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HANAU, Germany — Two months into her first season of high-school varsity football and four days after she entered the DODDS-Europe record book, Hanau freshman Jasmine Hawkins had it all figured out.

“It’s not your gender that matters,” Hawkins said before Tuesday’s practice. “It’s what’s in your heart.”

In fact, Hawkins, who hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass in Hanau’s 55-26 victory Friday night at Würzburg to become the first female to score a touchdown for a DODDS-Europe high school, said her gender didn’t enter the picture during the game.

“They didn’t even know I was a girl,” recalled Hawkins, a 5-foot-9, 130-pound 14-year-old. “As we lined up, the defenders were saying, ‘I’ve got him.’ I thought to myself, ‘You just wait.’”

As it turned out, no one had “him.” Hawkins, lined up as a tight end, said she ran an arrow route into the end zone and found herself all alone.

“There was no one within 10 yards of me,” she said. “They tackled me right after I made the catch. That felt good. That’s why I love football. It’s one of the last contact sports left.”

And the icing on the cake was still to come.

“It was fun to see their faces at the end of the game,” Hawkins said. “They were going, ‘That was a girl?’”

According to a survey of current DODDS-Europe football coaches, the TD was the first in Europe for a girl. But it wasn’t the first scoring play for Hawkins.

“I got a two-point conversion two weeks ago [in a 48-7 victory against Alconbury],” she said.

Hawkins is the second girl to score a touchdown in a DODDS football game. According to Stripes’ Pacific sports chief Dave Ornauer, Monica Holman of Zama American High School in Japan ran for a 7-yard TD in 2003.

History aside, Hawkins is just another Panther to Hanau coach Sam Cassou.

“I was handing out orientation packets to freshmen on the first day of school,” Cassou said. “She asked if it were all right if she came out for football. I said, ‘OK, but I’m going to treat you as a football player, not a girl.’”

Hawkins, who began playing flag football in sixth grade, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“On the first day of practice, she lined up opposite Gabe [Williams, Hanau’s star running back],” Cassou said. “She got trucked, but she jumped right up and got back in there. She’s a tough kid.”

Hawkins recalled her gridiron baptism as a huge adjustment.

“The first day was OK,” she said, “but that first week I was really tired. I wasn’t in any kind of condition. I wondered if it was worth it.”

Things have changed since then. Now, the basketball and softball player is in a niche of her own as far as the students at Hanau are concerned.

“Some of the boys come up to me and say, ‘You play football? That’s really cool.’ And all the girls think it’s cool.”

For Hawkins, though, her choice of this game was a no-brainer.

“If you love sports,” she said, “you can’t help but love football.”

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