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October 25, 2012

Low numbers threaten field hockey future

Players, coaches push to keep sport at CCS

(Continued)

Hebert said that the board evaluates whether a sport will remain when it begins discussing the budget, which is typically around February.

“Today we only had nine (players),” Cheryl Rock, who coaches the team along with Brenda Wedderspoon-Gray, said, “but a lot of other teams are in the same predicament, like Ilion. We’ve played some teams with double the amount (of players).”

“We barely have enough to field a team every week,” Monica Carrascoso said. “We play against teams that have five, six subs.”

Carrascoso’s daughter, Bella, is the goalie for the modified team this year, but may not have the chance to play field hockey next year. Bella is in ninth grade, which means her age may make her ineligible to play modified next year.

“It’s so important at this age for all the girls to have an opportunity to play a sport they’re interested in,” Bassett’s Children’s Sports Medicine Institute Director Dr. Tally Lassiter said. “As Title IX showed, once you give the girls the opportunity to participate, once you give them the expectation to be athletic and (to demonstrate) leadership and teamwork, the girls take advantage of it. Otherwise, they’ve been trained not to.”

Lassiter’s daughter is also on Cooperstown’s modified field hockey team.

“Girls are shown, from a public health aspect, (to) drop out of healthy activities early on,” Lassiter said. “If they don’t play in high school, they don’t play in college. They don’t stay active.”

Field hockey’s struggle to survive in the United States is due in part to our lack of education about the game, according to iSport.com.

“I didn’t know anything about field hockey until last year,” Lassiter said. “I’d never seen a game of it.”

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