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San Diego Dominates the 3rd Annual University of Arizona Quad Rugby Rage

San Diego Sharp's Riley Batt (5) races with Phoenix Heat's Mark Zapan (3) for the ball. Sharp won the tournament and Batt was MVP.

San Diego Sharp's Riley Batt (5) races with Phoenix Heat's Mark Zupan (3) for the ball. Sharp won the tournament and Batt was MVP. (Photo Loren Worthington)

Tucson Arizona – December 4 – 6, 2009 – Article by: Gabe Nyrkkanen

(Additional Photos Here)

The University of Arizona Rugby Rage, co-hosted by the Utah Scorpions, returned to the quad rugby schedule this season after a brief hiatus last year. This year’s competitors included defending national champion Sharp from San Diego, Denver Harlequins, Phoenix Heat, Utah Scorpions, Arizona Outcasts, Michigan Storm and two squads from the University of Arizona.

Sharp and their starters from last season, including tournament MVP Riley Batt, breezed through the competition and finish in 1st place after winning the final with Denver (62 – 54).  Denver competed with their full squad including British import Ross Morrison and veteran 3.0 Chance Sumner.  Denver beat the newly reformed Phoenix Heat team in pool play by a one-goal margin (49 – 48).  The Heat competed with their full squad for the first time this season including new Arizona residents Mark Zupan, Joe Delgrave, Nick Springer and Landon Groff, as well as Japanese import and all tournament 3.0, Shinichi Shimakawa and player/coach Scott Hogsett.  Phoenix defeated the UA Red squad to secure third place (50 – 42).  The Wildcats had high hopes for their home tournament, but were decimated by injuries to two of their starters, Travis Murao and Chuck Aoki prior to the tournament.  Despite their difficulties, the Wildcats managed a fourth place finish after losing to Denver by 4 in the crossover (56 – 52) and to Phoenix in the third-place final.

The Utah Scorpions topped the Division II level rugby squads and finished the Rugby Rage in 5th place.  The Scorpions are led by the speedy and sure-handed Josh Wheeler, and had decisive victories over the Wildcat B-squad and the Michigan Storm.  They were challenged in their final against the Arizona Outcasts who are led by the ever improving 2.0 Josh Johnson.  The Scorpions beat the Outcasts by a 6-goal margin (60 – 54) in the final.  The Michigan Storm struggled over the weekend with their skeleton crew of four players, two of which (Dave Mengyan and Nick Long) had barely shaken off their Colombian jet lag to strap up for the weekend.  Their lengthy but noteworthy travels eventually caught up with their team, as the Storm had only three players for competition on the final day.  Though forced to forfeit in their final against the UA B-squad (1 – 0), they borrowed a couple Wildcat players and completed the weekend with a moral victory over the Wildcats.

Tournament results are as follows:

  1. Sharp
  2. Denver Harlequins
  3. Phoenix Heat
  4. UA Wildcats (Red)
  5. Utah Scorpions
  6. Arizona Outcasts
  7. UA Wildcats (Blue)
  8. Michigan Storm

MVP’s were;

  • 0.5 Jason Regier
  • 1.0 Jeremy Brown
  • 1.5 Chad Cohn
  • 2.0 Andy Cohn
  • 2.5 Josh Wheeler
  • 3.0 Shinichi Shimakawa
  • 3.5 Riley Batt
  • MVP Riley Batt

Special Thanks goes out to the tournament sponsors Rochester Medical, Melrose Wheelchairs, The ROHO Group and all the Disability Resource Center staff and volunteers for their exceptional efforts to make the 3rd Annual University of Arizona Rugby Rage a success!

(Additional Photos Here)

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