Super ‘sticks’ and stellar studies at the Home of the Hornets

By TED WADDELL
Posted 12/23/20

HONESDALE, PA — The 2020 Honesdale High field hockey sticks made their mark in the school’s sports history book upon winning their first district championship on November 5. There, they …

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Super ‘sticks’ and stellar studies at the Home of the Hornets

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HONESDALE, PA — The 2020 Honesdale High field hockey sticks made their mark in the school’s sports history book upon winning their first district championship on November 5. There, they finished fifth in the AAA bracket, thus earning their first ticket to the state playoffs.

But wait, we’re not done.

Out on the field, four Hornets were tabbed by the Pennsylvania Field Hockey State Committee to the 2020 AAA Pennsylvania All State Teams: junior defender Katy Corcoran (All State Second Team), junior goalkeeper Nicole Miszler (All State Honorable Mention), freshman midfielder Claire Campen (All State Honorable Mention) and freshman mid Rozlyn Maciejewski (All State Honorable Mention).

But hold your horses; we’re still not at the finish line of the awards race.

As an added bonus, seven players (three juniors and four seniors) made the Pennsylvania High School Field Hockey Coaches Association (PHSFHCA) Academic All State Team for combining varsity level play with outstanding grades. The seven student-athletes earned the high honor of the organization’s Team GPA Award with an average GPA of 3.61976.

But who’s counting? The magnificent seven, that’s who: Leah Krol, Grace Maxson, Sarah Meyer, Gina Dell’Aquila, Rowan Murry, Emma Modrovsky, and Katy Corcoran.

Of their selection to the 2020 Pennsylvania AAA All State Teams, Wayne Highlands School District Director of Athletics Diane Scarfalloto said, “We are proud of you! This is the second time in school history that we’ve had field hockey players picked for this statewide honor.”

And of the academic recognition, she said in a recent announcement to the high school, “This morning we have some more positive news about our history-making 2020 Hornet field hockey team: The entire team also earned the high honor of the PHSFHCA Team GPA award... congratulations to our individual and team award winners!”

A few words from field hockey coach Maciejewski

“Many of the girls have said that this was the season we never thought we’d have, but it’s one we’ll never forget,” said Maciejewski. “There was a lot of struggle and uncertainty this year surrounding the pandemic.

“But the gratitude to be able to play the sport we love unified us and really was the vehicle to great team chemistry. This respect for one another led to a strong mental ability to grow continuously throughout the season, and peak at just the right time—the playoffs.”

To get to the state playoffs, the Hornets posted some notable matches during the pandemic-abbreviated season: a 1-1 tie in overtime against league powerhouse Lake Lehman in early September, “Our level of play surprised them and sparked life that we have something special going on”; a 3-2 loss in extra innings to Lackawanna Trail in September, “This moment gave us a feel for what it’s like to take for granted our talent and not give 100 percent. We blew a 2-0 lead going into [the fourth quarter] of the game and lost”; October’s 5-0 pounding by Wyoming Seminary, the defending state champs, “It was a back and forth battle where we played some of the best hockey I’ve seen”; and later in the month, a 3-0 win over Delaware Valley, that “sealed our place [in second] going into the playoffs and getting the home-field advantage.”

Then it was on to the playoffs.

First up was a 2-0 home stand victory over Wilkes-Barre Area, following a 4-0 win in regular season competition. “This was a job that needed to be completed to get to our ultimate goal—a district championship.”

On November 4, the Hornets “sticks” defeated Hazelton Are 3-2 in OT to win their first district title.

“Emotions were high. We knew we were the underdog... we held hands and stepped on the field together, ready to fight for our name.” Maciejewski said her team was down 0-1 at the half but started to dominate the match in the third frame. With four minutes left in the third quarter, freshman Roz Mikulak scored off an assist by fellow freshman Roz Maciejewski to tie it up 1-1. Late in the final frame of regulation play, Hazelton scored to go up 2-1; and as time ran out, freshman Claire Campen dribbled 20-some yards, weaving past several defenders, and scored unassisted to send the match into overtime.

“In overtime, we took a gamble and used our skilled freshmen trio [Rozalyn Mikulak, Rozlyn Maciejewski and Claire Campen] on offense, along with seniors Sarah Meyer and Leah Krol, and junior Katy Corcoran, plus Nicol Miszler in the cage,” recalled Maciejewski.

With about 4:30 remaining in sudden-death overtime, Mikulak scored off an assist by Maciejewski in a repeat of their first goal of the game, and Honesdale had a district brass ring.

