2019 USA Rugby Club 7s

Perennial Powers Chase Newcomers In Midwest

Perennial Powers Chase Newcomers In Midwest

Chicago Lions Detroit Tradesman Metropolis Cleveland Academy Chicago North Shore Legacy 7s Brighton Michigan

Jul 12, 2019 by Austin Willis
Perennial Powers Chase Newcomers In Midwest

The Midwest qualification process is different than the rest of the country, and that changes attitudes and strategies heading into the third qualifier.

On the men’s side, a Detroit win at Legacy 7s can put all the pressure on the perennial powerhouses Chicago Lions and Metropolis.

You heard that right, the Tradesman team that didn’t make it to Club 7s Nationals last year is now tied for first in the Midwest standings headed into the last qualifier.

For the women, North Shore can coast to the number one seed while the rest of the field battle for better seeds going into the Midwest Championships.

Qualification And Seeding

The Midwest has a different qualification process than the rest of the country. 

They have three qualifiers just like everywhere else, but those qualifiers determine the seeding for the Midwest Championship. The Midwest Championship is held in Cincinnati this year and the two teams that play in the final receive bids to nationals.

Chicago beat Detroit in the first qualifier, and Detroit beat Chicago in the second qualifier. Whichever team can take Legacy 7s can lock up the top seed heading into the Midwest championship.

In what looks to be a three-headed race in the Midwest, that number one seed could be a huge advantage in a few weeks time.  


In past years Detroit hasn’t been able to put as much time towards their 7s program as they typically play fifteens into late spring.

After winning Firehouse 7s, some of their fifteens holdouts are coming out of the woodwork. Detroit is sending four sides to Brighton.

“The boys are feeling good and getting more interest from our other top 15’s players which could add some dangerous new combinations that we haven’t been able to use yet,” said Club Vice President Ryan Koenig.

With only a short 45-minute drive to Brighton, MI for Legacy 7s, expect the Tradesman to bring their best.

Chicago Lions

The Chicago Lions have a much longer drive, but this time they bring with them Michael De Waal.

De Waal is a three-time national champion with Lindenwood with two CRC titles. The  All-American flanker can really help the Lions at prop with his combination of size, speed, and skill.

The Lions are a really young team with multiple collegiate All-Americans and former high school All-Americans.

The Lions will have to get through a Cleveland Academy team in pool play this weekend. 

Cleveland Academy And Metropolis

Cleveland Academy earned a bid to nationals last year but was defeated twice by the emerging Detroit Tradesman in the last two qualifiers.

Metropolis has struggled so far, but with former Olympian Garret Bender taking up a coaching role there is still hope for a nationals bid.

“I have had my time and so now my focus is to help facilitate other players in whatever way I can,” said Bender. “ There is a lot of talent in Minnesota and the midwest that goes unnoticed.”

Metropolis and Cleveland Academy could come through and shake up the weekend and the Midwest Championship seeding, but not by much. 

Expect a Detroit vs Chicago final once again.


New to the 7s scene, North Shore has already locked up the top seed in the midwest by winning the first two qualifiers. 

Throughout the summer North Shore put their Green and Gold squads in several tournaments across Illinois and the midwest.

North Shore can head into Legacy 7s with some comfort knowing they have the top seed. They can rest players and test out different combinations, while other teams battle it out for better seeds.

The Lions head to Legacy 7s to try to knock off their crosstown rival. Both Chicago teams could very well secure bids to nationals.