SEVENS CRANKS UP FOR WILDCATS
Kyle Rogers captains the Sevens pool in his final season with the Wildcats.
Oct 10- Arizona Sevens formally announced their Sevens pool for the preseason, with numerous returners and some new faces crossing over to the Olympic version of the sport for the Fall.
The group is led by 1st Team All American Kyle Rogers with fellow Senior Ben Joseph promoted to Vice Captain to give the group fantastic veteran leadership. Head Coach Sean Duffy voiced the desire to help ease the workload on Rogers but also to recognize Joseph for his hard work. "Ben is going to be a great addition to the leadership team and he'll help ease the load on Kyle in leading this group. Kyle's been a fantastic leader and Ben deserves to be given that platform as well to impart his wisdom on the team." Joseph was recognized at the end of last season with the Geoff Barnes Award given to the team's best overall backline player.
The rest of the pool sees a number of returners from last season, where the Wildcats won the West Coast Sevens in Fall but slipped in the CRC after a long Fifteens season that saw them reach the Final Four for the first time as a program. With back-to-back top three finishes in the CRC leading in to last Spring, the group is out to prove that last June was simply a speed bump in their growth. A bright spot in both Fifteens and Sevens last season was Matt Rogers, with his 2nd Team All Conference season in the PAC a great step for the Junior from Granite Bay. Honorable Mention All American & 2nd Team All Conference standout Dante Weeks is also named to the group, where he's joined by his fellow Wing and 2017 Dave Sitton Award recipient Ryan Hudson. Jonah Eldridge looks to return from a season mostly lost to injury but provides great experience in the backs along with Garrett Walker and Lou MacLaughlin who made big strides in 2016-2017.
In the Forwards, Ben Scoular returns to the fold after a stellar Freshman season for the Flanker from the United Kingdom, with fellow Freshman standout Zach Heisterkamp making the pool after a year in which he earned a starting spot at Openside Flanker for the Wildcats. Anton Grigoriou gives the Wildcats some versatility with his ability to play in the backs and the forwards, with Ricky Lindsay another versatile hybrid for the Wildcats.
Four players from the Wildcats' 2017 Recruiting Class make the pool this Fall, with George Niethammer and Jon Rogers bringing strong Northern California experience to the fold and Rogers the third brother to come through the program. Robert Figley and Jack Bradfield are two other promising Freshmen for the program with a good deal of Sevens experience at the regional and national level for programs like EIRA and Atlantis.
The program will kick off their preseason this weekend, traveling to San Francisco for the West Coast Sevens to defend last year's championship, after which they will head to the Silicon Valley Sevens two weeks later. The Fall will culminate in the PAC Rugby Sevens Championship hosted by the Wildcats and broadcast on PAC-12 Network.
ARIZONA SEVENS PLAYER POOL