Field hockey gets revamped at Indian River
A brand new school year means a fresh start for field hockey at Indian River High School.
“We’ve done a complete 180 of the program,” hinted athletic director Todd Fuhrmann earlier this summer. “We’ve brought in a lot of experience.”
Head coach Katie Holloway enters her second year of IR varsity coaching, backed by a flock of assistants. Jodi Stone is the new varsity assistant and head coach for the junior varsity team, while Anne McBride and Wendy Ford support the teams as assistants.
“Collectively, I think we have over 65 years of hockey experience,” said Holloway. “They all have more than I have,” including at the college level, she noted.
After several tough seasons, Holloway and IR have kicked off a new program for the entire team.
“Everything that we’ve done so far has been for the team. We have explained where each [player] fits in and what her role is,” said Holloway, with an emphasis on “team building and moral. Our goal is just to develop and have fun.”
With four coaches, the girls will have more opportunity to run circuit drills in smaller, intimate groups. This is just one part of the plan for building the whole program.
“It’s little things from the ground up,” Holloway said. “Part of it was getting the opportunity for the girls to develop their skills through camp and networking with other programs.”
By researching other field hockey programs, IR gained a fresh coaching perspective. They also set the long-term goal of building a feeder program.
“We have a few things were developing, like drop-in clinics, similar to River Soccer Club, for elementary school and younger,” Holloway explained.
As children are introduced to the sport early, they’ll have more time to learn basics before playing in middle and high school.
This year’s team has “two very solid cores of players” who have played together in the past, so Holloway said she hopes to continue their familiarity and experience to strengthen the team.
“We’ve told them, on the hockey field, you’re just like a family.”
The field hockey family will take to the home field Monday, Sept. 10, against Red Lion Christian Academy at 5:30 p.m.