Girls running. Sticks flying. Sweat dripping. Clock ticking. CB South’s Girls Varsity Field Hockey team is nearing the end of their Fall season.
For a number of players, these will be their final weeks on the field. Seniors Julia Cooper, Sarah Cooper, Styler Gannon, Ella Hyde, Grace Haag, Rachel Madden, Kailey Sarrasin, Anna Shirley, and Erin Smith will be graduates of the class of 2022.
These girls have spent years pursuing their passion of field hockey. The Cooper sisters have been playing for six years, and some of their teammates have been playing even longer. “I’ve been playing field hockey since second grade,” Captain Erin Smith said.
Field Hockey has undoubtedly taken countless hours of these players high school careers. “When we don’t have games, we have practice… so [we play field hockey] every day of the week,” Erin explained.
Julia added, “I play every day for South and then have practice every Sunday for my club team.” The highs and lows of high school have looked a little different for these varsity players. Julia described the last few years playing for South as a “rollercoaster of emotions.”
“It gets extremely competitive out there sometimes, and all you can think about is losing or winning.” Julia often must remind herself that “at the end of the day…it’s just a game.” Although “it can be hard to work as a team with people who are younger than you or not as inexperienced as your club team,” explained Julia, “they’re like sisters to me.”
It’s not an anomaly to find that these girls consider their teammates family. Sarah Cooper said, “People on the team are some of my best friends. I talk to them every day, even out of season.” Erin explained that “we go through similar things, so we can talk about what’s happening on and off the field with each other,”
Captains Julia, Anna, and Erin do their best to support their teammates in any way they can. “They take the lead and make it so that everyone is a part of the team, and no one is left out,” Sarah said. Erin believes that she takes her responsibilities as captain very seriously. She says, “I try to make sure that no one is super nervous before a game and try to use words of encouragement throughout the game.”
“They’ve made me a better player,” said Julia, addressing her other co-captains. “When I work with them, I feel like I become a better teammate in general.”
In a few months, these seniors will be moving on to greater things. “I plan on going to East Stroudsburg University,” said Julia, who plans on continuing her passion of field hockey. “I’m excited to go there… and hopefully I will love their field hockey’s team’s environment.”
Even though these girls spend most of their time hitting the fields, they make the most of the few days they spend at home: Sarah loves to bake and do puzzles; Erin enjoys reading books and watching movies; and Julia spends as much time as she can playing with her black lab, Gracie.
These seniors are also finding their identities and are already setting goals for the future. “I want to be a journalist, or some kind of reporter,” Erin said. Julia isn’t set of a specific profession yet but imagines herself pursuing some sort of career in design. “It will probably be something like web design… because I like those type of things.” The Cooper sisters keep a realistic mindset when it comes to their future career. “Right now, I want to go into engineering,” Sarah said. “But I know that things can always change.”
Although their high school career may be coming to an end, these field hockey seniors do not regret a single minute playing a sport here at South. “I’m going to miss the team atmosphere and seeing the people I’ve grown so close with over the last four years every day,” said Sarah. “Your high school friends are people you’ll never forget, and my friends have helped make memories I hope to never forget.”
“A high school sport allows you to have fun and be competitive,” Julia said, adding that she’s going to “cherish” as much time as she has left at South. “Playing at a college level is stricter and more serious than playing for a high school team, so I’m going to miss that aspect.”
CB South provides an array of different sports and activities. Sarah “one hundred percent” believes that newcomers to South should join a sport if they’re interested. “If it ends up not working out your first year, you have three more years [to find your passion],” she says.
The girls reiterated how strongly they’ll miss the teammates they made along the way. “You should definitely join a sport at South,” Julia agreed. “You’ll have an amazing team environment, make the best of friends, and create the weirdest, funniest memories.”