Lackey field hockey aims to regain momentum
Lackey field hockey ready for another strong run
Last season, the Lackey High School field hockey team cruised to a firstplace finish in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference’s Potomac Division with a perfect 6-0 mark, earning a berth in the inaugural conference championship game.
However, after 10 wins in 15 overall games a year ago, head coach Samantha DeNardo and the Chargers are looking to regain momentum entering the 2016 season.
“As a young team we are using the title of division champions as our motivation,” said DeNardo, entering her fourth season at the helm of the Chargers. “We are not taking anything for granted, our motto is still, ‘One team, one goal,’ and we are working as a family to rebuild and strengthen all the skills that we have and all the skills that we need to work on. This is a motivator for us and we are going to do what we need to keep it.”
Though losing several seniors to graduation, the Chargers return seven starters from last year’s division title squad, including their top two scorers in junior forwards J’lah Watson and Amanda Wikert.
“My role on the team will be to score,” said Watson, who will enter her third year as a starter. “Me and Amanda work really well on the field usually, so between us we have to communicate because we are one of the leaders and our team is very young this year. We have to motivate everyone else, and the new players on the team are catching on real fast.”
“Our team is very young this year, but we’ve worked very hard and I think we got it,” Wikert said. “We have to stay focused and come together no matter what. Our team is based on family and we feed off the each other.”
Lackey is also returning junior starting
goalie Katie Willett, who was the anchor on defense a year ago.
“This will be a more rebuilding year for us. We are a lot younger this season and there is nothing wrong with that,” Willett said. “We are trying get as strong as we were last year, but we have to figure each other on the field. We will have to get into the groove in the beginning of the season.”
With no seniors on this year’s team, DeNardo said the juniors will be counted on to provide the leadership to a team that will be very young this season.
“We had some eyes on the field last year that were seniors that I could rely on, but this year I have that same level of motivation and some girls still have to get to know me and learn about the game,” she said. “But we have some girls that have varsity experience and they know me. I think we are ready.”
Lackey will kick off its season next week with back-to-back home games versus Chopticon and McDonough, both contests scheduled for 5 p.m.. Then, on Sept. 12 for another scheduled for 5 p.m. start, it will hit the road to take on Patuxent, which knocked them out of the playoffs last season in Class 1A South Region Section II championship game.
“It’s always great to have our top scorers back,” DeNardo said. “The key to our success will depend on how well we work together on and off the field. That said, I believe we will work well together. I’m proud of these girls so far they are excited about the season. It should be a lot of fun.”
Junior forward J’lah Watson, left, battles with junior teammate Jene Brooks in a recent team practice. Watson is one of seven returning starters coming back this season for the Lackey field hockey team, which won the SMAC Potomac Division championship a season ago, going 6-0 versus county teams.
Junior goalie Katie Willett will be a returning starter and anchor of the defense for the Lackey field hockey team in 2016.
Lackey junior forward Amanda Wikert, one of the leading scorers from the team last season, will be one of the leaders entering the 2016 season.