By Kevin Eickman
While the season may not have ended the way they wanted it to, the Milford field hockey team still had plenty to celebrate as they gathered this past Tuesday. Rebounding from a 5-10 record the previous season, Milford posted a solid 8-6-1 record in 2014. “We went from a losing record to a winning one.” coach Andrea Fleming told those gathered. “We also know that we could have done better, we learned how important each and every game is.” Fleming was referring to any of a handful of games Milford could have won, thereby earning a spot in the State tournament.
Although they failed in their goal of tournament qualification, the future looks very bright for this young and talented team. They will be returning a large number of players from this year’s squad, many of them will be juniors or sophomores. While the future looks bright for this Milford squad, it will be the work they put in moving forward that will determine just how good they can be. “It’s going to be about you continuing to work hard, about making yourselves better as to how far this team can go next season,” Fleming stated.
The following Varsity awards were presented on Tuesday:
Jasmine Passwaters, senior, Coaches Appreciation Award. Jasmine was a versatile and productive player for Milford. Sometimes tasked with mid-field duties, sometimes asked to play defense, sometimes a starter and sometimes asked to come off the bench. “Jasmine did everything we asked of her, she had a tremendous work ethic and never complained about anything,” Fleming commented. “She is the type of player that coaches love, she always gave it everything she had.”
Daphne Leighty, sophomore, Most Improved Player Award. In just her first season on Varsity, Daphne started every game for Milford this past season. Playing both mid-field and attack, Daphne recoded seven goals and three assists this past season. “I could move Daphne to any spot on the line and she could play there,” Fleming said. “Over the course of the season she continued to improve and showed a great deal of hustle.”
Katelyn Melvin, sophomore, Most Dedicated Player Award. Katelyn has dedicated herself to becoming a better field hockey player by working all year long. Her efforts both during the season and in the off season has been paying dividends with her improved play. “It doesn’t matter if it’s practice, summer camps, indoor league or anything else. Katelyn is always trying to make her self better, she serves as an example to our team as to what hard work can accomplish.”
Deja Rodriquez-Santiago, sophomore, Hustle Award. Deja was recognized for her eagerness to participate in all that it takes to be a field hockey player. “It didn’t matter if we were running sprints, running a mile or even more. She was constantly recognized by opponents, officials, coaches and anyone that saw her play, with how hard she worked,” Fleming stated.
Deaven Maull, senior, Unsung Hero Award. Deaven was recognized for her constancy on the field. While not the flashiest of players, her effort in all aspects of the game contributed to a defense that continued to improve as the season progressed. “From her freshman year to her senior year, Deaven has improved the most out of all the players I’ve coached,” said Fleming.“It was her effort over that course of her career that demonstrated what hard work can accomplish.”
Hayden Shockley, sophomore, Leadership/Sportsmanship Award. Hayden was leader on the field this past season, constantly talking and motivating her teammates. “She really stepped up and made sure the players on the field knew what they were doing,” Fleming stated. “When we needed a kick in the butt, she made sure we got it. She really made sure everyone was on point.”
Rajene Bowe, sophomore, Offensive MVP. Scoring twelve goals this season, Rajene was the top scorer for Milford this past season. There is little doubt that Rajene has the makings of a very special player. Her commitment to the game is evident by the effort she puts forth every game. “She was the fastest player on the field and really moves very quickly,” commented Fleming. “Not only was she good on offense, she was often the first person back on defense.”
Kayla Brennan, senior, Defensive MVP. A constant on the Milford back line, Kayla improved greatly in her final campaign as a Buccaneer. Whenever a big stop was needed or the ball needed to be worked out of the Milford end, Kayla was there. “She worked so hard to get better at her game, she worked on her stick skills and positioning skills and the results were impressive,” Fleming said. “She was a real leader in the back, she did everything we asked of her.”
Kasey Fry, senior, Team MVP. Kasey was a huge presence in the Milford mid-field all season long. Earning her second consecutive MVP Award, was a direct result of her end to end style. “Kasey had a fantastic year, she shined on both ends of the field.” stated Fleming.“She distributes the ball well, she can take the ball from one end of the field to the other. She is one of the strongest players on our team and fantastic to watch when she is on.”