One positive that will come with going back to full 11 on 11 field hockey next year, assuming that the sport returns to normal for the 2021 season, is that there will be more spots on the field that need filling. With the bulk of the varsity team from 2020 (which played in the league championship game) returning for next season, there are not going to be as many roster spots up for grabs.
That’s going to make tryouts next year very interesting indeed for coach Courtney Lima and JV coach Helen Bohnenberger, because Coach B—as she’s known in the program—had a junior varsity squad in 2020 that was rife with talent and lots of players that will be ready to make the jump up a level. At least there will be a few extra spots on the field that need filling, but the battle to take them will undoubtedly be fierce.
“I like our team a lot. It had a good work ethic, and they were eager to learn, to be better, to do better. It was a very, very talented group,” Bohnenberger said.
Coach Bohnenberger said the goal of a JV season is to see the team and its players improve steadily over the course of their season. She said that the JV Clippers accomplished that this past fall.
“I always wish that I filmed them in the beginning of the year to show them at the end, to see how much they have improved. It was a really good season, despite all of the (challenges surrounding COVID-19).”
The squad finished with a winning record for the season, posting a 6-3-2 overall mark.
Defense was a big key for the Clippers, and in net junior Lola Russell made all of the starts for the team and was named one of the captains. The junior, who was playing goal for the first time, brought a spark to the team and played well.
Sophomore Anna Velesig was one of the defensive starters and put in a lot of time at sweeper for the Clippers. The defender earned her stripes on the back end, working hard to assure that not much got all the way to Russell. “She’s fast and aggressive, and can really play anywhere,” her coach said.
In the midfield, freshman Jane Hostetter showed that she’s a player to watch for the future. Coach Bohnenberger said she’d be surprised to see Hostetter playing on her team next year. Fellow frosh McKenna Metcalf was a nice surprise for the team and had some very good moments. Jancy Grayson, a freshman, brought a strong work ethic and an upbeat personality to the fold.
Caroline Sullivan and Lilly Smith, a sophomore and a freshman respectively, both worked hard in the midfield and defense and backed up at sweeper.
Sophia Roscoe, a freshman, also saw time in the midfield area for FHS.
Freshman Gabby Ferreira was an offensive middie for the Clippers. The first-year JV player had a solid all-around season and made things happen with some adept passes and strong offensive instincts. Sophomore Lucy Armour had a strong all-around season for FHS in the offensive midfield.
At forward, the sophomore duo of Elizabeth Lindberg and Ryann McDonald had a strong year up front as they combined to produce some big plays. “They’re firecrackers,” the coach said. “They made things happen with their speed and were impressive this season.”
A number of others also saw time at forward for FHS over the course of the year. Representing the sophomore class up front was Katherine Urquhart and she was joined by freshmen Bella Hawkins, Ally Eslick, Mia Cooper, Skylar Dale and Merritt Wilcox.
“I like the way our kids played this year. I’m really excited about the future of the varsity team,” Bohnenberger said.