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The San Diego Old Aztecs went into the Santa Monica 7s last week right on the cusp of the top three in Southern California.


With three seeds to the national championships available for teams in the region, and four teams, seemingly, competing for those spots, it was important for everyone to avoid being the odd seven out. Had things gone to the form of recent years, Belmont Shore would have won in Santa Monica, with the hosts and OMBAC filling out the #2 and #3 spots, then the Old Aztecs might have fallen far enough behind to be in big trouble.

Instead, they won the whole thing, putting themselves in 2nd in tho SoCal standings with one more tournament to go.

Everyone else might have been surprised, but San Diego Head Coach Reuben Spilkin was not.

“We were a good team last year,” said Spilkin, who ran the team with Matt Hawkins. “We were very competitive, but we were also building a platform to do more as a team. We are feeling more and more that this is our time.”

Veteran Justin Boyd is a key part of the development of this team. “He brings the heat,” said Spilkin. “Be brings the intensity.”

Jaime Kelm and David Broussard from San Diego State have bolstered the team, and Arkansas State sparkplug Dylan Carrion also ups the energy. Pierce Reed is a finisher – he scored six tries on the weekend.

The upshot is that this team might well end up the best team coming out of Southern California. They will certainly have to back up last week’s victory with another good performance at Belmont Shore.

If we assume that the teams that have finished in the top four in the first three tournaments will do so again, here’s what each team needs to see happen at the Belmont Shore 7s July 20 in order to make the national championships:

Belmont Shore. Finish in the top four. That’s all they have to do to ensure a nationals seed. To clinch 1st, they need to finish 2nd or better.

Old Aztecs. If they finish 4th, OMBAC wins, and Santa Monica finished 2nd, they will be tied with Santa Monica for 3rd. The tiebreaker would be

Santa Monica. Finish higher than OMBAC.

OMBAC. Finish ahead of Santa Monica.

If any of these teams falter in pool play and end up 5th or worse, that team will likely miss out on a spot at nationals. The only team that would really survive such a problematic tournament would be the hosts on July 20, Belmont Shore, but if that happened, we could see a three-way tie for 1st!



Southern California 7s Series

Played

Pts

Belmont Shore

3

60

Old Aztecs

3

56

Santa Monica

3

52

OMBAC

3

51