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9 Texas Elite Spartans to Play for Women’s National Tackle Football Team

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Nine Texas Elite Spartans to Play for Women's National Team | Image by Texas Elite Womens Football

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When the Women’s Tackle World Championship begins play on July 28 in Finland, nine players from the Texas Elite Spartans will suit up to represent the U.S. as members of the national team.

The Texas Elite Spartans completed the team’s third-consecutive undefeated season with a victory over Utah in the IX Cup Championship in Dallas on June 26.

Tryouts for the national team were held in March 2022, prior to the start of the Women’s National Football Conference 2022 season.

The U.S. team will be seeking their fourth gold medal in international competition. Team USA took the gold medal in 2010, 2013, and 2017. The 2021 competition was delayed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Elite Spartans players will be seeing a familiar face on the sidelines for the competition: Elite Spartans owner and head coach Odessa Jenkins will serve as the running backs coach.

Texas players will be joined by numerous WNFC stars from around the league on the U.S. National Team. Eight national teams qualified to compete this year.

The Spartans who made the team include quarterback Brittany Bushman, defensive line LeShaunte Bowman, running back Rasan Gore, wide receiver Maria Jackson, offensive line Elizabeth Jenkins, Rachel May, and Tammy Moore, defensive back Eshombi Singleton, and running back Destanie Yarbrough.

Yarbrough is currently recovering from an ACL tear suffered in Week 2 of the WNFC season and will not play.

Bushman was selected as the WNFC 2022 Most Valuable Player during the IX Cup Weekend. The quarterback led the league in every meaningful passing category, including passing yards (1,081), completions (68), and touchdowns (17). She also had the highest QB rating (116) of any player at the position, with more than 15 completions.

Gore had a breakout season after being pressed into the running back position when Yarbrough was injured. She also has experience as a quarterback and completed both of her pass attempts this season.

Jackson was one of the more underrated receivers in the league throughout 2022 despite having the third-most receptions and yards. She led the league in receiving touchdowns with six.

One of the primary reasons for the offensive dominance exhibited by the Elite Spartans in 2022 was the performance of the offensive line. Led by Jenkins at center, May and Moore consistently gave the offense time to let plays develop and pushed defensive players all over the field to open running lanes.

Bowman led the Elite Spartans defense in sacks and was a major force stopping key drives against opposing offenses. Singleton was also a star throughout the season and collected a league-leading six interceptions on her way to being named 2022 Shutdown Corner of the Year.

The U.S. National Team’s head coach is Callie Brownson, who is also the chief of staff and assistant wide receivers coach for the Cleveland Browns. Brownson played for the national team in 2013 and 2017.

“Although preparation and work remain before we board our plane for Finland, this incredible group of 45 women possesses the smarts, passion, and strength that my staff and I want on our roster,” said Brownson in a press release. “We need to be ready and expect that the best competition in the world will throw everything they have at us – and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

The International Federation of American Football Women’s Tackle World Championship is being held in Vantaa, Finland, with games being played between July 28 and August 8.

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