The 2011 Field Hockey team is shaping up to be a formidable force in the Henlopen Conference as they finish their preseason training and look forward to beginning the season. With a new coaching staff the Milford hockey team is also one of the youngest teams in the Conference. The team is composed of 1 senior, 8 juniors, 9 sophomores and 14 freshmen.
Fortunately for the young team, Coach Andrea Fleming has experience with the game and coaching on the collegiate level. A 2002 graduate of Milford Senior High School, Ms. Fleming played for Milford Field Hockey all four years. She attended Lynchburg College in Virginia where she played for the collegiate team and led the team to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament each year. After graduation Andrea coached Lynchburg College Field Hockey for 3 years and coached the team to an ODAC Championship every year.
During the first two weeks of practice Coaches Fleming, Swope and Kenton have noticed a significant difference in their players from last season. “They are very excited about the season,” commented Coach Fleming. “They have drive and progress each day of practice. They want to learn and they want to win.”
Key players to watch this year include Destiny Sivles and Savannah Becker at attack. Coaches describe their play as “explosive” on the right side of the field. Athletes looking to be leading scorers up top are Maggie Tkack and Aly Melvin. Attacker Peyton Shockley has been moved to midfield where she has stepped up her performance considerably.
“The team morale is very high and the girls are willing to work hard,” stated Coach Fleming. “At the play day last week I could see that they are one of the most physically fit teams in the state.”
The coaches and players have noticed a complete turnaround in the attitudes on the team. “We are definitely more serious this year,” commented attacker Destiny Sivels. “I hope that we go farther in the playoffs and look forward to finishing a great preseason.”
During their scrimmage against Brandywine on Wednesday, August 24 Milford defeated their opponent 4 to 1. They looked fast, confident and dominant as the ball spent most of the time behind Brandywine defenses. Milford’s first game will be at Lake Forest on September 13 and celebrate the life of Coach Kelly Tyrell who gave so much for both field hockey programs. The first home game for Milford will be on September 15 against Dover.
“The main goal this year is to have a winning season,” commented Coach Fleming. “We want to go far in the Conference and make the State Tournament. We have a great chance with these girls. There are a lot of young leaders who are willing to work hard.”