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The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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Opinion: Field Hockey’s fading flame at WHS

WSPNs+Chloe+Zilembo+and+Emma+Zocco+share+their+thoughts+about+the+lack+of+players+on+the+WHS+field+hockey+team+this+year.+
Credit: Chloe Zilembo
WSPN’s Chloe Zilembo and Emma Zocco share their thoughts about the lack of players on the WHS field hockey team this year.

This year, with only 24 players combined on the junior varsity and varsity teams, the Wayland High School Field Hockey program has the smallest roster since Shelly Fraser started coaching 23 years ago.  As players for the WHS field hockey teams for three years, we have seen the interest level in the sport decline and we have concerns for what the future may hold for WHS field hockey.

As varsity field hockey athletes who have been a part of the program for many years, we have grown to love the sport, and it has become a central part of our lives. The team has always brought positivity to the start of the school year, and it’s something we look forward to in the fall. As juniors this year, we were looking forward to meeting new players to bond with this season, but the extreme decline in numbers was disappointing.

Last year, the field hockey team had 16 seniors who have now graduated, leaving several spots open on the roster. This year, only five freshmen joined field hockey, resulting in significantly less players for the 2023 season. The players that were new to the sport had a lot to learn in a short period of time in order to be ready for their first game.

Because the numbers are so small this year, multiple players in the program are considered ‘swing players.’ Such players will likely play in both varsity and jv level games. Though some players are more than willing to take on this challenge, others are concerned about how far they can exert themselves before becoming physically exhausted, which could compromise their performance during future practices and games.

On the upside, varsity players can get more practice at different positions and try new things on the field with less pressure attached to a JV game. So, although there have been a lot of changes to the team’s dynamics from previous years, players are making the best out of the situation. Through warm-ups and partner drills, players have bonded between grades which has made the team better at working together.

With new opportunities being offered, hopes are high for a comeback for WHS field hockey. The new Wayland youth field hockey program for kids ages seven through 13 is promising for a new generation of field hockey players. Kids starting to play at a young age improves the quality of players in Wayland, as they have more time to develop their skills and bring them to the high school level. Although these players won’t be at WHS at the same time as us, it is a good piece of mind that the team will have more players and people interested in growing the sport within the community.

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About the Contributors
Chloe Zilembo
Chloe Zilembo, Copy Editor
Chloe Zilembo, Class of 2025, is a second year reporter for WSPN and a copy editor for sports and news. She plays field hockey and is on both the high school team and a club team. Outside of school she enjoys watching movies and sports. Contact: [email protected]
Emma Zocco
Emma Zocco, Social Media Editor
Emma Zocco, Class of 2025, a third year reporter and the social media editor for WSPN. Emma plays for the varsity field hockey team, and in her free time, she likes to spend time with friends, read, travel and with her family. Contact: [email protected]
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