The Lakefront 7s has always featured the top teams in the Midwest and the team that wins the Men’s Qualifier bracket invariably makes an appearance at the National Sevens Club Championship.
The 2011 tournament was no exception as the 1st and 2nd place teams, the Lions (Chicago) and Youngbloodz (Minneapolis), went on to take the top two positions at the Midwest RFU territorial playoffs and thus qualified for the national championship.
In pool play, both teams had 2-1 records with an exciting upset over Denver by the Youngbloodz.
The Lions met perennial favorites Belmont Shore in an exciting quarterfinal match-up. The match was tied at 7 a piece with 90 seconds remaining when a Belmont Shore late-game replacement ran in a 50 meter try to knock the Lions out of the competition.
The Youngbloodz enjoyed continued success with another come-from-behind win over the Woodlands Exiles and a ticket to the semi-final against Belmont Shore.
Although this was only their first visit to the national stage, Youngbloodz played a strong match against Belmont shore and overcame a 12-0 deficit to bring the match level before Belmont subbed on USA Eagle Justin Boyd who set up the match-winning score.
Belmont Shore went on to win the Club Championship handily with a 37-14 defeat of Schuylkill River, showing that the Midwest RFU Territorial champions are playing at the very highest level, with both teams perhaps just one try from a national championship.
Congratulations to Youngbloodz and Lions for a great season and strong performances at the nation championships. The final match that set both these teams towards the Club Championship can be viewed below.