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USA South Girls Picked for Vegas

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USA South Girls Picked for Vegas

The players huddle during their tryout.

The USA SOUTH Panther U18 girls team has been selected after an assembly this past weekend in Nashville, Tenn. 

Over 40 girls high school players from across the southeast attended camps or were evaluated by the Panther Staff in an effort to put together both an Elite 7s side to compete in the NAHS 7s in Las Vegas and a Tri-Star team for the Open Division. Taking both an Elite and an Open side is a first for this competition and with the growth of Girls High School Rugby across the South, the teams will only become more competitive and even more talented with each ensuing year.

This year the girls came from Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. USA South was fortunate to have the powerhouse sisters out of Florida, Alex and Nicole Wantlin (Wellington Wizards) join the squad. These two girls, along with KC Byrd (Tenn.), Lindsey Baron (Tenn.), Hope Ellis (Ga.), and others, promise to give the South a stable of solid athletes and good pace around the pitch. Jessica Gozlan (South Mecklenburg Savages ) is the lone representative out of North Carolina due to Ruggerfest sharing the same weekend as Vegas.  It is players like Jessica and others who are the future of USA South and they hope that the conflicts will work in their favor as they grow forward together. 

This USA South player pool will be the group to play in the Girls Elite 7s at the Las Vegas Invitational After the final camp on Feb. 19, the USA South Panthers U18s were selected for Vegas  as well as the Salt Lake City, UT event this coming summer on August 2-3.  The players chosen for USA South are as follows:

Lindsey Baron Tenn.
KC Byrd Tenn.
Jordyn Cedeno Tenn.
Morgan Crossfield Ga.
Hope Ellis Ga.
Morgan Freeman Fla.
Jessica Gozlan NC
Shaniah Jones Tenn.
Rebecca Luke Tenn.
Alex Wantlin Fla.
Nicole Wantlin Fla.



In addition to the USA South Selections, the TRISTARS were selected.  Several of the TRISTAR players will have the opportunity to step up a level to the South Panthers. The TRISTARS Roster is as follows:

Brooke Brown Tenn.
Kaity Camire Tenn.
Kim Dupuis Tenn.
Sophia Esmonde Tenn.
Megan Harwell Ga.
Emily Jarosinski Tenn.
JaVonii Merritt Tenn.
Alex Ozden Tenn.
Jenna Salyer Ga.
Grace Spehr Tenn.
Casey Stachler Ga.
Annabelle Van Horne Tenn.

Coaches Richard Boone and Toby Florek said they were "excited and amazed" at the level of interest among the girls.