Field hockey program welcomes Sadie Robinson to the role of head coach


Sydney Bigelow

Welcome — Head field hockey coach Sadie Robinson overlooks the team warmup before leading practice. Robinson joins the River Hawks after eight years as a player and five years as a coach.

Sydney Bigelow, Managing Editor

After her first academic year in the community, English teacher Sadie Robinson takes on the role of head coach for the 2020-2021 field hockey team. She offers years of experience playing at the high school and collegiate level, as well as experience coaching different programs including Farmington athletic teams. 

Robinson attended high school across the Farmington Valley at Lewis S. Mills (LSM) High School and graduated in 2015. As a captain her senior year, she led the LSM field hockey team to a Connecticut State Championship title in 2014. She then began her collegiate athletic career playing for Southern Connecticut State University’s Division II field hockey team, but later on transferred to the University of Connecticut (UConn) where she played on the club field hockey team. 

While playing at UConn she was named president of the club field hockey team during the 2018-2019 school year. While playing and studying at UConn she also dedicated time to coaching and was the head coach for the E.O. Smith High School field hockey program for four years. She graduated with her Master’s Degree in Education from UConn in 2020 and joined the Farmington English department in the Fall of 2020. 

 The field hockey program first started working with Robinson during last year’s 2020 season as she joined the Farmington athletic community as field hockey team assistant varsity coach. She worked alongside former head Varsity coach Jeff Manaresi and Junior Varsity coach Colleen Crowe. In the spring of 2021, Robinson joined head coach Manaresi and the Girl’s Lacrosse team as assistant coach. 

After two seasons with the field hockey program, Manaresi realized the difficulty of being a head coach for two sports, so when he decided to step down from the role of head field hockey coach, Robinson’s qualifications and character made her a solid candidate for the position. 

“Robinson immediately established positive relationships with our players and did an outstanding job teaching and sharing what she knows about the sport from years of experience as a former player at the high school and collegiate levels and as a 4 year high school varsity coach. I knew the program would be in great hands if Coach Robinson took on the role of Head Coach this season,” Manaresi said. 

Robinson has used her experience as a field hockey athlete to help guide her coaching and teaching. Her relationship with her former high school coach Maggie Tieman during her time at LSM inspired her to focus on the overall mentality and well-being of players on the teams she coaches. 

“My history of playing the sport involves really hard work, really tough practices and games, and an incredible team (on and off the field) and I can only hope that every young woman gets to experience that – so I work extra hard to let it guide my coaching,” Robinson said. 

Robinson hopes to continue to make individual connections with players and focus on creating an uplifting team atmosphere. The Varsity and Junior Varsity teams have started practicing and playing to improve stick skills and gameplay, hoping to be competitive in the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) this year. 

“Coach Sadie is one of the best coaches I have ever had. I can talk to her about anything as she is a friend almost as much as she is a coach. Her enthusiasm and dedication to everything she does is completely unmatched and I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with her,” senior captain Gabby Gorman said. 

Robinson is joined by Manaresi, assistant coach at the Varsity level, and Spanish teacher Colleen Crowe leading the Junior Varsity team. She is also joined by four senior captains, Delaney Dopp, Gabby Gorman, Sonali Patel, and Rachel Wolkoff, and over 40 players overall.