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Fort Hunt Men’s Rugby Team Wins Championship, West End Takes Women’s Title

Two Virginia high schools vied for men’s and women’s state rugby championships.

Fort Hunt men's rugby team seniors, from left to right, Anthony Wright, Ethan Hall, captain Darien Pickett, Austin LaGow, Joshua Ransom and captain Kris Sheckles (Courtesy: Kathryn Tesh)
Fort Hunt men's rugby team seniors, from left to right, Anthony Wright, Ethan Hall, captain Darien Pickett, Austin LaGow, Joshua Ransom and captain Kris Sheckles (Courtesy: Kathryn Tesh)

Two Virginia high schools competed May 31 for the men’s and women’s state rugby championships, with Alexandria’s Fort Hunt Warriors team winning out over Springfield’s West End team in a rematch for the 2014 U19 state championship.

According to the Rugby Virginia website, both teams remained scoreless in the first 15 minutes, but a penalty kick from Tom Brunt of the Fort Hunt team gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. The Warriors gained another 5 points with a play by loosehead prop Austin LaGow by the end of the second quarter, bringing the score to 8-0, Warriors.

The second half of the game featured notable plays by Warriors Anthony Wright and Josh Arias, but West End wouldn’t go down without a fight. Tony Arias successfully tried for a come-from-behind score, gaining seven against the Warriors’ 18, but the buck stopped there.

Brunt rallied for the Warriors in the fourth quarter with two trys and one conversion, gaining another 12 and giving the Warriors a second-straight championship, with a final score of 30-7. Brunt’s performance earned him this year’s MVP award.

The women’s championship garnered a “W” for the West End team in its match against Fort Hunt’s Gators, with a final game score of 59-12. Abigail Tobias was named the 2014 women’s MVP.

Five Fort Hunt players, two-time All-American Darien Pickett, 2013 All-Americans Kris Sheckles and Josh Ransom, in addition to Austin LaGow and Ethan Hall, have committed to play rugby for Grand Canyon University in Arizona in the fall.

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