The 2010 USA Field Hockey Junior and Senior National Championships as well as the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship were held last week in Virginia Beach, VA., and the events were hot. The USAFH Women’s National Championship features some of the best players in the United States – all vying for a spot on the USAFH Women’s National Team. Gaining a position on the USAFH National Team is the ultimate level in sport for this country. The women who qualify will have a high probability of representing the USA at the London Olympic Games.
The USAFH junior women’s athletes competed in the inaugural year of the USA Field Hockey Junior Women’s National Championship. The women participating have been selected as the best U21 athletes in the country. They were aspiring to be selected to participate in the USAFH Junior National Camp. The USAFH Junior National Camp is used as the selecting event to choose the Junior National U21 Team. As the weekly reports are written on the Thursday before the following Tuesday’s distribution, the names of the successful athletes qualifying for each of these teams do not appear in this report, but are displayed on the USAFH website (www.usafieldhockey.com).
During the USAFH National Futures Championship, six hundred and forty six of the USA’s best U19 women field hockey athletes contended for the attention of the USA Field Hockey High Performance staff and a large number of collegiate coaches. On the line was the possible recruitment by USA Field Hockey National Team coaches for selection to National Teams as well as potential collegiate scholarships to prominent universities throughout the USA. The event went off without a hitch due to the superb efforts of almost the entire USA Field Hockey National Staff. Every one of the staff members worked hard through difficulties - mostly due to the weather. For almost the entire term of the event, temperatures were above 100 degrees F and the humidity was typically at saturation. It was a witheringly hot event and our staff had to make schedule adjustments frequently to provide for safe playing conditions. >From the Colorado Springs office, KC Collins, David Miller, Simon Hoskins, Katelyn Nerbonne, Ty Pring and Janet Paden scurried about continually making adjustments that provided for a top shelf event. Laura Darling, from the USAFH New Jersey office, played a key role in keeping everything on schedule and working with Futures coaches. Her duties also included the organization of two umpire courses and a Level III Coaching course held in conjunction with the Championships. The instructors for the Level III, USA Field Hockey’s highest coaching accreditation, were Terry Walsh, Lee Bodimeade, and Nick Conway. The umpire clinician was Peter von Reth, an international top-level Umpire Manager. Christine Battcock from the USAFH Norfolk, VA. office, Terry Walsh, Nick Conway, and Lee Bodimeade from the USAFH San Diego, CA. office, all who are members of the USA Field Hockey High Performance Team, looked after national team athletes and helped immensely in the organization of the USA Field Hockey Junior and Senior National Championships.
The event was hugely successful, and the weather challenges were formidable. Congratulations to everyone involved - the volunteers, athletes, umpires, coaches, parents and our staff.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the horrific accident involving a Futures athlete, her mom, and two siblings that occurred during the lead-up to our Virginia Beach event. Several members of the Supica family of Ann Arbor, MI. were traveling to the National Futures Championship when, near Richmond, VA., their SUV was struck by an out of control car. Their Ford Explorer SUV rowed over several times. Teresa Supica, and her 12-year old daughter, Samantha, were fatally injured, and two other daughters are still in the hospital in critical condition (Sloan-age 14, and Sydney-age 15). Sydney is an up-and-coming field hockey athlete and the others were coming to watch her perform.
We just do not have the words to express our sadness. Their deaths and injuries have deeply impacted USA Field Hockey and the Ann Arbor community.
There was a bright light that came out of this terrible accident. Don Warner and the Saints hockey community launched a huge community effort to look after the needs of the Supica family survivors as the Supicas traveled from Michigan to be with those injured in the accident. The help included picking the Supica family members up at the airport, acquiring the family belongings from the vehicles involved in the accident, providing meals, and just being around when needed for support. The Richmond, VA. community based Saints really demonstrated what seems to be endemic in this sport, and that is a real affinity for the overall general hockey community. Those of us from USA Field Hockey wish for only the best as the Supicas go through what will be a difficult healing process.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 3 at the Knox Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, MI. In lieu of flowers. the family asks that donations be made to the Supica Family Benefit Trust, c/o TCF Bank, 1900 Pauline Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Election of Board Seat Information. The proper governance of any organization is fundamental to that organization’s good health. USA Field Hockey is a not-for-profit organization and is not unlike many not-for-profit organizations you see in your locale. Our not-for-profit is a membership-based organization and is basically meant to develop international success in competition and to grow the sport throughout the United States. We, like any other not-for-profit organization needs, at the policy-making level, people of expertise. All Olympic sport organizations, many that are based in Colorado Springs, seek policy-setting Board members with numerous skill-sets. Professional backgrounds such as legal, accounting, membership development, giving program knowledge, marketing, and a general business sense are those most often sought. But, we are not limited to those professional endeavors.
In next week’s report, a major topic will be how to become a Board of Directors member for USA Field Hockey. The selection process will be underway toward the end of the year, but as we go into July, it is a good time to begin to consider the opportunity. My hope as we go through the election process and the Board is reconstituted that we maintain the quality and collegiality we have now with the current Board of Directors.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: “Well, we all knew it was going to happen — Gen. McChrystal has canceled his subscription to Rolling Stone.”
In advance, thank you, Kevin Parker. Kevin chairs the USA Field Hockey Nominating Committee, and he and his committee take the job quite seriously. You will see much of Kevin’s committee’s work next week.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! “Let me see if I understand soccer. A yellow card is a warning, a red card means you have to leave the game, and a green card means you can move to the United States.”
Have a great hockey week!
USA Field Hockey