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Archive for September 2, 2011

Sept. 2, 2011 — A deadlier turn

Today’s Game of the Day
Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) vs. St. Louis John Burroughs (Mo.) at Anheuser-Busch Center
The defending state champions of Kentucky and Missouri clash, and it doesn’t get much better to open the Gateway Invitational. They are the No. 9 and No. 10 teams in the preseason Top 10, and it should be a whale of a game.

The latest addition to the field hockey police blotter is not another case of sexual misconduct.

Earlier this week, 20-year-old Shaniqua Pierre, a former field hockey player at Deptford (N.J.), pleaded guilty to a single count of manslaughter in the death of Muriah Huff, the girlfriend of a man caught in a gang dispute in the nearby city of Camden.

Pierre is scheduled to be sentenced next month and is expected to receive a sentence of 25 years in jail.

The whole notion of field hockey players running afoul of the law is alien to most; it’s a sport played by intelligent people who have to think their way out of problems without being overcoached or micromanaged. As the late Trentonian sportswriter Jim Davis told me more than a decade ago, “It’s a sport that, if you try it, and have any athletic inclination, you can’t help but love the intricacies of the sport. You can be smarter, and play circles around your opponents without being more athletically gifted.”

It’s why, for example, you have four young women from Princeton — Katie and Julie Reinprecht, Michelle Cesan, and Kat Sharkey — in the senior women’s national team pool. That’s 17 percent of the player pool, from one Ivy League university.

It’s regrettable that Pierre didn’t make smart decisions when it came to her peer group upon graduating from Deptford. Now, she’s paying for those decisions.