By Camie Strojny
As the Lady Whalers’ Field Hockey team begins their intramural season, they are faced with the challenges of a newer, younger team- which they will benefit from with the non-interscholastic play. For the first time in three years, the team has all three coaches returning: Head Coach Dan Webber, Assistant Coach Elizabeth Baraldi, and JV/Sub Varsity Coach Nicole Bamber. Leading the pack, Senior Captains Camie Strojny, Reese Burns, and Sydney Ryder keep up the team intensity and encouragement to the younger girls to work as if they were in interscholastic play.
The field hockey team has been taking taxing setbacks for the last few years by graduating large groups and strong players for continuous years. However, the junior girls such as Melanie Bamber, Maclaine Willet, Quincy Sullivan, Reagen Perry, Rowan Callahan, and Mimi Belanger have been stepping up as team leaders, considering they have been starting varsity players since their freshmen year. This year’s transition has been rather smooth.
Coach Baraldi puts it this way, “It takes a long time to build a program after a coaching transition; it is great to see things coming together after the last couple of seasons of getting used to each other and finding a rhythm.”
The whole team has split into three teams and switches off games. The teams are mostly built of eighth-graders, which is a blessing in disguise for this intramural play to be a building period for everyone, especially the eighth graders to step up and play on a varsity level.
All the coaches have simultaneously agreed that they are appreciative of the sacrifice the seniors have made to be flexible leaders and work alongside the younger girls, rather than splitting up from a junior varsity team and a varsity team. Coach Baraldi states that field hockey “is a number game for sure,” considering normal play is 11v11, rather than this year with a 7v7. With the team conditioning, and working as if they were in regular play, the team will be more than ready to fulfill a successful season next year without Covid-19 being a factor.