ARIZONA NAMES PRELIMINARY SEVENS POOL
Ben Scoular will lead the Sevens squad with help from a familiar face. (Photo credits: Jack Megaw)
Sept 25- Arizona announced their first Sevens pool of the 2019 academic year, with a number of returners from last year's high performing squad ready to represent the Wildcats.
The Sevens program will be led by Senior Ben Scoular, with the Prop/Hooker continuing his rise in the collegiate game to the main leadership position of the Sevens team. "Ben continues to grow as a player and as a leader, and he has a real blend of the leaders we've had in past like Kyle Rogers, Ben Joseph, and Ryan Hudson. He knows when to push, and when to pull" commented Director of Rugby Sean Duffy. With one semester before graduation, 2019 captain Matt Rogers will also return for one final stretch of tournaments. "Matty is such a great influence on our guys, and he was the one that pushed for Ben to take the lead this Fall. Says a lot about him, Ben, and our culture. That plus his obvious talent puts us in a good position for these important events."
A number of new faces from the Wildcats decorated 2019 recruiting class make up the pool for the preseason, led by Freshman Scrumhalf Brendon Paulsen who's put in some strong performances in training and in the Wildcats' first preseason fifteens match against New Mexico. Transfers Jayden Demmy (Army) and Ethan Russell (Sydney University- AUS) also have impressed with their work on and off the field in the early stages of the preseason. As has been the calling card of the strong Sevens teams the past few years, a number of veteran players as well as some emerging stars fill out the rest of the pool, such as three time CRC selection Zach Heisterkamp and standout Juniors Jon Rogers and Riley Kerr. Missing from this Fall's action are Sevens veterans Lucas Bartzis, Kyle Fulton, and George Niethammer, with study abroad obligations keeping them from participating but opening the door for minutes for a number of new faces.
The Wildcats will look to show well in three tournaments over the course of the Fall, starting with the one-day West Coast Sevens October 5th in San Luis Obispo. Two weeks later Arizona will head back to California for the second leg of the event in San Francisco before aiming to win back the PAC Rugby Sevens Championships Nov 9-10 at Stanford University. Last year's Wildcats continued the strong tradition of high performance in the Sevens format, finishing as runner up at both Treasure Island and PAC 7s, making this Fall a statement semester. "We know what we need to do, and we've made tweaks every season to grow and improve, it's about how well we come together and if we can do what's needed in the high pressure moments, if we do that we'll be great" said Riley Kerr.
FALL 2019 SEVENS POOL