Intensity rolls out the “Dixie Chicks”

Intensity rolls out the “Dixie Chicks”

Jul 21, 2015 by Brentt Eads
Intensity rolls out the “Dixie Chicks”

First, there were the “Latin Queens.”

Then came the “Road Warriors.

Now, the Jersey Intensity program lead by Kevin O’Donnell has a new group of players with a cool nickname: the “Dixie Chicks.”

But these aren’t just young athletes who have a cute monicker representing their out-of-state connections—this trio of Kieara Edwards, Leea Hanks and Shelby Carlson are 2019s who can really play and are getting serious attention after wearing the Intensity’s black, green and blue colors this summer.

Shelby Carlson, Kieara Edwards and Leea Hawks of Jersey Intensity1
Shelby Carlson, Kieara Edwards and Leea Hawks of Jersey Intensity comprise the trio of standout 2019’s called the “Dixie Chicks.”

Kiera is a centerfielder from Woodbridge, Va. with college interest ranging from LSU to Liberty.

Leea is an outfielder from Leesburg, Fla. who is being recruiting by schools like Central Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame and South Carolina.

Shelby is a pitcher who calls West Monroe, La. home and is hearing from major programs like Georgia, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

All three are fairly new to the Intensity-Hannigan 16U team, which they played on at the DeMarini Invitational Showcase in Chicago earlier this month.

Kieara joined the two just two months ago after being with the Vienna Stars and Leea and Shelby played with the Intensity-Nationals 14U team last fall.

More and more, the Intensity program is finding success with out-of-state players including two on the Gold team—2015’s MK Bonamy (Notre Dame) and Lacey Sumerlin (Georgia)—who are from Alabama.

The “Dixie Chicks” also come from far outside the New Jersey borders and have different reasons for playing out of state.

“I like the Intensity program because of the quality of teams they are and play against as well as the high level of recruiting attention we get,” explains Leea.

Shelby adds, “I agree with the good completion we face and the intense recruiting we get at this level.”

Kieara goes a different route in why she’s with the NJ-based team: “They (coaches) expect more from us and that makes us better players.”

Being far away, they admit, makes it hard to attend practices regularly with their travel teammates.

“We usually come a day early to a tournament and practice early,” says Leea with Shelby stating, “Between games we’ll find a field during a long break and work on our hitting and fielding.”

Kieara does have one advantage the others don’t: her club coach Eileen Hannigan is also from Virginia and the player gets to hit with her at the coach’s facility in Sterling.

With the recruiting attention continuing to increase for young players, especially the 2019’s, all three think they’ll be committed by next summer and, most certainly, next fall.

“We have a lot of work to do before then,” adds Kieara, “but it’s nice to get the attention we are.”

On the field, yes, but now off of it, toom as the Dixie Chicks are part of one of the coolest nicknames—created by Suzanne O’Donnell, Kevin’s wife, to give credit where credit is due—in the sport!