Back in 2009 I was watching my club — then the Milwaukee Harlequins — play a match when I noticed a young man on the far side of the pitch taking photos. This is not uncommon in sports but two things caught my eye.
First, the lens he was using was massive and was cream-colored, like the ones you normally see being used in stadiums by professional photographers. Second, the man was making his way around the pitch in a wheelchair, undeterred by the soft turf!
Thinking he might be on assignment from a local newspaper, I headed over for a chat. That is how I met Rick Benavides (see photo above, second from right), one of the best sports photographers in Southeastern Wisconsin.
The 2021 Lakefront 7s was a great success and a well-needed reminder of the things we enjoyed prior to the pandemic. Below are a selection of the photos we took this year.
We’re really grateful to the sponsorship from the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin. They have been a generous sponsor for many years. Their support is one of the reason we get these fantastic pics from the lens of Rick Benavides.
To see the full collection, please view photos on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to follow us there for notifications when more pictures are posted!
And if you’d like to hire Rick for your event (he LOVES shooting rugby), drop him a line at [email protected] or 262-716-1756.
The HIPPOs division at the Lakefront 7s is reserved for players whose age is at least 35 years and/or whose weight is at least 275 lb. This is only the second year of HIPPOs competition and once again, a great time was had by all.
Most of the pool matches were competitive, and tall tales of heroism and glory were no doubt made by the ruggers who dusted off their shoes for “one last match”.
The Barbarian MAORI — the event hosts — technically won the championship with a 3-0-0 record. But frankly, every old boy still standing after 3 sevens matches deserves a trophy. 🙂
The Lakefront 7s has a casual policy when it comes to who can sign up for the divisions. Sometimes teams are well-matched, and other times not.
In the High School divisions we try to separate select sides into separate divisions. But this year only two select sides registered —the Iowa Hawks and Wisconsin’s Badger Selects. Not surprisingly, each swept their pools with 3-0-0 records and comfortably defeated their semifinal opponents.
In the final though, it was all Iowa, scoring 4 unanswered tries on their way to the championship with a 28-0 victory over Wisconsin.
Over the years, more than three thousand of matches have been played at the Lakefront 7s. So it’s not uncommon for a team to have 1 or two shutouts during any one event.
But it is exceedingly rare for a team to win a division and have perfect defense. But that’s just what Lincoln Park did on Saturday in the Men’s Super Social division. Over 5 matches they scored 183 points while giving up not one point.
The final vs. Kraken was their smallest margin of the day (24-0), impressive given that their opponents have won many trophies at the Lakefront 7s.
We look forward to hosting Lincoln Park and runners-up Kraken in the Men’s Social division in 2022 🙂
In just its second year, the Women’s Super Social division continues to build a reputation as a fun addition to the Lakefront 7s. As you can see in the scores below, 5 of the 6 pool matches were decided by 1-try margins making for well-matched competition.
Hot Girl Scrummers (shortened to Hot Girls to fit on our printed schedule) finished 3-0-0 in pool play and met KTFTO (a.k.a. University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Women’s Rugby) in a 1-match playoff.
Like most of the pool matches, the result was a narrow 12-5 victory for Hot Girls.
Pulaski is well known at Lakefront 7s for competing in the High School divisions. This year they entered a team of High School alumni in the Men’s Social division and did very well.
In the pool stage, Pulaski Roos went 3-0-0 after fighting off a scare from Fox Valley (eventually winning 17-12). They then defeated Dream Theims 28-0 in the semi-final. Ironically, the Thiem family are all Roos alumni themselves dating back from 1998 to 2019.
In the final, Roos defeated hosts Milwaukee Barbarians (31-14) to claim the championship.
The 2019 plate champion Hawkeyes returned to the Lakefront 7s to defend their title in grand fashion. In pool play, their smothering defense only allowed 12 points against in 3 pool matches compared to 103 scored.
The Hawkeyes also dominated the knockout rounds with comprehensive victories over Ononomowoc (29-7) and the Deathicorns (33-7) to claim the championship.