By Avonlea Cummings
Hometown Weekly Reporter
August has slipped away, marking the final days of summer. As the hot temperatures begin to give way to a chill, the fall season is fully underway. Athletes are fastening their laces and taking to the fields and courts, aiming to make their mark in this year's competition.
Weeks of preseason practice have prepared these athletes to be in peak condition for their season openers. In addition to practices, many teams engage in scrimmages to shake off the rust from the off-season and help coaches identify optimal positions for players to showcase their strengths and excel in games.
On Monday, August 28th, the Westwood field hockey team hosted its inaugural scrimmage of the season. The evening presented ideal playing conditions as the sun dipped behind a scattering of clouds, creating a comfortable atmosphere for competition. Emily Taylor, the newly appointed head coach, eagerly anticipated her first scrimmage with the team. Observing the players in game-like scenarios allowed Taylor to gain insights into their performance and determine the most suitable roles for each athlete, as well as areas that required further refinement.
Taylor expressed her enthusiasm for the team's potential, stating, "I’m really excited; we have an incredible wealth of talent. Our focus has been on getting to know each player, understanding their optimal positions on the field, and placing them where they can thrive. This might involve adjustments to our formation or player placement. With eight graduated seniors who were all starters last season, we are working on integrating as many players as possible. It's a significant transition, but I'm optimistic due to the depth of talent we have this year. Our challenge now is to make it work for everyone."
Amidst this transitional phase, Taylor acknowledged the impact of the team's senior members on the field hockey squad. These seniors have exemplified outstanding leadership qualities, contributing to the team's positive atmosphere even just a few weeks into the preseason. Taylor praised the senior group, noting, "Our seniors are an exceptional bunch—kind, welcoming, and highly skilled. With four captains and seven seniors in total, their leadership is evident. They lead by example, working diligently and setting the tone for the entire team. Their influence has been invaluable during my first season as head coach."
Despite the changes this year has brought, the Wolverines remain determined to rise to the challenge of the competition. Operating under the motto "business as usual," the team maintains a resolute focus, game after game. Taylor explained, "Our motto for the year is 'Business as usual.' With a sizable returning varsity contingent, we understand what is required. We are committed to executing our goals with precision. We have set high expectations for ourselves this season, united by a clear team vision. We are unwavering in our determination to achieve our objectives."
Support the field hockey team this autumn as they go head-to-head against their rivals. The team's schedule can be found at https://www.arbiterlive.com/School/Calendar/25599.