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For The Love of The Game

Jordan Toller, Journalist

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Kate Hatchell (20), Caitlyn Tabeling (15), Molly Matheson (1), Riley Hatchell (23), Christina Jensen (goalie)

 

Field hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.Over 300 NCAA colleges have division 1, division 2, and/or division 3 field hockey. It is mainly popular in India and Europe, but is quickly spreading elsewhere around the world. Here in Colorado, there are lots of opportunities to play field hockey for those who want to play.

 

Majority of colleges on the east coast and Midwest, including University of North Carolina and Louisville, have field hockey . Field hockey is the 5th most popular sport in the world, according best-fieldhockeysticks.com, based on number of fans, which is over 2 billion people.

Kent Denver coach Kathy James tells chsaanow.com the problem isn’t the lack of girls, but the problem is they have too many girls that want to play. A varsity field hockey team can only hold 25 girls. James said, “Anyone who wants to play, we want them to have the opportunity.”

Mack Dudevoir (5)

In the past eight years, two club teams have formed; Denver Field Hockey Club and Club Lewy. St. Mary’s Academy coach Sarah Jacobs says having club teams year round is huge. Golden coach Marissa Copan says Golden is one big varsity team with 30 members. She says every year more and more people are interested in playing. Denver East coach Elise Landau says lots of girls transfer to East to play field hockey. She also says they had about 50 freshmen tryout. Smoky Hill coach Natalie Foerster says it is rewarding being a part of Colorado field hockey. She said, “I love seeing where we started this season with how much progress we are making. Scores may not reflect it, but our girls are getting better and for me, that is a great feeling knowing that the girls are learning and really taking in what we are teaching them.”

Many other countries around the world house field hockey. Field hockey is the national sport in India. Other European countries including the Netherlands have big field hockey competition. Other countries around the world include Australia, England, Spain, and Germany, but the sport isn’t prominent.

Here at Liberty, field hockey has grown a lot over the last year.  Last year, Liberty’s field  hockey team had a total of 22 girls on the varsity team, including 1 from Rampart, 1 from Discovery Canyon, 2 from TCA, 5 from Liberty, 4 from Air Academy, and 9 from Pine Creek. This year, Liberty field hockey has a varsity and a JV team; including 3 from Air Academy, 13 from Pine Creek, 1 from DCC, 3 from Liberty, 4 from Rampart, 1 from TCA and 1 from Vista Ridge.

With two new coaches, Jessica Nerkowski and Teryn Brill, the program has evolved. Even though the scores and records don’t show the improvement, every girl on the team know they are all better than ever and continue to improve.

[Inspiration Photography]

Bottom row (left to right)-Penny Schwab, Liz Vogt, Kiara Casmer, Mack Dudevoir, Kristi Hartford, Molly Matheson, Skye Day, Molly Kaipus, Caitlyn Tabeling, Christina Jensen. Middle Row (left to right)- Madeleine Bourgois, Riley Hatchell, Addie Schneider, Tina Bomberg, Kate Hatchell, Olivia Ruth, Tori Flarity, Emily Padgett, Jordan Toller, Julia Anarumo, Annika Rogozin. Top Row (left to right)- Haley Edge, Jessica Plenz, Olivia Crews, Kylan McCullogh

 

 

 

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