East Earns Runner-Up, MVP Honors at State Rugby

Click this image to see more photos from the Iowa State High School Rugby Championship.

The East High Scarlets Rugby Club came within one upset win of dethroning the defending champs and taking the title in the state rugby tournament the school hosted last Friday night at Williams Stadium. But the Scarlets hardly came away empty-handed.

In their first match of the evening they blanked Iowa City West, 56-0, behind a hat trick of tries by sophomore Juleo Harris and one each from Jamar Fallin, Jeremy Bos, Taylor Mitchell, Romello Western and Jewell Head. That resounding win advanced them to meet the Class 1A champs from Newton for the right to face the powerhouse Southeast Polk Rams in the overall title game. East methodically wore down the Cardinals, 35-14, before falling by the same score in the championship contest.

“Our boys really stepped up their play for the championship game, as we had SEP on the ropes several times,” said East Coach Clint Gadbury.  “I’m very proud of them. They played their best game against a very well-coached and physical team.”

Besides the team runner-up trophy, a trio of East ruggers reaped individual honors at the tournament:

  • Senior Taylor Mitchell was name the IAHSRA Paul Emerick League MVP. He was also named to the Class 2A All-State and IAHSRA All-Elite teams. The elite team is comprised of both 1A & 2A players.
  • Senior Nick Sawhill was named the inaugural IAHSRA Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner, for his role in making East the first public high school in the country to award varsity letters in the sport of rugby.
  • Sophomore Juleo Harris was named the IAHSRA State Tournament MVP. He is the first sophomore ever chosen to receive this award.
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