Pictured: Captains Kat Mason ’21, Emily French ’22, Ava Calma ’22, and Claire Shemo ’22
Article written by Claire Shemo ‘21 (EWAC Member, Field Hockey Captain)
Each week throughout the fall, we will highlight one of our nine teams that normally have a very traditional competition season.
With the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 affecting the Walker’s community, the field hockey season looks different than in years past. Even with the ongoing challenges and restrictions, coaches Mrs. Duran and Ms. Dennett, and captains Claire Shemo ’21, Kat Mason ’21, Emily French ’22, and Ava Calma ’22 have strategically planned a schedule to improve the team’s field hockey skills and mental aspect of the game while still having fun.
Now midway through the season, Captain Kat Mason ’21 reflects, “Despite the challenges COVID-19 have brought on our players and coaches, the coaching staff has done a really great job on keeping morale high. Also, I’m glad we’re focusing on strengthening our family bond – I keep learning new things about my teammates that I don’t think I would’ve learned in a typical season!”
On Mondays and Fridays, the team works on basic field hockey skills such as passing, dodging, and shooting. Sometimes, there are competitions involved! Practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays includes tough conditioning for the first half, before playing field hockey for the remainder of practice. To keep the fun and our energized spirit up, Wednesdays are spent with additional bonding which has included hiking on the trails, Zumba dancing led by Kristen St. Louis ’21, and watching college field hockey games.
Now that the team has begun contact drills in small cohorts of four girls, they are implementing the skills into more game-like drills. “Since the beginning of the season, we have focused on improving our individual skills and game,” says captain Ava Calma ’22. “I’m excited that since now we’re in cohorts, we can use those skills against our teammates. I think that our team will be so much stronger next season with our new skills and bonds.”
Captain Claire Shemo ’21 adds, “I really like the days when we’re competing against each other, especially now that we’re in cohorts! It’s really exciting to play against one another and finally see our new skills! Usually, there’s a prize for the winning team — not having to run laps or clean up the equipment — something that most of us dread. I’m so excited to watch this team compete next year, and I can definitely see the program having great success next year!”
“Walker’s field hockey isn’t just about field hockey, but also about life lessons and skills that we can use outside of the sport,” captain Emily French ’22 states. “I have learned so much more than just field hockey, especially from this season, and I hope to keep the friendships I’ve made and use the skills I learned for the rest of my life!”