Sophomore discusses her experiences with the UA varsity field hockey team
By Emma Kerbyson
Sophomore Madison Collins made the varsity field hockey team her freshman and sophomore year. She tells the differences between last years team cooperation and this years. Along with that she tells us about the story of defeating a rival after 20 years.
Q: Hi Madison, so today was a day you had off field hockey. What’d you do in your free time off?
COLLINS: After school I came home and went on a run, then did homework and took a nap. Later the field hockey team had a team bonding at our coach’s house where we watched an inspiring movie and had dinner.
Q: It seems like you never get a break from field hockey! Even running on your day off! How many months out of the year do you say you spend with getting ready and playing field hockey?
COLLINS: Yeah field hockey is pretty time consuming. I play about eight months out of the year playing indoor, getting ready for season and season time.
Q: So how’d you first get into field hockey?
COLLINS: Well my sister played in middle and high school. So she introduced me and I started by just hitting a ball around with her.
Q: Did your sister play for the Upper Arlington field hockey too?
COLLINS: Yes, my sister played all four years at Upper Arlington on varsity.
Q: And I heard you were on varsity as a freshman too. And also this year as a sophomore. Were you nervous about making it as a sophomore even though you were good enough to make varsity as a freshman?
COLLINS: I was very nervous for tryouts this year just because you never know what could happen. Also every year the competition increases so I wasn’t sure where I stood skill wise.
Q: It must have been a relief when you found out you made it again! I hear the tryouts and practices are pretty tough. What all do you girls have to do?
COLLINS: I was very relieved and excited for the season when I found out. The tryouts are rough and the weather is blazing hot. We do a number of different intense sprints and stations to work on stick skills. Tryouts are two a days for a week during the hot parts of the day. Practice is basically the same a sprint at the beginning and a variety of drills.
Q: Sounds pretty intense! But it looks like your guy’s hard work paid off for the Academy game. Why don’t you tell me about that game?
COLLINS: The Academy game was a great accomplishment. This was our first time beating them in many years. The game was between two very skilled teams and what led us to our victory was how much we wanted that game for each other and our coach.
Q: I can only imagine. Did you get to start in this game?
COLLINS: Yes, I was a starter.
Q: Did you feel like there was a lot of pressure on you going in since it was such a big rival? Or did you feel pretty confident about your playing level vs. there’s?
COLLINS: Well I felt pressure for sure, especially since I’m back in defense. However, I had played them before and felt like I knew how to play well against them. We were all very nervous and excited about the game but once we started playing it felt we didn’t have time to worry about pressure or nerves, we played our hardest and it showed.
Q: It really looks like it did show off pretty well! What was your teams and coaches reaction afterwards? Were you guys expecting the win?
COLLINS: We were all pumped up, relieved, and excited after the game. The team just ran together and celebrated in the field. We were expecting a hard game but we all knew we could do it.
Q: That’s good that you guys had the confidence going into the game, its never good if you’re doubting yourself. Does the playing time or skill seem any different for you playing as a sophomore on varsity compared to a freshman?
COLLINS: This year I’m definitely more confident with my skills and I play a lot more than I did last year. Freshman year at the beginning I didn’t play very much but in the middle and end I was starting. This year has been better for me since I’m used to playing with the girls and I feel more comfortable with them playing on the field and off the field.
Q: Like the higher you are in grade level, the more playing time you get, the more skilled you are. Also with the more playing time you get the better you get with game situations, which is always good. This year’s season so far, compared to last years season, better or worse? And why do you think its going that direction?
COLLINS: This year has been increasing better than last year our record this year so far is 11 and 2. Last year we were not able to play together and work as a team until the end of the season when it was to late to make a difference on where we were ranked. This year we started off intense and we have played together from the very beginning, making a huge difference on the outcomes of the games.
Q: Do you remember what your record last year was? But 11-2 is very very good! Do you guys plan or hope to go to any finals or like, championship games? For working together do you think the whole team just realized you needed to cooperate better and tried to work on it, or things just seemed to work out better this year?
COLLINS: I don’t really remember what our record was last year. But we all hope we go to states! And we know we can make it there. I think we realized we the end of the season last year went so well was because of working together. This year we worked on it and it has been working for us
Q: Do you know if you guys have made states yet? If so, when you make it there do you go as Upper Arlington or do you split up into freshman, JV, varsity?
COLLINS: Well we were ranked 3rd so we definitely have a chance! Just varsity goes into tournament.
Q: How do you think your team is compared to the other two teams that qualified?
COLLINS: Our team is just as good as the teams ranked one and two (Watterson and Thomas Worthington)
Q: Have you played either of those teams in the season so far? If so, how did it go?
COLLINS: We have only played Watterson. It was a very intense close game and sadly we lost. We haven’t played Thomas Worthington yet.
Q: Hopefully the second time around will go better! How did your game against Thomas Worthington go last year if you remember?
COLLINS: Yeah, I’m really excited to see how the tournament turns out. Last year I know that we lost to Thomas Worthington however I do not remember the score. Our coaches used to coach together so every time we play it is an intense game.
Q: Sounds like the tournament will be full of excitement! I wish you guys the best of luck at the tournament and the rest of the season! Thanks for your time.
COLLINS: Thanks, no problem.