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Archive for November 17, 2006

Nov. 17, 2006 — North of the border

As domestic competitions wrap up this weekend with state championships in five states, three sectional titles decided in California, and the first-in-the-nation Tournament of Champions in New Jersey, plus all three divisions in the NCAA, let’s not forget what else is happening on our continent.

Provincial titles are being decided in Canada, including the country’s most high-level championship, the competition to be the best scholastic team in British Columbia.

Think of this the next time a field hockey tournament game is postponed by rain. (New Jersey and Maine — listen up!) Last Wednesday in Burnaby, Chilliwack Senior High School lost to Mount Douglas High of Vancouver in conditions fit for neither woman nor beast. The saving grace: the artificial turf on which the tournament was played.

“It was wild. There were some trees coming down in the forest around us,” reports head Barb Kroeker to the hometown newspaper, The Chilliwack Progress. “The conditions made it very difficult to play very well. Mount Doug was the game we thought we could come away with a tie from. We had beat them earlier in the year. But with the driving rain and the wind, it was tough. But the weather doesn’t really affect these girls.”

Now, I’ve seen field hockey being played in less-than-ideal conditions. Once, the Mercer County Tournament semifinals were played on a grass field that was not engineered to drain well after a morning storm. I saw workers furiously shoveling snow in the state semifinals in New York at the onset of a blizzard.

And I saw numerous heroic efforts on the part of West Amwell South Hunterdon (N.J.), perhaps none moreso than a 1995 Group I Central game at Pingry. It was the only game played in the state that day, and the gutsy Eagles came away with an overtime victory in monsoon conditions.

And on grass, too.