By Lily Remick

The Lady Whalers Field Hockey Team has just wrapped up their 2020 intramural season. This season was the first, and hopefully last, season of intramural playing. Three teams were originated to play intramural games/scrimmages made up by the three senior captains: Camie Strojny, Reese Burns, and Sydney Ryder. This season a number of eighth graders moved up to play with the team, a combination of Junior Varsity and Varsity level players became one. 

The defense has been very strong this year and they have extremely progressed throughout the season. Along with defense, offense has improved majorly too. At the start of the season, the team struggled with mapping out how to play during a game; however, the team adapted to move quickly and easily. The Lady Whaler’s have had many players step up this year too. Sophomore Natalie Mack quickly offered to become a temporary goalie for the game and few practices after Junior Rowan Callahan went out with injuries. Along with Mack, many of the upperclassmen took action by helping the new and young players to learn many different skills, like directing them where to go during scrimmages and games. These players show leadership and are the players that represent how the team is through and through. 

This season may have been a downfall for the seniors and other players due to Covid-19, but playing intramural has helped the team immensely. The seniors stepped up and helped to carry the team and brought us positivity through the pandemic. Although the seniors are sad about their final field hockey season ending, they proceed to bring an upbeat and positive outlook over all.  

Captain Strojny brought so much focus and improvement to the team this season by stating, “What an honor to have worked so closely with a team who was willing to play and improve so hard day in and day out, despite the full knowledge of never playing interscholastically this fall. I would’ve never had full closure from a sport I love so much without the girls and coaches who continued to display hard work and dedication. The athletic department and coaches did an amazing job to keep this season as normal as can be, and I can’t say thank you enough. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the field hockey team for five years now, and to the intramural program I got to take part in, which arguably had more pros than cons.” 

Amanda Mack, despite only playing in the last week of field hockey due to being out all season from injury, showed an immense amount of commitment and displayed support to the team throughout the season: “Although I was injured for the majority of the season, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to watch this team grow and improve so much. Every practice, every game felt like a real season because of the dedicated players and coaches. The athletic department did an amazing job of making this season feel normal, and I want to thank them, my coaches, and amazing teammates for making this season memorable.” 

Right now it is so important to keep a positive outlook which is why the seniors are so incredible. They brought positivity to our team each day as well as showing a ton of sportsmanship. Captain Burns did an amazing job bringing a positive attitude to practices and games every day, “Even though we weren’t playing interscholoatically I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my senior field hockey season. I am so glad that I was able to get to know and play with such an incredible group of girls who were so dedicated to making this year the best one yet despite the pandemic. Our coaches and the athletic department did an amazing job organizing fall sports and I know everyone is so grateful we were able to play! I wish I could thank every single one of my teammates because they are the ones that made my senior season so memorable.” 

Captain Ryder also brought positivity and encouragement to the team, “Despite all the challenges we faced this year due to the pandemic, every member of the team played as though we were playing interscholasticaly. The coaches brough so much normality and really helped keep the team determined.”

Many witnessed the positive behavior and realized how strong our team is throughout the hard times, coaches Dan Webber, Elizabeth Baraldi, and Nicole Bamber especially, ¨The NHS field hockey team had a great intramural season this fall. We were able to create three teams and play a rotating schedule. The team as a whole came in with a great attitude of ‘have fun and try to get better,’ led by a great senior class to put a lot of effort into their practice and play which created a positive competitive environment. Each player improved greatly and it really showed in our play week to week. I really look forward to playing an interscholastic season next year with this time.¨ 

The team has learned far more and grown closer together than what they would in a normal season. The team started out a little rough the previous season, but this year the team started conditioning in July. This has made the team grow so much, playing faster, stronger, and even more competitively.

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