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Goodbye, Frosh Field Hockey

Rachel Hennessey

Rachel Hennessey

Rachel Hennessey, Reporter

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Sorry freshmen, but for those of you wanting to play field hockey this year, your only option is trying out for the Junior Varsity team. It’s true. For the first time in three years, Presentation will not be offering a freshman field hockey team. But fear not, frosh, because the reasoning behind this may be more beneficial than you think.

           Field hockey is a fairly new sport to Presentation. It was first introduced back in 2002 to the school. However, field hockey is also a new sport to California. Athletic Director Stacey Mallison said, “Field hockey is such a developing sport in California. It’s growing, and I think it’s the fastest growing sport from my observations.”

           So, if field hockey is such a popular sport, why does Presentation not have a freshman team? For starters, Mallison said, “There are too many schools that also do not have freshman field hockey so it was very challenging to find games for our freshmen team.”

She went on to say, “The last two years our freshman team only had  five or six games. It’s hard to call that a season when you have 5 games versus 18 games.” So, the goal behind having freshmen try out for JV is to let them see more playing time and have more experience playing the game.

Another reason has to do with the limited number of coaches Presentation has. “We are having a hard time getting staffing and we were short coaches to have three levels of field hockey, so by having two levels, the varsity and the JV, we are fully staffed, and really can focus on building those two teams,” Mallison said.

There was much debate and controversy when deciding to not have a freshman team this year. “Taking away a sport, it’s taking away an opportunity from student athletes to participate on a team for Presentation so there was absolutely debate and discussion. It was not a decision made on a whim,” Mallison said.

The Athletic Department knew a lot of freshmen were interested in trying out for field hockey, but they believed that this was the best decision for the school. Still, many freshmen are bummed that they do not get the opportunity to try out for the freshman team.

“It would still have been nice to be a part of the team even though you don’t get as much playing time, because you still learn from the experience,” said freshman Megan Maasberg.

Some freshmen, however, are taking this as an opportunity to learn more about the sport. Freshmen Elizabeth Villa said, “I think it is good to be mixed with the upper grades in field hockey because you get to learn from them.”

While the freshman team has been cancelled for now, it may not be a permanent change. “Field hockey is something girls are interested in here. We just need to make sure we can provide a quality program for them,” Mallison said. “Until we can do that with confidence, we need to focus on the two teams and with most certainty we will add the freshman team back.”

She’s so confident, in fact, that the team jerseys are still on campus: “We have the uniforms; they’re still in-tact. We’re holding onto them in the hopes that in a year or two we will be able to add it back.”

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Goodbye, Frosh Field Hockey