LAKE GEORGE - Fresh off a turnaround year, the Lake George Field Hockey Team is now eyeing another successful season, the squad's coaches said this week.
The 2009 season was full of aggressive play, and highlights included beating the storied Warrensburg team twice, although the Burghers revenged the loss in Sectional play, recalled former Lake George coach Heather Usher, who this season is tending a baby at home. Her 2009 team tallied an 8-7-4 record, just two games behind Johnsburg, Adirondack League champions.
For 2010, Tonya Barrows takes over for Usher, and she shares similar enthusiasm about the team's prospects.
Although the team lost eight Seniors including standouts Katelyn Callahan, Taylor Dawson and goalie Chelsea Oberowski, some heavy-hitters are returning to the squad, Barrows said.
Returning talent includes forward Jenna Bechard, considered a strong leader who scored a lot of goals in 2009; and Hillary Clark, a tough, strong defender.
"Jenna and Hillary will be running the team for me, so they've got a lot on their shoulders," Barrows said, noting that Bechard, who teaches at a field hockey camp, is being moved to the center-midfielder position. "So far, they've done a great job of team building, running practices, and getting the girls pumped up for the season."
Carissa Root, a standout athlete, is returning to the forward line. Carrie Stewart, who's taking over for veteran goal-tender Chelsea Oberowski, is working hard on honing her abilities, Barrows said. Jessica DeNooyer, a returning Junior, shows promise on the forward line, and Jessica Stein, a Senior newcomer, is training for defense, the coach said. Senior Carly Beecher should be good asset on defense, she continued. All are working hard to improve their game play, Barrows said.
"With eight Seniors graduating, it's a rebuilding year," she said. "We definitely have a lot of new players now concentrating on skill development."
Barrows said she was impressed about how the players have shown such commitment to field hockey, particularly after the school board months ago proposed scrapping the program in a budget-cutting effort.
The players have been turning out in force, and attended extra practices as well, Barrows said.
"The girls are willing to put in extra time, they're trying to build as a team, and we'll see what the season brings," she said. "They're here to play, and I'm very happy about what's ahead."
Lake George Central
2010 Varsity Field Hockey schedule
Sept. 8 Salem Central Home 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 Warrensburg Away 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 17 Johnsburg Home 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 20 Johnsburg Home 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 22 Hoosick Falls Home 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 North Warren Home 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 29 Corinth Central Home 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 1 Warrensburg Home 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 4 Schylerville Home 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 Johnsburg Away 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 8 Hudson Falls-BYE Away 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 13 North Warren Away 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 15 Corinth Central Away TBA
Oct. 18 Greenwich Away 4:30 p.m.