Familiar faces to be new field hockey coaches

Sean Dunleavy, Sports Editor

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After a season in which the team made the state tournament field hockey coaches Jennifer Wood and Nelle Andrews are stepping down from their positions as head coaches of the team.  Assistant coaches Kat Wollenberg and Emma Tuthill will be replacing them for this upcoming season.

Tuthill has been on the coaching staff for the past three years and was the junior varsity coach last fall.  Wollenberg was an assistant at Avon for a few years before joining the staff at her alma mater last year where she was recognized as an All-State performing goalkeeper for the high school during her career.

Andrews and Wood both had been coaching the sport at the high school for more than a decade and made the decision to resign due to schedule constraints.

When I took over as head coach in 2002, I replaced legendary coach and PE teacher, Lorene McLaughlin, who took the job as Athletic Director here for a little while before she retired. I hired Jen Wood as my freshman coach that season, and we worked together for the next 13 years. In those years, we have both married and have maintained a full-time work schedule.  Keeping up with the responsibilities of coaching the field hockey program have become increasingly more challenging as our own children’s activities have increased and this is the main reason why we both decided to step down from our positions once the season ended this past November,” Andrews said.

Despite a lack of head coaching experience and the loss of two veteran coaches, Tuthill believes that Wollenberg and herself are up to the task.

“I am extremely excited to take on the role as head coach along with Coach Wollenberg.  I am stepping into a new role so I am a bit apprehensive but I am ready to take on the challenge.  I have been coaching for 5 years and I have high expectations for the future of the program.  The girls are already preparing for the start of the season with captain’s practices and the Turf Burn League Trinity College.  We are lucky to have a motivated group of talented athletes,” Tuthill said.

Last season was used as a transition year in which Wood and Andrews slowly allowed Tuthill and Wollenberg to exact more power over time.  According to Wood, the now former coaches worked hard to mentor the new leaders of the program so that they would be ready to take the reigns this year.

Junior Clare Meehan is excited for next season and believes that field hockey is a sport on the rise that all girls who are looking for a fall activity should consider joining.
Despite the changes that we are seeing in the program, I think that we have the chance to be successful in next year’s season. There is a lot of talent and dedication from players that will be essential to our success on and off the field.  We have a really fun time both on the field and off the field, and every girl is included. Field hockey is fun to play, and we will work with you to make sure you can be the best you can be,” Meehan said.