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Archive for December 23, 2006

Dec. 23, 2006 — The next 10

The loss of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County field hockey program at the beginning of this month was followed a few days ago by the announcement that there was going to be a Division III field hockey program at Daniel Webster College, a small school in New Hampshire which is more well known for its aviation program. And of course, there are the plans for Hendrix College’s team to go live in 2007.

In addition, I read yesterday that East Tennessee State University was ready to set aside funds for a field hockey team — Tennessee’s third after Rhodes and Sewanee — if the campus were to revive its football team.

Thing is, I’m not very hopeful about this move since it is contingent on there being room for a second team in the greater Knoxville area, parts of which are literally painted orange and white because of the Tennessee Vols.

In order for field hockey to really foster growth in the grass roots, I believe the following 10 campuses need to be targeted to add field hockey programs:

1. University of Miami — A campus with a female president (Donna Shalala) and one which spends untold dollars on its football, basketball, and baseball teams.

2. North Carolina State — Winners of a national spring field hockey tournament for club teams a few years back, the addition would really bolster the rivalries in the ACC.

3. Virginia Tech — So would this school. Isn’t it time the school moved out of club status for the first time since 1988?

4. Illinois — Some of the most powerful high-school teams in the country are in the state. Would be an instant rival for Northwestern.

5. Missouri — You’d think there would be enough high-level players in the state to justify another university playing alongside Saint Louis and Missouri State.

6. University of Florida — The campus does well in many women’s sports, including swimming and soccer. And there is Gator lacrosse scheduled in a few years, too.

7. UCLA — The 1984 Olympic field hockey tournament was in Westwood.

8. Tennessee — It’s been rumored for years that more women’s sports are going to be added to the program, especially given Vanderbilt’s success in lacrosse.

9. San Diego State University — It’s a shame that all of these tremendous field hockey players from the San Diego section of the California Interscholastic Federation have to leave the region to pursue their love of the sport at the next level.

10. University of Wisconsin — Would be a great foothold for the Big Ten in the upper Midwest, and would bolster the profile of the four high-school programs in the state.

What do you think?

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