Archive for April, 2012

Field Hockey FAQ

April 18, 2012

By: Jane Beall
Assistant Field Hockey Coach

After a recent trip to the Midwest, I was reminded that huge sections of the country know little to nothing about the sport that has been such a major part of my life since I was fourteen.  The game is growing, but any conversation with someone not from the mid-Atlantic or northeast about what I do usually sparks the same questions again and again.  I don’t mind answering them, because I love to talk about field hockey, but posting here might expand my audience upwards of three, maybe four people.  So here’s your primer:

Why do we wear a skirt in field hockey? The answer is "I don't know".

Why do you wear a skirt?
This is probably the number one thing people ask me.  I really don’t know.   Wikipedia doesn’t even have a satisfactory answer so that must mean no one does.  It might be a vestige of field hockey’s origins in the US.  Constance Applebee, an Englishwoman, introduced America to the sport in the early 1900’s at women’s colleges like Vassar, Wellesley, Smith and Bryn Mawr.  I imagine women didn’t have Nike tempo shorts back then, so they wore skirts and it stuck.  I have no idea though.

Guys play field hockey?  Nu – uh!
Yu – huh!  The idea of field hockey as predominately a women’s sport is pretty exclusive to the United States.  In Europe and Asia, both men and women have the opportunity to play the game at all levels, and some of the top players can even make a living competing and by procuring sponsorships.  Leagues exist for boys and girls and men and women of all ages and abilities, so field hockey can truly be a lifetime sport; whereas in the United States, a player’s career normally ends when she graduates college.  The Euro Hockey League is holding its men’s championships right now and the level of play is just unreal.  Check out any of the videos from it here and prepare to be amazed.   The US has a men’s national team, but because of the lack of infrastructure and opportunity for boys to play here, it’s tough for them to compete on the international stage.  New coach Chris Clements has big plans for development on the men’s side though, so be sure to keep an eye on them in the next few years.

Is the US any good at field hockey?
Heck yes, we are!  The Women’s National Team qualified for the Olympics at the Pan-Am games a while back and are London-bound with high hopes for gold.  Since punching their ticket, the US women have been training at their home base in Chula Vista and playing some tough international tournaments in New Zealand, Australia, and Spain.  If you’re in the Virginia area and would like to show your support, they’ll be playing some exhibition games against Argentina in Charlottesville and Virginia Beach June 18-23.   If you can’t make it to a game, for the first time that I know of, one of the US test matches with Argentina will be broadcast live on NBC.  This is huge for the sport.  And America.

Do you really water your synthetic turf?  Why?  That’s so weird.
Well, you’re weird.  But yes, you water the turf.  We at W&L are fortunate to have a water cannon system to wet down our turf before games and ideally most practices.  We’re not like the Brady family, pretending to take care of a fake lawn just so we can show off a new pair of bellbottoms to our neighbors.   Wetting the turf helps the ball roll more smoothly and minimizes what we call turf-burn, a fairly painful consequence of diving or falling on dry turf.  It also takes some of the heat off the surface, which is crucial for two-a-days in August.

Speaking of August, GFH had a great spring season and is rearing to get started on the fall 2012 campaign.  While NBC won’t be broadcasting any of our matches this season, be sure to check out a game or two live on the internet!


Sharing a story

April 3, 2012

By: Nate Shearer
Head Wrestling Coach

I’ve made a strong effort to stay away from writing any articles that deal with wrestling. However, recruiting at the Junior Nationals High School tournament last week I came across a few good memories I thought I would share. A former high school teammate is now the head wrestling coach in our hometown and brought a group of them to the tournament. The coach shared with me an article about a recent graduate .

My hometown of Clyde, Ohio is located 30 minutes south of Lake Erie. In two words you can sum up this town of 6,000 people: Whirlpool & wrestling. Whirlpool employs nearly 3,000 people and wrestling the other. When I moved to the town of Clyde in 6th grade I thought it was strange most of my new friends had 10’x10’ wrestling mats in their basements or garages. Our basement welcomed a new (to our family) wrestling mat. Interestingly, our basement was unfinished because it flooded constantly. The water could rise so high the rafters had water damage. It was during these special moments we had an in ground/indoor pool with a now floating mat to wrestle and play on. Living the dream! By the end of summer wrestling was the only activity holding my attention. The town’s passion captivated any boy looking to participate in athletics. Each year it was amazing to see our town represent the largest crowd at that year’s state tournament which continually sells out the nearly 20,000 seat arena.

