Kansas City is the destination for round two of the Frontier region's qualifying circuit. Teams will descend upon Swope Park looking to establish themselves as elite contenders in this year's Club 7s competition.
The Frontier is interesting in that it lacks the overall depth of teams that we see in other regions, yet the teams that do happen to be in it are consistently the best in the country. Since 2015, The Frontier has had three 2nd place finishers and three 1st place finishers at the Club 7s nationals, meaning six of the last eight finalists have been Frontier teams.
Having realized the overall strength of this conference, USA Rugby opened up a third bid to nationals for the Frontier region in 2018. Those were claimed by Bulldog Rugby, the Denver Barbarians, and the Kansas City Blues. These teams finished 1st, 4th, and 9th respectively.
The three teams at the top of the table are almost certainly locked into a spot at nationals, but how they place in the region will have a big impact on their seeding at the national tournament in August. Between Park City Haggis, the Barbarians, and the Blues, this will prove to once again be a great tournament in this highly competitive series.
Park City Haggis
2019 sees the departure of Bulldog from Frontier, but the reemergence of many players from the 2016 and 2017 champions Rugby Utah team, who are now playing under the moniker Park City Haggis. They took care of business in the first qualifier, taking home the first place points at Denver 7s. Stars Pat Ravouvou, Don Pati, and Josh Anderson lead a profoundly talented bunch, and it would be a big surprise if they didn't make a deep nationals run.
The Barbos have reloaded once again in 2019, this time bringing in players such as Life University and Glendale Raptors winger Harley Davidson, Central Washington burner Cole Zarcone, and Lindenwood-Belleville playmaker Coleson Warner. Also on the roster is one of 2018's breakout stars, Devrin Young. The electric runner crossed over from football after finishing his four-year career as a running back in Knoxville for the Tennessee Volunteers.
Denver is perennially one of the top sevens programs in the country. Since 2014, capped Eagles Ben Pinkelman, Martin Iosefo, Kevon Williams, Ata Malifa and Cody Melphy have all suited up for the Barbarians. They hope that 2019 can be the year they finally get over the hump and win the national championship.
Kansas City Blues
The third big name team in the Frontier is Kansas City. The Blues are also consistently an elite sevens club, and this summer they appear to once again have the goods for a strong performance at nationals. Loaded with a mixture of talent and experience, the Blues are a dark horse in this year's competition.
Veterans Walt Elder and Kevin Shwartze bring size and athleticism to the forwards, while the Lindenwood trio of Nick Feakes, Michael Baska, and Richard Felton bring speed, skill, and championship pedigree to the backline. Expect them to show up and play extremely hard in front of their home fans at Swope Park this Saturday.