The Citadel won the Southern Conference 7s Championship Sunday, wading through a tough knockout round to do so.
Early on in the season, the Southern Conference Commissioner's Cabinet had predicted an exciting 7s series as several teams had continued to get better. They were right. Three different teams won tournaments during the series of qualifiers - UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington, and Furman.
So the final tournament promised to be a tough one. Day one of the SoCon 7s Championship was full of energy and effort as the top eight teams in the conference battled to earn a bid to nationals. Two pools of four teams fought for seeding in day two. UNC-Charlotte and Coastal Carolina both led the charge at 3-0 on Saturday with some impressive victories along the way.
The story would change Sunday as UNC-Charlotte lost to The Citadel and Coastal Carolina fell to UNC-Wilmington in the semi-finals. The Citadel had an impressive season, including competing well at the LVI in Las Vegas, and had consistently improved throughout each tournament. Their dedication and unity would ultimately pay off as they convincingly handled the SoCon 7s final against reigning 15s champions UNC-Wilmington. The emergence of teams such as The Citadel and UNC-Charlotte had challenged the perennial powerhouses such as Furman and UNC-Wilmington.
As the Conference 7's Champions, The Citadel will be traveling to Cary, NC on Memorial Day weekend to compete against the best teams in the country and represent the Southern Rugby Conference. The Southern Conference would like to congratulate a group of hard-working individuals on their success.
Lt Col Bill Bell said, “This year was a transition. The boys bought into our coaching system and believed in their potential. Also, the leadership from within the team has been amazing. Each one of our Cadets picked up when the situation needed it. Then there is Alex MacDonald, senior & captain, who has been the driving force of this team this year. I cannot stress the pride, I and my coaching staff, has for this group of young men.” Day 1 Pool Play Saturday.
Pool A results UNCC 33-7 WAKE UNCW 19-0 ECU WAKE 0-12 ECU UNCC 21-12 UNCW UNCW 31-12 WAKE UNCC 24-0 ECU