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Archive for April 24, 2018

BULLETIN: April 24, 2018 — A field hockey figure is now in charge of the NFHS

Dr. Karissa Niehoff, a former field hockey player at Marblehead (Mass.) and at the University of Massachusetts under Pam Hixon, has been selected as the next executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the national governing body for high school sports. The announcement was made today, and her first day on the job will be August 1.

Niehoff is the first woman to have the post. She has served as the executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CASCIAC), the state governing body for the Nutmeg State, as well as chair of the NFHS Rules Committee.

In addition, she also served 10 years on the Board of Ethics at USA Field Hockey and was the field hockey program leader at the International Youth Camp during the Atlanta 1996.

We don’t know what changes may come specifically for field hockey with Niehoff at the helm. But I think that the organization is likely to try some progressive ideas, especially when it comes to gender imbalances and dangerous drops in participation.

Those drops are in wrestling and gymnastics, but there are also challenges when it comes to other sports competitions competing for the attentions of school-age athletes. This has led to the flight of many boys’ and girls’ soccer players to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy league, as well as a small, but growing number of field hockey players choosing to train with the senior U.S. national indoor and outdoor teams rather than play for their high-school teams.

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April 24, 2018 — Top 10 for the week of April 22

As the regular-season winds down for some times and the playoffs begin for others, this Top 10 is getting scrambled. Well, except for Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.), which, while winning yesterday, vaults itself into a tough part of the schedule, especially against its IAAM Flight “A” rivals.

For our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week, we put a spotlight on one of the few remaining undefeated college teams remaining, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of. Keuka College is a small liberal arts college located halfway between Watkins Glen and Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes region of New York. This year, the Wolves are 11-0 and are likely to be the No. 1 seed in the North Eastern Athletic Conference tournament. Keuka is no stranger to the Division III playoffs, but the team has never won a tournament game. Might that change this year?

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 14-0
Eagles’ next four games are very tough; combined won-loss record is 36-9. Highlight of this stretch will be tomorrow’s game with Baltimore Bryn Mawr (Md.)

2. Pittsford (N.Y.) 7-0
Panthers got by a good Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) side late last week

3. Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 13-2
Cardinals finish out regular season this week against Kensington Holy Cross (Md.)

4. Novato (Calif.) 14-1
Hornets finish regular season on Saturday at Danville San Ramon Valley (Calif.)

5. Glenelg (Md.) 8-2
Gladiators played Ireton yesterday, the start of a late-season push that includes a resurgent Ellicott City Mount Hebron (Md.) next week

6. Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 10-3
Blazers have the meat of their IAAM schedule this week with home matches against Bel Air John Carroll (Md.), Catonsville Mount de Sales (Md.), and Annapolis St. Mary’s (Md.)

7. Delray American Heritage (Fla.) 18-1
Stallions take on Lake Worth Park Vista (Fla.) in FHSAA Tournament

8. Darien (Conn.) 8-0
Blue Wave overswept Long Beach (N.Y.) 14-7 in the Gains for Brains Showcase

9. Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 15-2
Saints have a big test on Saturday against Olney Good Counsel (Md.)

10. Manhasset (N.Y.) 7-1
After an Opening Day loss, the Indians are on a tear. Tough week ahead with road games against Darien (Conn.) and Garden City (N.Y.)

11. Keuka College 11-0
Kendall Neuberger (49 goals) leads the Wolves in goal-scoring, with Brenna Vogt and Vanessa Tsarevich (37 each) are not far behind

Who’s out: Mt. Sinai (N.Y.), 8-7 loss to Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.); Edgewater South River (Md.) 15-11 loss to Marriottsville Marriotts Ridge (Md.)

And bear in mind: Olney Good Counsel (Md.) 10-4, Ellicott City Glenelg Country School (Md.) 8-3, Moorestown (N.J.) 10-2, Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) 7-2, Garden City (N.Y.) 7-2, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 6-2