Regular-season opponents Hannah Fultz (orange) and Sydney Sears will play together on Iowa’s 7s select side.
In 2012, Rugby Iowa launched a 7s-only fall season for high school girls, and that league sated interest – until last summer. Southeast Polk coach Kelsie McDowell, who also leads Simpson College and is involved with the Midwest Thunderbirds, organized the state’s first all-star 7s team. The Hawkettes entered into its first non-fall fixture and went 2-2 at the Midwest All Star 7s Tournament. That experience opened the players’ eyes and drove the program’s expansion.
McDowell returns to the helm and is assisted by Anthony Frein and Jessyka Clarke, and fortified by strength and conditioning coach Sicely Hogan. The Hawkettes have named two sides – Gold (varsity) and Black (developmental) – that will participate in three 7s tournaments this summer. The squads will warm up on June 25 in Minnesota and then contest the Midwest All Star Tournament at Lakefront 7s in Milwaukee. In August, the Hawkettes will host its own 7s tournament, dubbed Clash in the Corn.
On the Gold team, four players from 2015’s all-star team have returned: Hannah Fultz, Grace Estes, Makenzie Pyles and Juice Osman. Osman is the most recognizable player with two MVP titles to her credit (2015 league MVP and 2014 state championship MVP). Sarah Niswander is also a former MVP, claiming the league title in 2014. Niswander was slated to play last year but makes her debut in summer 2016. State 7s champion Valley has sent four representatives, including the multi-try-scoring Fultz.
All told, eight teams are represented on the two all-star teams:
Camryn Megan Carpenter — East High School
Grace Estes — Davenport
Hannah Fultz — Valley High School
Sarah Niswander — Southeast Polk High School
Juice Osman — Dowling High School
Lindey Pingel — Valley High School
Makenzie Pyles — Southeast Polk High School
Sydney Sears — Southeast Polk High School
Kaycie Tilton — Valley High School
Madison VanSickel — Valley High School
Mackenzi Annis — Southeast Polk High School
Kylee Blad — Ankeny High School
Gloria Casillas — East High School
Jasmine Mims — Lincoln High School
Ashley Pappas — Roosevelt High School
Kailyn Schmidt — Ankeny High School
Annika Della Vedova — Ankeny High School
Miranda Vermeer — Roosevelt High School
Hannah Waskel — Southeast Polk High School
Brittany Woods — Dowling High School
Head Coach: Kelsie McDowell
Assistant Coach: Anthony Frein
Developmental/Assistant Coach: Jessyka Clarke
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Sicely Hogan