WARRENSBURG - Every year, Warrensburg Central Varsity Field Hockey players have a formidable challenge. It's not only the stiff competition in the Adirondack League and Section II, but it's a spectre that's spelled out by the proliferation of trophies in the school lobby.
The Burgher field hockey players annually shoulder a tradition of field hockey championships.
Whether it was waging a battle all the way to the State Championship finals in 2001, or winning regional, Sectional and Adirondack League championships through the past two decades, the Burghers' accomplishments in field hockey have set a standard that few schools can approach.
The 2008 team was no exception. They won the Adirondack League and Class C Section II Championship, losing in the regional playoffs to Pine Plains, who lost to Warrensburg in the state semifinals in 2007.
Each year, the Burgher Field Hockey team has a nickname that characterizes their approach. Last year's squad was the "Dream Team," and the prior year's group, the "Red Hot Burgers." This year's squad is called "Bad to the Bone" which not only characterizes the group's aggressive play, but describes the accomplishments of the core, or "bone" of the team, Coach Mary ann Bump said Thursday.
The 2009 team has four Seniors who fought their way into the 2007 State Championship tourney - Taylor Galusha, Whitney Galusha, Drew Lamy - who ran the defense in 2007 - and Abby Roth. No less than seven other seniors are also returning to lead the charge toward more stellar accomplishments.
Bump said Thursday that the departure of the many stars on the talented 2008 and 2007 squads wasn't likely to hamper the prospects of the 2009 team.
"We have big shoes to fill, but the players are ready to do it," she said. "The players are smart, game-savvy and they have athleticism and prior experience in big games."
Bump said the 2009 players were now earning their way into the Burgher tradition.
"The team appears to have the determination to go far," she said. "I believe we have a group of players with great potential."