OHS field hockey features star veterans

OHS field hockey building off Sweet 16 appearance


Photo by Lucas Irizarry

The OHS field hockey team made it to the Sweet 16 in the playoffs last season for the first time in its history, and is looking to continue that momentum.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

Oakville High School field hockey is back after a Sweet Sixteen appearance last season and an 8-6 record.

The Tigers return with a new coach in Mary Beth Dunn, a FACS teacher at OHS. Dunn played the sport in high school and found herself in the position after school administration began searching for anyone in the community with time and experience.

Dunn said she hopes the team can carry over success from last year, and she has already made changes to training to help in that regard.

“Last year was the first year they made it to the Sweet 16, so we’re trying to build off of that momentum and that excitement,” she said. “We’re going to concentrate more on strength and conditioning and endurance. They haven’t had that before — I feel like field hockey is 50 percent endurance, you really have to make sure they’re not gassed by the end of the game.”

The team features several underclassmen who Dunn believes can make a difference this season, including sophomore goalie Melina Gredel, freshman Lily Belmar and Brylee Placke. Dunn said a lot of the freshmen and sophomores bring “fierce attitudes and drives” and she is excited to add that energy to the roster. 

Upperclassmen make up the bulk of varsity this season, including 12 seniors. Dunn said seniors like Lexi Ezell, Olivia Hulsey and Grace Kestler have been a big part of the leadership of the team.

“They have a leadership drive and I just love hearing them motivate their players,” Dunn said. “It’s lovely to see that attitude and grace from all of them.”

Often field hockey players will not have experience with the sport before high school, even for team leaders like Kestler. Dunn said the team has started outreach programs to district middle schools to get the word out for the future of the program.

The Tigers open up the season at Ursuline Academy Aug. 29.