2015 HS Central Championships Preview – Girls

Posted: May 15, 2015 02:08 PM

This year's High School Central Champoinfield expands to 11 teams, including seven returning schools, among them last year’s dominant champion, Holy Family Catholic. Top challengers for this year’s title include Edina, Neuqua Valley, St. Paul Charter and Hopkins. Below are highlights of the exciting team play you can expect to see in Ames, Iowa, this weekend.

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The Teams

2015HSLogos Cathedral



Cathedral Phoenix - Minnesota

Last year’s runner-up, Cathedral, returns without phenom Anne Johnson and six graduated seniors.  Cathedral has matched up against a number of the teams in the Centrals field previously this season at Granite City Classic and Hopkins Hustle, notching two wins over Robbinsdale-Armstrong, but losing to Hopkins, Edina and Minneapolis South.

Players to watch: Carmen Ebel’s athleticism makes for exciting plays on offense or defense, and Hannah Deaton steps into the handling void left by Anne Johnson. Johnson’s shoes are also being filled with Clare McCarty adding versatility and creativity to the handling set.


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Center Grove Holy Mackerel – Indiana

Newcomer to Centrals and the lone representative of Indiana for the girls’ division, this team is composed of girls from multiple area schools, with the goal of eventually separating into enough teams to create a league. These ultimate pioneers are excited for the opportunity to play out-of-state teams and get exposure to more of the ultimate community and established programs. Essentially all members of the team are first-year players, with the exception of two girls who have played on boys’ teams.  

Players to watch: Delaney Johnson’s athleticism, aggressiveness and disc-reading skills shine on defense. Rachel Gray has experience playing in Seattle and brings chilly play and outstanding positivity to elevate her teammates. Julie Barnett gained experience on boys’ teams, but look for her to air out her lefty hucks to the end zone


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Edina Green Lantern - Minnesota

While they didn’t attend last year’s Central Championships, Edina took home the 2014 Minnesota state title. They only graduated three seniors, but those three were all major contributors. Edina has an athletic team, utilizing many multi-sport athletes, and prides themselves on instilling and embodying Spirit of the Game. They enjoy the tough match ups that the Minnesota youth league provides but are looking forward to facing new opponents and are eager for opportunities to improve.  

Players to watch: Team athleticism runs deep, and big plays are sure to be roster-wide.


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Holy Family Catholic Omega - Ohio

While the Omega girls play like a well-oiled machine, their class, spirit and love of the game are anything but robotic. This team develops their gears and cogs at an early age and seamlessly replaces their graduates, while simultaneously growing new recruits. They had four players graduate after claiming last year’s Centrals title, including the dominant Kjersti Fry. These girls love to play ultimate – for many of them it will be their fifth consecutive weekend of play.  

Players to watch: Cutter/defenders and twins Hayley and Maddie Samson and senior field general Lucy Teller.


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Hopkins HERt - Minnesota

While over half of the roster is new to Centrals and only two are seniors, this does not faze HERt. They have yet to beat in-state rival Edina and have split games with St. Paul Charter, with the most recent match up going to Hopkins.  
Players to watch: Standout handler Lilly Shapiro returns to lead the team as field general and, along with Maddie Ansel, make plays on both sides of the disc, all while anchoring the team emotionally.


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James Madison Memorial Spartans – Wisconsin

This is an established team with a proud history of outstanding spirit and competitive play. They bring a bigger roster this year and have re-focused on fundamentals, perhaps giving them a better shot at a deeper run in the tournament.  

Players to watch: Maddy Green helms the offense as a handler but never gives up a disc and pushes hard on defense. Eva Cornwell gets a D, then initiates the fast break – bookends are her signature play – and Emily Hubbard does her share of handling, but isn’t afraid to mix things up.

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Minneapolis South Squall – Minnesota

Their seven graduating seniors have been replaced by stellar JV players that have made immediate contributions. Minneapolis South is excited to meet, play and learn from the out-of-state match ups they’ll see this weekend. They play an open rotation which may help them outlast opponents, especially on Sunday.  

Players to watch: Lydia Detweiler has magnetic hands and acrobatic athleticism which makes for gasp-worthy plays. Carly Siewert is a defensive machine, and Brigie Donovan is a beast on the mark.

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Neuqua Valley eNVy – Illinois

Last year, this team was just starting to come into its own, with dedicated coaches and increased practice expectations. With an entire year to continue development, their record indicates growth: their only losses came at the hands of Holy Family Catholic by narrow margins. While they placed third at their home tournament, and took home the spirit award, they will be aiming for nothing less than the Centrals trophy.  

Players to watch: Captains Kelly Crowley and Stephany Stumphauzer helm both the offense and defense, dominating plays with athleticism and superior field sense.

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Robbinsdale-Armstrong Ultimate – Minnesota

Robbinsdale-Armstrong’s 2014 senior core has graduated, making for a rebuilding year for AU, and injuries in early May have slowed the gelling process. They are excited to come to Ames to further their development. 

Players to watch: Last year’s deep dominator Hannah Cowan returns to rule the skies with her deceptively modest size.

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St. Paul Charter Stars – Minnesota

Last year I was impressed by the athleticism of this team – they could huck and run all day, cleaning up a lot and showing a lot of scrap. They graduated five seniors but have had JV players fill the spots. They are undefeated in the Minnesota Youth League and took third at last weekend’s Hopkins Hustle, beating eventual champion Apple Valley in pool play, but falling in a close semifinal to Hopkins.

Players to watch: The tireless Emma Priorier and captain Lily Cregan’s athleticism and lightning hands as well as Jian Kettunen who makes the dangerous (to opponents) shift from handler to cutter using her savvy disc skills to decimating effectiveness in combination with her killer cuts.

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Walter Payton Grizzlies – Illinois

In only their second year as a team, but one that will graduate no seniors after this season, Centrals will be the Grizzlies first traveling tournament. They have seen action against Holy Family Catholic, Center Grove and James Madison Memorial, notching one win and hoping for more this weekend. 

Players to watch: Hindeke Tewedros playing far taller than her 5’4", Zoe Kaplan whose boundless cutting energy is matched by her limitless spirit, and cool-and-collected handler Lila Ammarell making the plays whenever and however the situation requires.


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