, 2016
Where: Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, MO

The Heartland 7’s Tournament, hosted by the Kansas City Blues, has moved to a new format and will be played at Swope Park in 2016!

Confirmed for July 9th, 2016, the Heartland 7’s Qualifier will be contested on the natural grass stadium pitch at Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village. The tournament will serve as one of three Qualifiers for the USA Rugby 7’s Club Nationals for the Frontier 7’s Region. The Frontier 7’s Region will include teams from MO, KS, NE, SD, CO, UT, and WY.

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In addition to the Qualifier Division, we'll also have a re-formatted open competition with two divisions: Men's Open Division, and Boy's High School Division. These divisions will compete beginning in the early morning on the surrounding full-sized synthetic turf fields, and will play the Championship Rounds inside the stadium on Children’s Mercy Victory Field in the early afternoon.

2016 will be the Blues’ 10th year hosting this event, and we’re very excited to be raising our game at a world-class venue like Swope Soccer Village! State-of-the-art Swope Soccer Village features nine fields in the heart of Kansas City’s historic Swope Park. The facility is the training home of Sporting Kansas City (MLS), FC Kansas City (NWSL), Swope Park Rangers (USL), and the KC Blues (USA Rugby).


06.25.16 - Blues Elite side falls to Utah 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 second year in a row, and despite losing in the final to the upstart Rugby Utah National Development Academy by a score of 29-12 the Club garnered 4 valuable Series points towards qualification for the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7’s National Championships. The Blues went 2-0 in pool play with dominant wins over the Glendale Raptors and Mana Utah, but were challenged in the quarterfinals by the Army Selects and in the semifinals by Glendale Elite. Despite their inexperience on the Series, Utah NDA proved to be a very talented team in the Championship match. The SC7A Blue side went 0-2 in pool play – including a 15-12 loss to Omaha – but defeated KC RFC 31-0 in the Bowl Semifinals before losing 7-5 to the New Mexico Black Dragons in the 9th place match. In the tournament’s Open Division, the SC7A White side went 3-0 to advance to the semifinals, where the fell to the eventual champions Denver Barbarians Development side.

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 9) and in Salt Lake City (July 23). 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 Denver, CO August 13-14.

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

Next Up For the Blues 7’s: The program will enter multiple teams in the Heartland 7’s on July 9th, an event hosted by the Blues at Swope Park. The second of the 3-tournament Frontier Region Qualifier Series for the National Championships, the H7’s will include a Qualifier Division, Men’s Open, and High School competition. The Blues will again enter 2 sides in the Qualifier Division, adding 3 more Blues sides in the Open Division.


06.25.16 - Blues 7's Program will send 3 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 squad that will compete for National Championship qualification at the Denver 7’s Tournament in Denver, CO on June 25th.

The Blues finished 9th at the 2015 Club 7’s National Championships last August and the program will enter two sides in the Qualifier Division in Denver this weekend for the 2nd year in a row. The Blues Elite side will be competing for points towards Nationals Qualification, while the other Blues side in the Division – the Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy – is comprised exclusively of college-aged students participating in the SC7A 2-Week High Performance Program and will use 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 9) and in Salt Lake City (July 23). 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 Denver on August 13th – 14th. The 2016 Frontier Series competition will include the 2015 7’s National Championship Runners-Up Denver Barbarians, KC RFC, Omaha GOATS, and Rugby Utah, among others. The Glendale Raptors will compete in the Series as a non-compliant team, using it as a player development opportunity.

A program on the rise following two consecutive impressive finishes at Nationals and last weekend’s Fountain City 7’s Championship, the Blues Elite roster for Denver returns a core group of players from previous seasons but also features a number of promising athletes who are newer to the Club. Kenny Scott has taken on a leadership role on a talented Blues side that this weekend will feature seven returning players from last year’s Club 7’s Nationals team, including forwards Walter Elder, Connor McDonough, Gannon Moore and Kevin Schwartze, halfback Kelly Mercer, and dangerous attacker Cody Weber. All seven players featured for different elite level sides at last summer’s Serevi Rugbytown 7’s, and many played for Denver’s championship-winning team at the 2015 Elite City 7’s and at the LVI. Most notably, Moore returns the Blues from having spent the spring with PRO Rugby’s Denver side, and is sure to continue to impress on the 7’s circuit.

