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Archive for December 3, 2006

Dec. 2, 2006 — A return to Great Road

They played the Jim Davis All-Star Senior Showcase at Smoyer Field at Princeton Day School today. The score of the match was less important than the celebration of field hockey in an area with a highly competitive hockey culture.

The Central Jersey Field Hockey Association consists of 12 public schools, two Roman Catholic schools, and five college preparatory schools spanning two counties. It is one of the few regions where the public, private, and parochial schools regularly compete with each other.

That does not mean there is perfect harmony; two of the schools presently do not play in the Mercer County Tournament because of a ban on post-graduate players. But there is a lot more interplay between different kinds of schools than there is in Kentucky and New England.

As per usual at all-star games, it’s a time to patch up old rivalries and come together in a spirit of togetherness. For me, it was a chance to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while. I also got to meet new members of the Central Jersey coaching ranks.

I was able to shoot the bull with folks I hadn’t seen in a while. We chatted about alumnae and their babies, the fact that the niece of one of my all-time favorites was ready to enter ninth grade in 2007, as well as word of an anonymous donation which could lead to the construction of an indoor turf facility at one of the schools — one with a full-sized pitch.

If something like that were built, not only would it be a great revenue generator for the school, it would also fit Jim Davis’ annual declaration at the end of field hockey season: “MTSI.”

Translation: move this stuff inside. A dome would be perfect.