Female athletes anticipate new sport opportunity


Photo by Michael Cummo

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School plays Westport High School in 2014

Patrick Brown, Sports Editor

The possibility of creating a field hockey team is becoming more and more likely. Currently, Drake and Tam are negotiating the terms for their start-up field hockey teams, joining Redwood and Marin Catholic as the only teams in the Marin County Athletic League with a field hockey team.

“If we can get more varsity athletes, especially women, so that we can ensure we are obviously covering Title IX and being equitable across participation ratios then adding another varsity girls team is only positive,” athletic director Nate Severin said.

Severin is leading the planning of the new field hockey team with help from parent Erin Kelly.

The staffing plan is set to be presented to the Board of Trustees sometime in March, with the budget plan following it, hopefully to be presented in April or May. However, the trustees won’t make a decision on the matter until May at the earliest.

The process to add a new team to a school is complex. After proving interest (which the school and Tam already have) a school must prepare a budget showing the startup and ongoing costs.

The anticipated startup costs for field hockey at both schools are $12,000 with ongoing costs of around $6,000 per team. Field hockey’s start-up costs would include goals, uniforms, pucks, sticks, and other equipment plus ongoing costs for coaches, officials, dues, and any replacement to equipment or uniforms.

Currently there are no community club teams for field hockey so most players will start as novices to the sport. This adds to the appeal of the sport.

“It (field hockey) is a very low-key environment that allowed me to meet a lot of new friends and upperclassman. It’s like our alternative for people who don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to break into a really highly skilled team.” Marin Catholic senior Lindsay Cobb said.

Field hockey has been an official sport at Marin Catholic for around 30 years. However, they have been unable to join a league for a lack of teams locally. They have been forced to travel to teams in the East Bay and San Francisco to find opponents.

The school would be in the same position if they add a field hockey team to the athletics community. In order for a sport to be an official Marin County Athletic League it must have at least five teams and be active for at least three years. With the addition of the school and Tam, there would still only be four teams in Marin.

Sophomore Graciella Salcuni has been an advocate for the addition of field hockey.

“I want to play field hockey because I think it’s always beneficial to play as many sports as you can. For girls at Drake I feel we are pretty limited in fall sports.  Field hockey would just another sports for girls to play, and I think we can all agree that playing a sport makes you feel a part of something.” she said.

The interest appears to be strong, making field hockey an even more likely addition to the school.

“I’ve talked to a lot of girls and I feel there’s a strong interest, mostly in girls who want to play sports but haven’t before because field hockey is fairly new in our community. Nearly all girls will be coming in brand new to the sport,” Salcuni said.

If you are interested in joining the possible field hockey team at Drake for the Fall of 2017, contact [email protected].