Burghers strive to uphold local tradition

WARRENSBURG - The many banners hanging high on the walls of the Warrensburg High School gymnasium and the gleaming trophies in the gym lobby bear silent witness to a deep local tradition.

Regardless of the specific year, Warrensburg High can be counted on to produce either a championship field hockey team, or a highly competitive one.

Annually, a group of stellar field hockey players graduate from Warrensburg, and younger players advance to take their place, with a tough challenge ahead of them - whether it's battling for supremacy in the talented Adirondack League and Section II, or merely living up to the tradition represented by those dozens of banners and trophies.

Warrensburg's field hockey program is simply legendary in the league, as the Burghers have set a standard over the years that few schools even approach. For decades, they've routinely won regional, sectional and Adirondack League championships. In 2001, the team fought all the way to the State Championship finals; and two years ago, they won the Adirondack League and Class C Section II championships.

That's not all. This past year, one of the team's stars, Abby Roth, received a scholarship to play Division I field hockey, a relatively rare accomplishment regionally.

Part of the annual tradition is for the team to adopt a nickname that captures their character. Last year's squad was called "Bad to the Bone," and this year's is "Hurricane," which not only represents the level of energy the group seeks to approach in their play, but also speaks of this year's "clean sweep" of the substantially new squad.

Gone are a core group that were on the stellar prior squads - Juliette Needham, Bianca Fuller, Hayley Corriea, Holly Gheen, Taylor and Whitney Galusha, Drew Lamy, Rachel Simkins, Kate Taddeo and Abby Roth - and the new roster has to create its own legacy, Bump said. Four of the 2009 graduates were among those on the New York state finalist squad - Roth, Lamy and the two Galushas.

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