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Player Spotlight: Bella Vogel

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Player Spotlight: Bella Vogel

Bella Vogel at the 2020 Fall Fest. Alex Goff photo.

Coming out of the Fall Fest HS 7s tournament in Pennsylvania observers had to be happy to see some rugby, to see some young student-athletes playing again, and see some good rugby skills, but what they didn't see a lot of was consistently good kicking ... except in one or two rare cases.

One of those cases came in an intense, scrappy, tough-minded package playing for the Hempfield Knightmares. Bella Vogel was outstanding as a goalkicker, especially when her team needed every point it could get against the powerful Doylestown teams. Against the two Doylestown outfits she was perfect on her conversion kicks, showing how good technique coupled with a consistent approach to the kicks breeds success.

One of the smaller players on the field, Vogel didn't shy away from tacking on much bigger players, whether trying to fend them off while on attack or making tackles.

"I like tackling the bigger girls," she told GRR. "I want to make those tackles. I really don't care how much older or bigger they are."

Did we mention Vogel is only in 8th grade? A fairly accomplished soccer player who has been training with top U17 teams despite being only 13, Vogel has been playing both sports for some time but is looking to concentrate in rugby. Certainly her soccer experience has helped in her kicking, although she just shrugs.

"I just look at where I want the ball to go and then I kick it," she said. Clearly, though, she's trained herself to kick the same way every time, and she acknowledges that she arrives early to rugby practice just to work on her kicking, and she does that every day.

Vogel's family is all-in with her rugby pursuits. Vogel herself said she wants to play in the Olympics. To that end, her mother is homeschooling her, bringing in tutors for Spanish and math. The result is that she has a bit more flexibility to go on travel teams, or arrive early to rugby practice to work on her kicking. But don't think it's all fun and games. She works hard at her schooling, and with goats, chickens, and donkeys on her family's farm, she has work to do early, and late, in the day.

All that work is coming together to produce a pretty effective rugby player. She's got potential, and time to reach that potential, but we thought you'd like to know her name now. So keep an eye on Bella Vogel.