Jon Ordway, a junior at Johnsburg Central, gives cookies to the field hockey team following their final league game Oct. 12.
Photo by John Grybos.
North Creek Rallying after a huddle, Johnsburg's field hockey team rattled their sticks and shouted, “Are we Adirondack League champions?!”
Yes, they are.
Their Oct. 12 match against North Warren was their last Adirondack League game this season. They walked onto the field with a perfect win record in the league, but the Cougars' relentless offensive play took the win and earned some boos from sideline spectators.
“They just got lucky,” said Jaguar senior Moriah Amadeo.
Coach Jill Toney told her squad they did everything right, they just came up against a good team for their last league match.
Though the Cougars took the win, they couldn't take the girls' league crown. This is their second league championship in three years.
“We definitely left a mark,” said senior Ashley Hitchcock.
Amadeo added, “It's like a meteor — BAM! The meteor's gone, but the crater's still there.”
Jillian Urbonowicz said, “We did it together, like family.”
Johnsburg is the smallest school in the league, but they start their girls training in the fourth grade, and many of the teammates have played together since.
“It was really fun to be with these girls all year,” said Emily Davis. “We worked so well together.”
The team's lucky charm — monarch butterflies — didn't put in an appearance for the game, an absence the girls said might have contributed to the loss.
The loss was a disappointment, said Toney, but sectionals are still ahead.
Kayla Williford said, “We want to go all the way.”
The game wasn't only the lady Jaguars last league game, but halftime was Senior Night. Johnsburg's junior varsity squad gave hugs and buckets of goodies to the players on their way to a diploma this June, and families came out to the field to commemorate their daughter's last season with Jaguar field hockey with photos.
Ashley Loomis said they weren't leaving their alma mater for good, “Oh, we'll be back.”
The field hockey pitch was in poor condition at the beginning of the school year, and Toney was concerned that her seniors might have to play their last scheduled home game on somebody else's field. The field, brown at the tail end of summer, was lush and green for the game Wednesday.
“Besides the bumps, we finally have grass,” said Amadeo
The supportive crowd meant a lot to the squad, and they thanked their families and spectators for making it out to their game.