The NAI 7s North America HS 7s series bracket is the culmination of elite-level high school sevens in the summer, and there's a chance for a big surprise in Salt Lake City in August.
While Atlantis leads the NAHS Series with a 5-0 record, and Eagle Impact Rugby Academy is second at 4-1, there, lurking nearby, are the 4-1 USA Rugby South Panthers.
Program director and head coach Mark Williams will be leading his 15s team to the Rugby Americas North U19 championship later this week. But after that, he will be taking his Panthers to Salt Lake City to try to back up the South's strong showing in the Tropical 7s.
"We would have liked to have the same group that we had at the Tropical 7s," Williams told FloRugby. "But we lost a couple of football. But we have a really strong group and we're developing players."
Latest of those might be Nate Roeback, who helped lead the USA Stars to win the Can-Am 7s tournament in Ontario. Roeback, as well as Isaiah Rademacher and Ryan Bullock, are expected to play in Salt Lake, and they will be provide the South with a powerful physical presence.
Williams said he isn't making any predictions of winning the NAHS Series. EIRA and Atlantis both will be very strong, and will most assuredly bring in some serious talent.
"It will be tough," said Williams. "We will be competitive, for sure. But it all depends on how we gel."