The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

WCHS’ field hockey team faces pressure to do well

Photo courtesy of Jenna Pigot
The WCHS Varsity Field Hockey team smiles for a team picture after one of their game day morning team breakfasts. The team is dressed in red, white and blue for their USA theme day. Team breakfasts and dressing up for school on game days are some of this teams oldest traditions and contributes to the closeness of this team.

To most students at WCHS, the Varsity Field Hockey team is a powerhouse. From winning six consecutive regional championships to competing in back-to-back state finals, the team is seen as a unified front that defeats all opponents with ease. While having this kind of reputation can build confidence and foster a feeling of superiority, it can also add pressure onto the players and even negatively impact their performance.

In the past, the team’s success has stemmed from the plethora of talented players and more importantly, the tradition and close knit relationships that this team has created. This year is no different. Junior Ellie Coburn is a new addition to varsity this year and has already seen and felt the effects of these traditions.

“We had a big sleepover the weekend before school started,” Coburn said. “We decorated the shirts that we were going to wear on the first day of school and played games. It allowed us to spend extra time together and get to know each other. I feel like this helps how we play too because we have so much more trust and respect for each other.”

Junior Jenna Pigott, a co-captain of the team, has been on varsity since her freshman year. She knows this team very well and has seen how remarkable it is since her first day.

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“I think that our team is so special because of the amazing coaching staff and the culture that we have created through all of the time we spend together,” Pigott said. “I’ve watched the people on this team get so close every year and I think that’s why we have been successful. Our team dinners, sleepovers and just talking during stretching bring everyone together and contribute to how much we trust each other on the field and I know that we wouldn’t have gotten as far in the playoffs every year if we didn’t do this.”

This year’s team has been just as successful in forming friendships, but the question of whether this will carry them to a regional championship and the state finals like it has in the past still looms over their heads. The team is significantly different, having lost a lot of valuable players when they graduated, so it is still unknown how their season will progress.

“Right now we are just making sure we are putting in the work to try and get to the level we have been in the past,” Pigott said. “I definitely think it’s possible if we are determined enough and dedicated to getting better and growing as a team.”

Despite the uncertainty, the team is optimistic about the season and excited to see how their constant team bonding will translate onto the field.

“We’ve started off strong so far and I’m excited to see where the season is going to go,” Coburn said. “We have been getting really close off the field so now it is just about continuing to work hard and practice to make sure that our playing can get to the quality and level that this team has in the past years.”

While the team expects another winning season, the concern for some is whether the expectations and reputation that they have set in the past will impact their mindset and performance. Because having the wrong mindset can be detrimental to an athlete and a team, the importance of the players keeping it together can not be understated.

“I just feel like we have this reputation to other teams and I want to live up to that and not ruin the legacy that the teams before us made,” Pigott said. “I also just hate losing more than anything and because we have been so successful in the past, I think that not living up to that would be really disappointing for me.”

Although the pressure is difficult to ignore, the camaraderie of this team helps a lot of the players overlook these expectations and focus on the current season.

“I definitely am aware of the pressure but I don’t think it really gets to me,” Coburn said. “I know that mistakes are meant to be made and I would rather make the mistake than just not try at all because I’m too scared. I also know that if we ever do mess up or lose a game, my team has my back and we can get through it together.”

Overall the attitude of the team is optimistic. Pigott has her worries about this season but is hopeful that they can come together and have a successful season.

“I still think that this team is able to put all of that aside,” Pigott said. “We are always going to make sure that we are taking the season one game at a time and having a winning mindset. At the end of the day we all have each other’s backs and will support each other no matter what happens, regardless of our other season’s results.”


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About the Contributor
Claire Moylan
Claire Moylan, Photo Manager & Assistant Features Editor
Claire Moylan is a junior and a Photo Manager for the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism and she is super excited to continue working on the Observer. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and lacrosse and spending time with friends.

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