CPC Featured Player: Jazmyne Spear

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Full Name: Jazmyne Spear

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Position(s) played: Flanker, 8 man, Center, Wing

All Blues since: Sept 2018

When and how did you first start playing rugby? What got you into it?

Jaz: I started rugby in 11th grade because I did cheer all my life and wanted to prove that cheerleading is a sport and that I’m an athlete.

Do you have a philosophy/mindset when you practice and play rugby?

Jaz: My grandma was my #1 rugby supporter so I just think about making her proud every time I touch the pitch.

How did you first find out about the All Blues?

Jaz: I searched WPL teams and found that the All Blues practiced not too far from my company’s California site.

How long have you played for us?

Jaz: Two months

What is one of your best memories thus far as an All Blue? What do you like most about being on this team?

Jaz: My first away game in Denver because it was surreal watching WPL players in action in a huge stadium. I couldn’t believe I was a part of such a high level team. My favorite thing about this team is how helpful everyone is at practice and the mix of backgrounds. I have current and former Eagles helping me improve my skills… I couldn’t ask for anything else!

Is there a particular player and/or coach that has influenced your development as a player?

Jaz: Evan Hoese. She’s the first person I met on the team and the person I kept in contact with during my move to California. Aside from just being helpful, she inspires me to dominate on the field because when she steps on the pitch everyone knows it.

What is the best advice you have ever received about playing rugby?

Jaz: Trust your skill!

What skills are you working on/would like to work on right now?

Jaz: Quick defensive set up, Line speed, Ball Handling

How do you balance life, work, and playing rugby?

Jaz: I’m a full time senior surgical technician in research, part time veterinary assistant and I’m finishing an online MBA in healthcare administration. I balance it by talking to my cat, Bucket. He tells me to take a break and destress by playing with him and I do it and it works!

Who’s your favorite rugby player/team to watch? Why?

Jaz: Naya Tapper. She’s unstoppable and such a strong player every game.

What is your favorite non-rugby activity?

Jaz: CrossFit and knitting

If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be?

Jaz: Rocky Road

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Jaz: I’m just happy to be an All Blue!

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Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with Positive Tackles

Evan Hoese is an incredibly striking person, quite literally. When she tackles, she aims low and powers her legs through, driving her opponent into the rugby pitch- even faster than she drives her Subaru. The experience of sitting in the passenger seat of an Evan-driven car strikes the same mixture of gut-wrenching fear and awe of speed that occurs when matched opposite of her on the field.  

Even though she only started playing rugby in the spring of her freshman year at Harvard, Evan practiced running hard lines in the backyard with her father throughout her childhood. Her calm command was evident from her college days, as she captained her Radcliffe team to win a collegiate DII National Championship where she was named MVP. According to Shelby Lin, a teammate from Radcliffe Rugby, “Evan is a natural leader. She plays with a ton of confidence and is someone you want to give your all for, because you know she’s always going to leave everything she has on the field.” Upon graduating with a degree in Social and Cognitive Neuroscience, Evan didn’t stray far from her illustrious alma mater, and brought her rugby prowess to Beantown.

Prior to the 2014 World Cup, Evan was asked to attend the Top 50 US Camp, where disaster struck. While competing for a cap, Evan sustained a cartilage knee injury that would set her National Team vision back four years.

This injury did not keep Hoese away from rugby; in fact, she continued to hone her vision and skills as she developed new players such as Cathy Cai (attended Top 50 7s camp) and Courtney Hendrickson (Attended Top 100 15s Camp). Evan lent her wide knowledge to the next generation of rugby as she coached Berkeley All Blues D2 in 2017 and 2018, as well as acted as Assistant Coach to the Berkeley All Blues WPL side in 2017.

Striding on to Soldier Field this past November 3rd for the game against the New Zealand Black Ferns, Evan earned her first national team cap. Hard work, persistence and passion brought her to this moment where she could fly like an Eagle.  

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