Preparing for this year’s season and hopefully another run at the State Tournament, fifteen players from the Milford High School Field Hockey team recently competed with over 200 participants in the World Camp USA at Swarthmore College, bringing home the gold for Milford. It was an opportunity for them to work with talented coaches from World Camp USA, and receive the highest level of coaching expertise from Dutch development trainers, who have consistently produced Olympic and World Champions.
Three members of the Milford team, Darby Brennan, Kate Melvin and Kayla Brennan, were honored at the camp as they were selected from 220 players to attend a 10 day Word Tour International Camp in Barcelona, Spain. The girls will have the opportunity to train and play with European players while they examine the game of hockey.
Milford Field Hockey Coach Andrea Fleming attended the World Tour International Camp herself as a high school student in 2001 and acknowledges that this camp can be a catalyst for the three athletes as they all plan to play field hockey at the collegiate level and beyond.
“It changed the way I played the game,” commented Coach Fleming referring to the international camp. “It made me the player I am today and allowed me compete at my highest level.” A 2002 graduate of Milford Senior High School, Ms. Fleming 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.
The youngest of the three girls, Darby Brennan, is an eighth grade forward and midfielder and has only competitively played the sport of field hockey for three years. During the camp at Swarthmore College she learned how to be more aggressive and her motioning became more fluent.
“I really hope that the camp will help me to become a better athlete and strive to be my best,” commented Darby. The Milford Middle School Field Hockey Season will begin for Darby and her team in mid-September.
Kate Melvin, midfielder and defense for Milford High School, is looking forward to the camp in Barcelona and is excited to compete with European players overseas. “[The European athletes] have a different style of playing, since mostly men play the sport over there it is more aggressive,” commented Kate. “It will be intense and I am looking forward to looking at the game of hockey from a new perspective.”
Milford High School Junior Kayla Brennan is looking to the international camp to help her further her skills at midfield and defense and improve her overall understanding of the game on the field. “I want to improve my stick skills and learn how to read plays better,” commented Kayla. “I want to see the entire field.”
Preparing to travel to Spain for the World Tour International Camp, each girl is in the process of raising over $3,000 each to cover the cost of meals, lodging and airfare. To help these players gain valuable exposure to their sport, families and friends have begun to sponsor the players through an online fundraising effort at YouCaring.com. Individuals or businesses wanting to help sponsor the girls are asked to visit http://www.youcaring.com/other/3-of-milford-s-elite-to-play-field-hockey-in-spain/82340 for more details. Darby, Kate and Kayla will be traveling to Spain during the summer of 2014 for the opportunity to learn among world class athletes and showcase their local community.