The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School.                               707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

North Pointe Now

The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School.                               707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

North Pointe Now

The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School.                               707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

North Pointe Now

Trying to stick more players: Field hockey team competes with fewer participants

STICKING IT OUT | With the field hockey season flying by, team captain Ava DeCoste emphasizes the thrills of the sport. “I would say that it was a very fun sport,” DeCoste said. “You can make great new friendships thats like the main part of loving field hockey is that you create a special bond with people.”
Photo credit: Sasha Poradun
STICKING IT OUT | With the field hockey season flying by, team captain Ava DeCoste emphasizes the thrills of the sport. “I would say that it was a very fun sport,” DeCoste said. “You can make great new friendships that’s like the main part of loving field hockey is that you create a special bond with people.”

Prior to the start of the fall sports season, varsity field hockey coach Sara Gentile was optimistic for a good start to the season until the number of participants tremendously decreased from last year. This season, instead of a JV and Varsity team, there is just one Varsity team, with the majority of the roster consisting of ten seniors. 

There are multiple explanations for the steady decline in player numbers, but Gentile believes it’s mainly due to COVID-19 and the limited exposure influencing younger kids’ interest in field hockey early on.

“I think COVID actually has a lot to do with it, hoping that the girls participate, and want to be involved in sports,” Gentile said.  “I also think we don’t have a strong middle school program, we’re trying to build that up to encourage younger players to be involved earlier so we can start getting them in the program as freshmen, or else they don’t really know about [field hockey].”

One factor influencing the number of participants is the fact that younger students are not informed about field hockey. Team captain Ava DeCoste discusses the incline of incoming students’ desire to play other sports as opposed to field hockey.  

Photo credit: Ian DuVernay

“There’s a lot of freshman girls that want to join volleyball and then when they get older they’re going to start joining field hockey because it’s a no-cut sport,” DeCoste said. “So I think it’s more of an upperclassman type sport because it’s a no-cut sport.”

 With the diversity of sports available in the fall season, DeCoste notes that there are more options to pick from, but Grosse Pointe North alumni Ally Saigh suggests that students try field hockey and not be afraid to make mistakes. 

“Be open-minded, it’s very easy to be down on yourself, especially when you’re playing a new sport, you’re meeting new people,”  Saigh said. “I went to my tryouts my freshman year with soccer shin guards, it’s okay to be confused. I would say try it out, give it an honest fair shot, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”

Adding even more to the encouragement Junior Maria Castrenero illustrates why it is enjoyable to newcomers who might be interested in picking up field hockey.

“This is a great sport and everyone should play it,” Castrenero said. “It’s kind of hard to pick up at first, but after a while, you get the hang of it. It’s really fun.”

Further exemplifying the benefits of field hockey, Gentile highlights the dedication and hard work required, but with that comes the joy of playing the sport and connecting with your team.

“We have a lot of fun on the team but we have to take it seriously,” Gentile said. “We really encourage the girls to work hard. But we also encourage the girls to have a lot of fun. Everyone’s friends on the team and because of that it’s a good atmosphere.”

 

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