Field Hockey Hunts for #21

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William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

 Head Coach Eza Steele and the University of Lynchburg Women’s Field Hockey Team received the opportunity to present at the National All Sports Coaches Summit. 

     Steele said, “It was definitely an honor to be asked to present at the National All Sports Coaches Summit with so many prestigious coaches across a variety of sports.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous, but it went smoothly.  My presentation was the 4 Stages of Games Play concepts.”  

     She continued, “This concept is vital in designing and progression of drills to best facilitate transfer of skill to the actual game.  My players were videoed in all four progression stages while I spoke about the concept and how it would transfer into the actual game.”

     Despite this amazing honor, Coach Steele and her players are disappointed that the NCAA will not hold national championships for Division III sports. 

     Steele said, “This spring the field hockey team will be competing for its 21st ODAC Championship.  Unfortunately, the NCAA has decided not to offer a Division III National Championship for any fall sport that is competing in the spring due to the coronavirus.  This is extremely disheartening to the team and I.”

     Laurel Nicks, a Senior University of Lynchburg Women’s Field Hockey Player, is looking forward to winning another ODAC title and having fun in her senior season. Nicks said, “We would like to bring home another ODAC title and try our best to get the most out of this unique season as we possibly can. We aim to polish our skills, and at the minimum, just have fun during these uncertain times due to the pandemic.” 

     Even though a national championship is not in the cards, players worked hard and remained motivated over winter break. Alexis Brown, a Senior University of Lynchburg Women’s Field Hockey Player, said, “What really helps us stay motivated and disciplined over winter break is when we send a picture of us either working out or playing hockey into our group message. It is really cool to see where and what everyone is doing to keep in shape.”

     Nicks wanted to let all her fellow athletes know that it is always important to stay motivated. Nicks said, “Always work hard. Give it your all, even when it feels like it would be easy not to because before you know it, it will all be over, or your hockey career will be cut short by an unpredicted natural disaster. Then you will wish you could go back and do it over again.”

     Nicks and Brown know the importance of fielding successful games against their archrival Shenandoah. Brown said, “I cannot wait to play Shenandoah. It is always an exciting time because they are one of our biggest competitors. The fans make it even more exciting to beat them because they do not have pleasant fans.” 

     Nicks said, “I am most looking forward to playing Shenandoah. The competition between us and them has always been high and we typically play very well against each other, so it should be exciting.

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