CHESTERTOWN This year’s field hockey team at North Warren High School is bound to continue a recent tradition of giving fans exciting action and plenty of victories, coach Lynn Lewis said this week.
North Warren has made its mark in the sport in 2010, when the gritty, determined Cougar field hockey team was initially ranked last in the league, but they ignored the lowly label and clawed through a season, capturing one victory after another to capture the Adirondack League co-championship.
Those 2010 players not only earned a prominent spot in school history, but their accomplishment continues to provide inspiration for all small-school athletes in the region.
The next year, the returning veterans followed with a runner-up title in the Adirondack League, losing to the undefeated rival Johnsburg team.
Incidentally, Johnsburg Central dissolved their field hockey program this year, and they are now sending their field hockey players to North Warren. Two Johnsburg students — Juniors Anna Liebelt and Charlie Reidinger — are playing on the North Warren team this season.
“They’re great kids, our girls are excited to have them on the team,” Lewis said.
The 2012 squad tallied a decent 8-10 record. Although it was tilted toward losses, many of the games were lost by only one goal. Four key players on the 2012 team graduated: goalie Megan McDonough, plus midfielders Krista Millingon, Dakota Wood and Amber Frasier. With this quartet gone, the Cougars will be rebuilding their defense, Lewis said.
One Senior, Nicole Fish, and seven Juniors are leading the team this year. Standouts include forward Kerrianne Belline and Kate Hill, Lewis said.
“Kerrianne has good ball-handling skills and she knows how to lead the field,” she said.
While the entire squad has high expectations, competition is likely to be tough this year, as the Wasaren and Adirondack Leagues have combined, Lewis noted.
The 2013 team has been exhibiting dedication to the sport, Lewis said, noting that four players attended a hockey camp at Syracuse University and two participated in hockey schooling at Skidmore College.
Besides shoring up defense, Lewis said she wants to work on developing an aggressive offense.
“We hope to generate more goals this year,” she said, predicting a successful season. “We’ve got a great group of kids — they’re very close-knit and team oriented. The girls have great spirit, and they want to accomplish a lot — So here’s hoping!”