TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for September 8, 2021

Sept. 8, 2021 — Changing focus, changing storylines

The evolution of this site over the last 22 years has been one which has taken into account many different competitions within scholastic field hockey nationwide.

Our focus has been pretty much on three areas of the country: the eight counties in the southern half of New Jersey, the area of New York between the Southern Tier and Long Island, and the triangle between Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania.

However, we have noticed a leveling-up of competition in certain places over the years. When this site began, there were numerous Division I players coming out of the private schools in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland. We also paid rapt attention to Maine, coastal Virginia, North Carolina, and a number of the established public schools in Massachusetts.

That focus shifted to places like Texas, Wisconsin, San Diego, and the New England Private Schools Athletics Council (NEPSAC) as competition revved up in those areas. More recently, there has been a lot of must-see field hockey in northern Virginia, Delaware, and the greater St. Louis area.

Where do we think some of the interesting storylines are going to take place this year? Let’s list a few:

Ohio. The Buckeye State is one of the only areas of the country where a full season of competition took place last year, except for schools in a few major cities. The OHSAA has always had good teams like Thomas Worthington, Columbus Academy, and Hudson.

Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League has only about 20 teams, but is starting to punch above its size when it comes to field hockey. Classical and Moses Brown have been good the last few years, but the team that everyone is talking about is East Greenwich. That’s because of a junior attacking midfielder named Alexandra Mega. Her magnificent solo golazo in last year’s state final was a highlight of the 2021 season.

CIF Northern Section. This area only has about a dozen teams inland from the San Francisco Bay, but the efforts of school teams from places like Davis, Chico, and Yuba City are not to be ignored.

New Hampshire. I don’t know whether it’s because of the growth in girls’ ice hockey in the Granite States, but the playoff push last year in the NHIAA was appointment viewing.