Updated: Aug 14, 2019
It wasn’t until 2008 that field hockey came into the picture for my family. My big sister Corinne, was fed up with soccer two days before tryouts leading up to her sophomore year of high school and decided she would try-out for the field hockey team. Both of us had played ice hockey growing up so we figured it wouldn’t be that different. I tagged along with my mom and my sister as we got in the car to head to the sporting-goods store in search of a beginner-level field hockey stick.
We knew NOTHING about the sport, all we knew is that you needed a stick to play so my mom called her friend Pam who had played her whole life and was also one of the coaches at the high school.
So Corinne got her stick and a ball and went straight to the backyard to figure out this sport. I joined her in the yard but dressed in ice hockey goalie gear so she could test out the best way to shoot with the goofiest looking hockey stick in the world. I was getting pretty annoyed because every ten minutes she would run inside to google different plays in the sport and would try to mimic what she saw to get the technique down.
After a couple hours Corinne was pretty decent. The background in ice hockey definitely helped us figure out the technique and baseline of skills which paired well with her knack for aggressiveness. She landed a spot on the Beverly High School Varsity team where she played for Pam, who while in her coaching role was ONLY called ‘Chief’.
Two years later I was entering high school and had to make the decision whether I was going to continue playing soccer with my friends who I had been playing with since the fourth grade, or to make the switch over to the field hockey team. My sister had been named team captain of the varsity field hockey team for that year so I decided to take a break from soccer and play this new sport with my sister… plus she was my ride to and from school.
My goal was to make the JV team since the field hockey team had been successful over the last three years winning the Northeast Conference and making the state tournament each year. I was so nervous during the three days of double sessions because their foundation was built on fitness and everyone in Beverly knew that the field hockey coaches built their team by having the fittest teams that could run longer and harder than others.
Chief, along with the head coach Trish, who had been a police officer started the tryouts off with 4 ‘Psycho Squares’. I thought I was going to pass out and drop dead while the returning members of the varsity team thought only having to run 4 was a blessing since they were used to 6+ on a daily basis.
Somehow I survived the three days and it was time for the scrimmage day against another school. I remember being so awkward and nervous while playing in the scrimmage since I was one of two freshmen that got invited to play. Fo and I were nervous, awkward, and quiet but ended up making the varsity team. Fo became the starting goalie and one of my closest friends since we went through that terrifying journey together.