By Josh Lashley
According the national high school rankings in early October on the respected and very detailed web site maxfieldhockey.com, four of the top 25 programs in the country compete in New Jersey. That a great and well-deserved honor.
It’s also goes to show just how good the Randolph High School team is, knowing that the Garden State is so highly regarded in field hockey and yet the Rams are certainly in the midst of a winning, successful season.
There is enough credit to be shared in respect to just how well Randolph is playing and that most definitely includes the captains-TT Naslonski, Kristen Sisco and Jillian Tucker, all of whom are seniors.
“These three seniors were selected based off their leadership skills, determination and mentoring skills,” Randolph Head Coach Gina Annunziata said. “They each individually bring something different to the table such as field hockey skills, being vocal and organized and their athleticism. Together they pull out the best in each other to lead our team to success.
“I would have to agree with my coaching staff and players that these three have the upmost respect as students and as athletes,” she says. “They are very approachable to every level and know when they have to be stern. They are a great group of girls who will continue to grow as leaders to shape our season.”
The team leaders for the Rams have gone to great lengths to not only improve themselves in field hockey, but to encourage their teammates to do so as well.
“We are a young team who lost four incredible seniors last year,’’ Annunziata said. “We have to work on the basics to get ourselves to the top which include communication, double teaming and better passing options. We continue to grow and I think that is important when it comes to our success.
“(They) help their teammates improve on their time management,” she adds. “There is no way you can get all of your work done if you do not use your time wisely. Being a student-athlete takes a lot of commitment and I think all of my players use their time to get their work done so when it is field hockey time they have no worries. Field hockey like any other sport should be a time for the students to escape their stress and enjoy the game. Personally, game days were my favorite days to go to school. You got to represent your team wearing your gear/uniform and show everyone you have a game today. I hope all of my players carry that same pride like I did in school.’’
Annunziata mentions that several players, besides the above mentioned captains provide a considerable spark for the Rams this year.
“We have had our usually returners step up big like Agustina Lago (junior), Erin Corrigan (junior), Kasey Earle (junior), Mackenzie Sheehan (junior), Sarah Leneghan (junior) and Mackenzie Vorel (sophomore),” Annunziata says. “Our newcomers are Carly Snarski (sophomore), Lauren Madalian (junior), and Olivia Meyers (sophomore).
“Field hockey teams are always an interesting group. They usually have no prior understanding of the sport before they get to the high school so from freshman year they have to create a love for a sport in such a small amount of time. This senior group started out pretty large and now is down to four girls. They each have brought something new and different to the team. We have had some injuries along the way this season but our spirits have never fallen short. I believe in the team we have and I believe we will go very far this year.’’