This afternoon, with a 2-0 win over Wilmington (Mass.), the Watertown (Mass.) field hockey team won its 107th straight field hockey team, breaking the 47-year-old mark set by Oklahoma City Casady School (Okla.).
It’s the oldest record in the current National Federation of State High School Associations field hockey record book; Dorotha Edwards had started her coaching career in 1956, and right from her first year with the Cyclones, the team found success. Between her first year and the 1969 season, a period of more than 13 years, her teams did not lose a game.
Friends, let’s give you an idea as to how astounding this achievement is. It was a different era: during Casady’s streak, there was no artificial turf or artificial grass available to players. Instead, the teams would play on scrub grass at various locations within the Southern Preparatory Conference.
And, of course, Casady’s achievements were often overlooked, even by their own school. While individual boys’ sports at Casady received multiple pages in the 1960 Casady yearbook, girls’ sports had a single six-page spread in the yearbook.
Players did not compete year-round in the 50s and 60s. Indoor field hockey was only recognized by FIH in 1968 — one year before the streak ended. In addition, players in the SPC back in the day had long automobile or bus trips between campuses to play their games.
But then, as now, goals are rare in the sport of field hockey, and one bad bounce off the ground or off a stick can change the momentum within the game as well as the final result. Which is why the achievement for this generation of Watertown Raiders as well as head coach Eileen Donahue should be celebrated.
A hearty “Well-played!” from this corner.