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College Guys Driving Lions 7s Wins

Men Senior Rugby

College Guys Driving Lions 7s Wins

The Chicago Lions go into the Cin City 7s in Cincinnati leading the Midwest men’s 7s series, and they have done so thanks in large part to an influx of college players and recent college grads.

“Half of the team is college players or just graduated,” said Chicago 7s Coach Jeremy Nash. “We’ve got some big veteran leadership from guys like Matt Degutes and Eddie Bluemel, Ed Cassidy and Jordan Highberger, but we’ve got some guys, some not even 20, who have been playing really well.”

Among them, University of Illinois product Matt Lancor, and Sondai Adjei from Davenport have made an impression.

“The young guys have given us depth, and the nice thing is that they are all very coachable,” said Nash. “They’ve made the commitment to elevating their game because we needed them to, and they’ve responded really well. They’ve shown composure and handled things despite playing against men.”

Nash said that while some college teams are very physical, making the transition to playing against men’s club teams is a difficult one.

“There’s a physical difference, of course, but also a mental one,” Nash explained. “Seeing how these guys handle it has been great.”

Handling it all as well as anyone are the Sandstrom brothers, Adam and Alex from Arizona State University. Adam is a tall fullback in 15s who has a weary running style and good kicking skills. He has been used in the lineout with the Lions, but usually also plays in the backs. Alex Sandstrom, said Nash, is as fast as anyone in the series.

“They have grown by leaps and bounds,” said Nash. “They are playing within the system and all of these guys are a big part of what we’re doing this summer.”

Adam Sandstrom has been asked to compete in the new High Performance 7s camp next weekend.

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