On Wednesdays throughout 2021, USA Field Hockey will highlight an active club from one of the nine regions around the United States to shine a spotlight on what makes Member Clubs unique. From coast-to-coast, clubs big and small will be featured to increase awareness of field hockey across the country, and administrators and coaches will have the chance to talk about initiatives, training and favorite parts of the game. This week from Region 9 is Coyotes.
Club Name: Coyotes
History: Coyotes was founded in 2008 by Steve Boniface. A native of Australia, the name of the club came from Boniface’s roots as coyotes are adaptable to and able to survive any situation or circumstance.
Based out of Columbus, Ohio, Coyotes has grown leaps and bounds since its start. With the mission to promote the growth and development of field hockey throughout Central Ohio, they provide an environment where all individuals, ages 8 to 18, can play recreationally and competitively while maintaining a culture of supportive sportsmanship. Coyotes operates year-round playing indoor and outdoor, as well as offering beach play in the summer in Ohio.
The club values a broad diversity of athletes and respects what each individual can bring regardless of skill level and/or financial background. Coyotes is committed to service and provides opportunities to use the sport to give back to others. The club strongly believes that lessons learned on the field and through service in the community build character, confidence, and compassion.
Accolades/Awards: Coyotes is currently ranked 65th in the U-16 Girls division. They are unranked in the U-14 and U-19 Girls divisions.
Below is a list of recent finishes:
- 2020 U-14 Girls National Indoor Tournament
- Pool ii, first
- 2020 U-16 Girls National Indoor Tournament
- Pool H, fifth
- 2019 U-16 Girls National Hockey Festival
- Pool L, sixth
Boniface on Club Life:
Boniface says that community outreach is very important to Coyotes, as they continue to promote the game and nurture women’s sports for future generations to enjoy. In addition, Coyotes take a yearly mission trip to promote the sport and, in the past, have gone to New Mexico to play on the reservations as well as Jamaica, where they bring donated equipment and teach the game.
Coyotes has produced multiple college bound student-athletes with all the current U-19 graduating players committed to a variety of colleges including Northwestern University, Wittenberg University and DePauw University. The list of colleges that Coyote alumni have attended is lengthy but includes every Division I school in the state of Ohio. Current athlete Regan Cornelius is a member of the 2021 U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and was invited to the 2022 U-21 Selection Camp to be held in December 2021/January 2022. Charlotte Vaziri, a former Coyote, was also a member of the Junior U.S. Women’s National Teams, attended Northwestern University and is now giving back as current club coach working with the U-16 and U-19 age divisions.
During the pandemic, Coyotes felt it was important to address the mental health aspect of their athletes. They educated on that, as well as encouraged others to check in on one another and support each other as they all navigated the unknown. When it wasn’t safe to gather for the physical side of the game, they played virtually by sharing drills for the athletes to practice at home. When the weather got warmer and they were permitted to play at a public park and beach area, they did so.
Boniface says the best thing of being part the USA Field Hockey Family are the connections that they have made with other clubs through the nation. He says that he knows that when the club goes anywhere, they have a friend in the sport. He goes on to say he also loves the resources that USA Field Hockey provides to its members and umpires.