Growing up in a passionate environment definitely provided me a unique experience, but the reason for this little bit of background information is to highlight a well deserving accomplishment from a current athlete at Clyde High School. Chris Moore recently won an individual state championship. Making the achievement special was his former teammate Bubba Andrews in attendance. Zeb Miller extensively covers the Ohio wrestling community and is a leading contributor to the largest wrestling media outlet in the country. Recently, Zeb put together his favorite memories from the past 20 years. Below is the story of Chris Moore (making #1 on the list), and a few links to his video of Chris and Bubba at the state championships.

#1 Bubba Andrews and Chris Moore: by Zeb Miller

Growing up I competed in the Sandusky Bay Conference and our fierce rivals were the Clyde Fliers. Although we could not beat the Fliers, and Chad Long made my brother Tait and I his stepchild frequently, I still respected them. It was kind of weird because we were supposed to hate them, but we did not. It was a bizarre connection we had with the people of Clyde, I think that it was their blue collar mentality that was like our blue collar upbringing. The town of Clyde has a Whirlpool Factory in it and a majority of the parents of the athletes work there. My dad was a union Ironworker and my uncles were pipe-fitters, so that is my only real thought for the positive relationship we had with the Clyde folks. The Fliers won a team title in 1995, the same year my brother Tait was state champion, so that was another time we shared a common moment together. I grew up with Clyde-great Big Tim Anderson and watched him win two state titles, one where he almost killed his coach after the match. Then there was the Clyde-genius, Doug West winning a title with some last second heroics. Those were all great moments for the Fliers, but their greatest moment in my opinion came this week in the Division Two 170 pound state final. This moment is so great for me and took roots with knowing the Fliers and their fans, families and athletes for the last twenty plus years. Chris Moore made the state finals at 170 pounds and had some real inspiration to win. His idol and hero Bubba Andrews was on hand to watch and cheer him on. Bubba was a former state placer for the Fliers in 2008 where he finished fifth, with two, two point losses to Max Thomuseeit of Graham (Now Pitt Panthers). Bubba was always butting heads with Cody Magrum of Oak Harbor and always made the match competitive. Bubba was also a standout on the gridiron for the Fliers, to put it plain and simple, Bubba Andrews was a stud. I coached a team in 2004 with a host of great middle and elementary school wrestlers on it. It was a who’s who of wrestlers in Ohio which included the following studs: Bubba Andrews, Keith and Konner Witt, Aric Thurn, Ian Miller, Cody Magrum, Zach and Cody Garbrandt and Wade Ishmael amongst others. It was great a experience and made me even closer to the Clyde Flier family. I was able to follow all of the Fliers as they competed against the Oak Harbor Rockets. The friends and families were always so cordial and made you feel like family when you were around them. After the 2008 state tournament I had not seen Bubba, but I had seen his parents and brothers who wrestled my nephew Ian. So, Saturday night the Fliers had another finalist in Chris Moore at 170 lbs. Little did I know the shape that Bubba was in. Bubba has been fighting a brain tumor since 2010, and has recently run into some complications. He continues to fight. Last week he witnessed one of the greatest things a Clyde Flier could see, another Flier win a state title. Bubba had a mat-side seat to see Moore, who credits Andrews as his inspiration, win a title. It was the most powerful thing that I have ever seen at the Ohio State Tournament. It made me be thankful for everything that I have in my life. It made me think of how lucky I was to have had Bubba Andrews and the Clyde people in my life. The fact that Bubba could essentially see his little brother win a title, and know that he was a part of the start of Chris Moore’s wrestling career was priceless to me. It made me feel like Bubba could see a great moment that he may not be around for next year. Whether Bubba wins his fight, or Chris Moore repeats next year as a senior, their moment changed my life and shows how powerful this tournament is, and how it can affect our lives both positively and negatively. (Bubba and his father cheering in the background with the black shirts)