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The High School All Americans 7s team looks set for a date in Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday during the USA 7s, as the HSAA team has been mightily impressive in their pool matches in the Boys Elite 7s.

Led by the smart leadership of Mike Reid and some brilliant play by a more experienced and still-growing Calvin Whiting (who is taller and broader than last year and yet possibly faster), Salty Thompson’s crew is athletic and powerful.

The HSAA team beat Toronto 45-0 but were tested by Atlantis, finally getting by the American invitational side 29-14. They finished Friday with a 43-0 win over the BC II team, putting their rivals BC I on notice.

“This is my third time here and the games are getting faster and the teams are getting better,” said Suwaiter Poch, Jr., a 6-0, 230-pound senior from the Hilo Reign in Hawaii. “We did well but we lost our structure a little bit at times. It’s mainly because of communication, so we’ve got to come together more as a team. Sometimes we over-think it; we’ve just got to play rugby and trust our training.”

“We worked a lot on defensive patterns this week and we had a lot of new guys coming in, but it came together nicely,” added Whiting, who continually set up or finished scoring opportunities. “The guys are performing well.”

On the other side of the bracket, British Columbia had to work to get by Ontario and the Upright Rugby Rogues. Then against the HS All Americans II they almost lost, just getting by 22-21.

Saturday sees one more round of pool games before the semis and the final. Poch said the fact that the HSAA team and British Columbia have played in the final the last two years matters.

“We are constantly thinking about getting to the final and being in that stadium,” said Poch. “Our goal is to dominate and get to the final.”

BC’s Coach Shane Thompson said his team is not as experienced as previous years. It has been more of a struggle for his team, but that could stand them in good stead for the semis.

Pool standings so far

Pool A W L T Pf Pa Pd Pts
BCEY7's 1 3 0 0 68 40 28 9
High School All-Americans 2 2 1 0 76 63 13 7
Ontario Jr Blues 2 1 0 63 63 0 7
Washington Loggers 1 2 0 67 76 -9 5
Upright Rugby Rogues 0 4 0 63 95 -32 4

Pool B W L T Pf Pa Pd Pts
High School All-Americans 1 3 0 0 117 14 103 9
Nor Cal All Stars 2 1 0 67 40 27 7
Atlantis 1 2 0 53 65 -12 5
BCEY7's 2 1 2 0 32 79 -47 5
Toronto Rugby 0 2 0 5 76 -71 2