Friendship & Field Hockey

Fiona Clements, guest columnist

I began my field hockey journey at South in July 2019 for a pre-tryout summer camp. I had looked forward to this day for so long, but I was terrified. I had no idea what the skill level of all the other players would be, and I worried about other players judging me if I was not at their level. 

That anxiety disappeared, however, when I stepped on South’s turf. Smiling faces welcomed the incoming freshmen; everyone looked so excited to be back together for another season. I made the junior varsity (JV) A-team my freshman year. 

On this team, I met friends who guided me through high school. 

My sophomore year, I was especially nervous because I did not know if I was going to make JV or be promoted to varsity. I will always remember how scared I was when my coach sent me over to play with the varsity girls during tryouts. To my surprise, when I played with them, it was like I was already one of their teammates; none of them looked down on me or judged my skills, and I felt comfortable being myself. 

When it was time to announce team placements, we got called up by the coaches one by one. When there were about 20 of us left, my coaches, with big grins on their faces, said, “Meet your 2020 varsity field hockey team!” Quickly, the smile on my coaches’ faces matched mine, because I knew that this was the team I would call home. From sophomore year to senior year on varsity, I met some of the most incredible girls. 

That is what I love about playing field hockey at South. Field hockey was not just a sports season, it was a connection I got to share with so many amazing people. With that family-like bond that we had, we played some incredible games of field hockey. 

I would say that I am shocked that we earned the title of Second in State this year on Oct. 29, but to be honest, I’m not. The hard work, dedication, positive energy, love, and focus that went into our team absolutely deserved a title. I loved every team I was on each year of field hockey, but my team during the 2022 season was something special. 

Every single girl on this team means so much to me, and they all contributed in their own way to the team. The fact that we all got this far together was truly such an emotional experience. I will never forget screaming the song “Congratulations” by Post Malone as we celebrated going to state finals on the bus ride home from beating Lake Forest. I could not have been more grateful to be a part of, and have the honor of being captain to such a dedicated team. 

I know the experiences I had through South field hockey will stick with me for the rest of my life. I would not change anything about it for the world.