Head Coach Scott Kram’s Blues Elite 7’s team in Denver will be bolstered by the addition of a number of players who might be new to elite rugby but will certainly be counted on to make an impact. Two former NCAA D1 track sprinters are making the move up into the Blues Elite 7’s side this summer, as Will Whitehead (Saint Louis University), and Evan Pierson (University of Oklahoma) are eager to impress. Whitehead has played on the wing for the Blues D1 15’s side, while Pierson has been developing as a player over the past 2 years and brings truly elite speed (ran a 10.4 100M at OU and was an All-American 4x100 relay runner) to the rugby pitch. Dalton Humphrey is a former All-State linebacker from Webb City (MO) who now plays football and rugby at Pittsburgh State, and Brendan Nachbar is an exciting local product from St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Kansas University who was a U-18 7’s National Team prospect in high school and spent the past 3 years playing in the SC7A. Matt Behnami is a rare athlete in his versatility - a former wrestler who has successfully transitioned from his role as a prop for the Blues 15’s side into a shifty and skilled big man on the 7’s field who will be a handful for the opposition.

The Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy team competing in the Qualifier Division in Denver will be coached by Pete Kowalski, offering a number of very high potential collegiate athletes an opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the country. The Academy program has been condensed into a 2-week High Performance Program, during which athletes have assembled together daily with the support of the Blues 7’s & CrossFit on 18th staff. This 2-week program kicked off on June 13th and has included a heavier emphasis on individual player development and elite athletic training via the strength, conditioning, speed, and lifestyle coaching from CF18, and the formation of Academy sides for 2 tournaments. 24 collegiate-aged athletes from 8 different University programs have been a part of this pathway into to the KC Blues in 2016. The Blues 7’s program’s Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy will also feature a team in the Men’s Open Division at the Denver 7’s.


06.04.16 - Kansas City Blues 50th Year Anniversary Celebration

 
 

Dave Penner, Kirk Miles and Evan Pierson have produced a professional documentary video capturing 50 Years of Blues Rugby - both on the field and off – and it will premiere at this event!

We are having a full BBQ buffet catered by Hall of Fame member Joe Wilcox through his company, PBJ. PBJ will provide an all-inclusive meal including hot dogs & hamburgers for the kids and people who don’t sign up in advance as well as water & pop.

The Bar will be a cash bar operated by Levy Catering, the Chiefs caterer. Various Old Boy sponsors will provide at least two kegs of domestic beer, and anyone else who would like to help sponsor the bar should contact Tom Doyle or Steve (Mumbles) Terrill. The rest of your beverage requirements are up to you. We will sell bar tickets at the gate or you can purchase on-line in advance along with the event ticket.

Tom Doyle, Steve Terrill, and Kevin Regan, have been instrumental in helping bring all this event together. Kevin has arranged for some additional fun family-friendly activities including dunk tank, inflatable moonwalk for kids.

We will also have a separate tent for commemorative jerseys, T-Shirts and other related Anniversary items. Any photos from tournaments, games, parties, etc. that you would like to share would be great – please bring them to share your memories! We will be having a raffle and a silent auction as well. Anyone with any items, goods or service to donate (please no kids or ex-spouses), please let Steve or Tom know.

It is critical that we have an accurate headcount including pre-payment by May 15th, so we ask that people do their very best to pre-register using the form above.

So take a trip down memory lane and think of guys you played with - even if just for a year or two - and please invite them! This event is open to everyone in the rugby community, and we invite former River Quay, KC Bulls, and County Sundogs players that aren’t on our mailing list and anyone else that you can think of and contact.

Early-bird registration is $50 per person in advance which includes your meal and sponsored bar, and is due by May 15th. Entry will be $60 per person after May 15th, and can be paid online or at the gate. Kids under 12 are free, with high school students $30.

So take a trip down memory lane and think of guys you played with - even if just for a year or two - and please invite them! This event is open to everyone in the rugby community, and we invite former River Quay, KC Bulls, and County Sundogs players that aren’t on our mailing list and anyone else that you can think of and contact.

Early-bird registration is $50 per person in advance which includes your meal and sponsored bar, and is due by May 15th. Entry will be $60 per person after May 15th, and can be paid online or at the gate. Kids under 12 are free, with high school students $30.


06.13.16 - SC7A High Performance Rugby Program - Powered by the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club and CrossFit on 18th

Athletes will have the opportunity to train daily in a high performance environment, under the direction of the coaching staff from Sporting Club Rugby 7’s Academy, the Kansas City Blues, and guest coaches. This 2-week evening program provides a unique and exciting rugby experience for committed Collegiate-aged athletes to advance their overall game.

The focus on skill development, decision making, and preparing the body for the uncompromising world of Rugby 7’s will be reinforced by competitive play in 2 tournaments as part of the program. Throughout the program, certified personal trainers and Olympic weightlifting coaches from CrossFit on 18th will provide dedicated counseling on nutrition, recovery, speed training, and strength & conditioning for rugby.

< Click here for more information and registration >


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