On the Roster

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The school year is starting up, and sports are back in session. Looking onto the warm September nights, something new is coming to the field.
Field hockey is officially coming to Loudoun County. In previous years, field hockey has been a club sport run through the Loudoun County League (LCL). LCL teams hosted teams from many different schools.
With persistence of players and parents from all over the county, the school board finally added field hockey to the roster for fall sports.
Senior Lucy Woodie has been playing field hockey for five years. As a senior, she has seen the program transform into what it is today.
“Getting field hockey to become an official team took a lot of persistence with the schools system. [We] pushed to show the public and the school board how passionate we are about field hockey,” Woodie said. “We were very patient because we knew that there were some difficulties fitting the sport into the budget.”
In order to get the school board to even consider field hockey, perseverance and patience were key. Junior Diana Maher explained what it took to get
field hockey recognized.
“Last spring there was a lot of talk where [the school board] was deciding what would be funded,” Maher said. “Naturally we wanted to influence their decisions, so every meeting field hockey girls from around the county would come and prove how committed we were to having it be a varsity sport.”
One of the other ways players demonstrated their commitment was through special games called “Under the Lights”. The sole purpose of this event was to bring schools together and show just how much field hockey meant to the players in hopes of drawing the school board’s attention.
The school board decided to name field hockey a tier two sport. This means that the County recognizes it as a varsity sport but does not provide any of the funding. School Board member Jill Turgeon explains why.
“We had a lot of parents come forward and say that they were already paying large amounts of money to play at the club level and that they would be willing… to put in additional money so it could be recognized as an LCPS sport,” Turgeon said. “We took that to heart and figured that [tier two] would be a reasonable middle ground.”
After getting approval from the county, the community came together to get the program off the ground. Shaun Maher, Diana’s father not only supported the team by attending all the games, but he is also volunteering his time.
“I’m going to be the announcer for the team, I just really want to be supportive. My daughters have been a part of field hockey for six years, and we’ve grown to love the sport,” Shaun Maher said.
After working so hard to get not only the school board, but as well as the community to acknowledge field hockey as an official sport, these girls can’t help but be a little proud.
“I think everyone involved in getting the sport into Loudoun high schools have a sense of pride,” Woodie said. “It feels good to have been able to leave field hockey as a legacy for future players.”

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