BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
A new sport has emerged in Clarkston and the Lady Wolves are excited for their first fall on the field hockey team and for their first home game this Thursday against Marian.
“The girls are fired up,” said Blake Anderson, head coach for the club sport. “I am really excited for them and I think a lot of them will stick with it.They like it. It’s a lot more skills than they realized. There is a lot of endurance and strategy involved.”
It began as a summer camp and they wanted to see if anyone was interested. They had 12 show up.
“Our thinking was we need 18-20 girls for a team,” Anderson said. “Low and behold there was way more. We ended up with over 30. We offered it as a club sport, but the school is endorsing it.”
He added because they are endorsing it field hockey is a varsity sport which put it at high demand because the players would be able to receive their varsity letter.
“It is a good option for girls for fall sports,” Anderson explained. “It fills a nice void for the girls who play lacrosse in the spring. Field hockey has a lot of crossover techniques and skills for lacrosse. Because it’s played in the fall there is a natural migration.”
He added it shares some of the same offense and defense tactics as basketball as well.
Field hockey is a international sport which has picked up popularity since this year’s Summer Olympics aired on television.
“The Olympics helped,” Anderson said. “There were a lot of people who showed interest after the Olympics.”
Several private schools in southeastern Michigan already offer field hockey in their athletics program.
“The public schools are starting and opening up program the response has been really receptive at least in the Clarkston community,” Anderson said. “The community and the parents have been very responsive to it. I think it is going to continue to grow especially if Clarkston leads the way. It wouldn’t surprise me if down the road Oxford, Lake Orion, Brandon picks up teams.”
The team is currently self-funded and receives no money from Clarkston Community Schools or the Clarkston Athletic Boosters. Anderson would like to work on a Friends of Field Hockey group like Friends of Lacrosse.
“I am really impressed by the attitudes of the girls. They have been really positive and willing to learn,” Anderson said.
The team includes seniors Emily Greatorex, Maddy Lambouris, Hanna Luchenbach-McClellan, Jean Parke, Hannah Seaman, Sidney Sitar, Madison Walker; juniors Melanie Alnarie, Gillian Anderson, Claire Austin, Isabel D’Autremont, Emma Dicea, Gretchen Hambrick,Tiana Phillips, Tyler Sermak, Jessica Smith, Christine Wakefield; sophomores Chelsea Barnes, Kiana Colon, Kate Dickson, Anna Forshey, Addison Gale, Emma Gravelle, Jessica Greatorex, Courtney Leuenhagen, Reese Nagy, Paige Oliverio, Elizabeth Oda, Alysa Perez, Lilliana Reyes, Emma Sheldon, Anna Skvarce; freshmen Cate Austin, Kristina Bauer, Isabella Crociata, Jessica Gordinier and Lilly Walker.
The girls opened the week against Farmington United. They host Marian on Thursday, head to Hartland on Monday, and host Novi next Wednesday. All games begin at 5:30 p.m.
“The more the experience they get under their belts, the better,” Anderson said. “It is pretty positive that way. We will find it will get more and more competitive, especially against schools more established.”