On a day that was filled with highs and lows, The texas stampede entered their 16th national championships.
The day began with the announcement that long time stampede athlete Emily Shryock would be deemed unclassifiable and would not be able to play rugby again. The news was devastating and immediately put the team at a disadvantage going into their first game against Minnesota.
With little time to spare the stampede began to work on their 6 1/2 point line, that featured CJ Brown replacing Emily.
With the national championship on the line Texas took on one of the greats in the game Chuck Aoki and the Minnesota Rugby Wheelchair Club. Looking to do the very best with what they had the stampede played to the highest of expectations.
Back-and-forth the game went for four quarters, and the outcome was only truly decided in the fourth quarter of the game. A valiant effort that fell short the stampede lost 49 to 55.
With their backs to the wall Texas would face the Lakeshore demolition. The demolition coming off a loss to Tampa was in the same spot as Texas,trying to secure a win and make it to the top four of the tournament.
The stampede came out and quickly jumped to a 3-1 lead. The lead and execution on the court continued to improve for the stampede and at halftime Texas had a four point lead.
"We really wanted to win this game for Emily", said head coach James Gumbert. "Having seen how tough she was taking the classification decision we wanted to do something to show her we cared". That message was sent with a 65-59 victory over the Lakeshore.
On the day that started out with adversity pain and confusion, Texas was able to look into the mirror and face the reality that as hard as things were, they still had a chance.
They get that chance tomorrow to go into the elite four by beating Tampa. Follow the action here throughout the day.