By Kevin Eickman
In my more than 10 years of watching and reporting on high school sports in Milford, there has been one trait that is almost immediately recognizable in a player or coach – passion for the game. There is no hiding it, a person can’t turn it on and off, you either love the sport you are participating in or you don’t. Andrea McPike is PASSIONATE about field hockey, make no mistake about it.
Since beginning her coaching career at Milford back in 2010, McPike has instilled a spirit and comradery with the team, knowing that while playing a game is fun, dedication to your family and teammates are most important. “We try to instill in our girls the way we want Milford to be represented as a community,” she said. “Yes, it’s about winning, but it’s also about so much more. It’s about building friendships that last a lifetime, it’s about representing your community with pride and dignity. Most importantly, however, it’s about preparing these young women for the challenges they will face in life.”
A 2002 graduate of Milford, McPike not only excelled in field hockey, but also played soccer as well. “Ed Evans got me interested in soccer and I figured it was worth a try. I really enjoyed the game and played it throughout my time at Milford.” While sports were important to her, the most cherished memories came in the form of community. “We were a very close community, everyone cared about each other. I really looked at my friends, teammates, teachers and coaches as just an extension of my family,” she said.
Following high school graduation, McPike continued her field hockey career and studies at then Lynchburg (Va.) College, earning her bachelor’s degree in Human Development, before earning her Master’s in Special Education. While pursuing her master’s, McPike was a graduate assistant coach and was a part of the Lynchburg coaching staff.
Following her collegiate studies, McPike eagerly returned to Milford, “It was not a very difficult decision for me. My family and friends were here, I love the area and the people, so it wasn’t a very difficult decision for me,” she said. “It was always one of my goals to give back to the community, that had given so much to me. When I got the chance to teach at Evelyn Morris, I was ecstatic.” McPike spent 10 years at Morris, before accepting a job at Milford High School teaching special education.
While McPike has not been alone in her coaching endeavors, receiving great help from her assistant coaches, Sarah Silicato and Peyton Shockley, just to name two Milford alums that have helped out along the way. “The response I get from so many past players can be overwhelming, everyone is always offering to lend a hand,” McPike stated. “I could give you a list of names a mile long of those who have helped me with the program. That’s all part of what makes Milford great, people giving back.”
When not coaching, McPike enjoys spending quality time with her family. She is married to the love of her life Dan and they have two children, a daughter Willow who is 5 1/2 and a son Asher who is 1 ½. “We like to spend time together, the beach, camping, anything outdoors we really enjoy.”