Photograph Courtesy of Jen Warner
The Berkeley High School (BHS) field hockey team had a great season this year. They finished with a record of eight wins, five losses, and two ties (8-5-2). Senior Rosemary King, and junior Maggie Werner co-captained the team for the second straight year.
This season the two took on a new challenge: balancing playing with coaching responsibilities. The team’s coach, Yasmin Garrett, has never played field hockey before, which has added a new dynamic for everyone, although she has been enjoying the experience so far.
Before the season, Garrett noticed that no one had applied for the head coach position (the previous coach moved out of state) and told the athletic director she would fill in until someone applied to be the permanent coach. She did not want the players to miss out on a season. Over the summer she took classes and watched many field hockey videos on YouTube, and ended up staying with the team.
“We have been working together a lot,” Werner said. “We have been running the drills and practices, and she has been really organized – doing the scheduling, setting up our games. But it has been difficult to both coach and play.”
Two players said, at the start of the season, they were surprised that the coach had no field hockey experience. However, they said that getting more coaching from the captains has helped the team bond.
Despite the new roles, everyone seems very happy with Coach Garrett. “I think the fact that we have a new coach that everyone likes is great, she is an amazing person,” King said.
Another matter that the team has been dealing with is the lack of recognition for their successes compared to other sports at BHS. “It is hard not getting enough recognition from the school, as a women’s sport and field hockey in general,” King said. “The football team thinks they have power over us and frequently kick us off the field even when we have practice. The school hasn’t done much to enforce that ‘this is field hockey’s time.’”
Regardless of this apparent lack of equity, field hockey finished with an impressive season. On October 15, the Jackets played Redwood High School (RHS) in an exciting game that ended in a 1-1 tie in overtime. Despite not being able to practice before the game, the Jackets redeemed themselves against RHS. Previously, BHS had lost to RHS 3-0, making this a remarkable turnaround.
“We played really well and held our own,” Werner said of the game. The RHS field hockey team has a similar skill level to BHS as they currently hold a 12-3-1 record.
Challenges aside, the team has had a successful season. This is the team’s first year in a new league, having been removed from the previous one. The team has improved since then, and the captains are very impressed with the team’s performance. The team finished third place in the league“This is great for us, especially compared to past years. We would love to keep that up,” Werner said.
The 2018 season came with many challenges along with a number of successes. On October 23, BHS faced rival team RHS in the league playoffs. RHS, a team ranked one place above BHS in league standings, presented an obstacle that the Jackets were unable to surmount. Though BHS ended up losing 1-0 in a hard fought game, the Jackets can walk away from this challenging season with their heads held high.