“We had life and confidence like I’ve never seen before. Hard to put into words,” said Maciejewski of the Hornets field hockey squad’s first district title and trip to the states, in the wake of two previous non-winning showings at district finals, and never before making it to the states.

 For the rest of this story, including a Q&A with the Hornets, visit www.riverreporter.com/sports.      

The Hornets All State Academic Team speaks out:

Thanks to coach Maciejewski for setting up a Google template that organized this sports scribbler’s rather rambling questions posed to the players honored for their academic postings.

* KATY CORCORAN, a 16-year old junior, is currently studying heath studies at Honesdale.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “I have gained so many valuable lessons from my wonderful teammates and coaches. One that sticks out to me is the concept of hard work. My coaches have not only taught me what hard work is, they have shown me day in and day out, what it looks like. Knowing what it means to work hard has helped me achieve all of my goals so far, and will continue to help me reach all of my future goals as well.”

Q: What is your take on your 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A: “We had a dream of what our season would look like from the beginning, and we made it happen. We were one. We were a team. Every one of us worked consistently hard throughout our season to achieve our goals. We believed in ourselves, and b=never, ever gave up. We pushed each other, and lifted each other up throughout our season. Without us having come together like we did we would not have been as successful. We supported one another in all we did, and because of all of these things, we were able to achieve our ‘dream season’ together.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A: “Sports in general is an outlet from the ‘real world’ for me. I know it can be for others too. Field hockey for me, allows me to let loose and forget the problems from that day when I step on the field, It gives me a break from all the hustle and bustle that life throws at us. Without having my sport, I wouldn’t be nearly as strong mentally and physically, as field hockey has made me.”

Q: What are you looking forward to next year?

A: “I am super excited to see what next year brings. I am going to miss this year’s seniors, but I am ready to continue to bring the fire next year, as we did this year. I am ready to continue to grow with my other teammates and just keep stronger together. We are a team with a bright future, and I am so ready to continue to lead and be part of this!”

* EMMA MODROSKY, a 16-year old junior, is preparing for college with a focus in science/biology.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “I gained a new sense of a team that is much like a family. This season also allowed me to gain more confidence in myself and learn more leadership skills. I also crated new bonds with my teammates while we create memories that while last a lifetime.”

Q: What is your take on the 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A: “This season may have been interesting and different due to the pandemic, but with the hard work and dedication we made the season memorable. We knew each day wasn’t certain, but that did not stop us. We took it day by day, and never let up until we could cross that line into the unknown. Together as a team and with coaches and community support we were able to make history by winning a district championship for the first time in school history. Our team may have been small, but that only helped us push to work harder. It also allowed us to become a family. I am very grateful for being able to be a part of this team.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A: “Sports are not all about being athletic and winning. It is about the bonds, friendships, life lessons, and memories while being part of a team.”

Q: What are you looking forward to next year?

A: “Next year I’m looking forward to working hard as a team and achieving our goals as we create new memories together.

Q: Anything else you’d like to say?

A: “I’m thankful to my coaches for pushing us to do our best and giving us the knowledge we need to succeed. I would also like to thank my school district for making the whole experience possible, even during these hard times. I’d like to thank our community for their overwhelming support. I’d also like to thank my parents for supporting me and encouraging me throughout my sports career so far.”

* ROWAN MURRAY, a 16-year old junior, plans to attend a 4-year college/university and major in elementary and special education.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “I gained so many things from playing field hockey at HHS including learning the importance of hard work. Perseverance, and teamwork. In addition to COVID, we had a tough schedule this year. Without all of these great coaches and a supportive school district and community, we would have never met our goal of winning a district title.”

Q: What is your take on the 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A: “So many people complain about 2020, but for our field hockey team it was magical. We worked hard since the start of the summer, set goals and never gave up.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A: “Sports are SO important to me. I am three-sport athlete and love each one for different reasons, I can’t imagine not playing sports. Sports have taught me so many things including time management, work t=ethic, hard work always pays off, and to never give up.”

Q: What are you looking forward to next year?

A: “I am already looking forward to next season and working hard to win our second district title.”

Q: Anything else you’d like to say?

A: “I would like to thank my mom and grandma for always traveling to all my games and supporting me. I would also like to thank our community for all the support they showed us this season, Finally, I would like to thank our coaches for all their time and hard work for making this an unforgettable season.”

* GINA DELL’AQUILA, a 17-year old senior, plans to study radiography after high school.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “I gained mental and physical strength from my field hockey experience. Field hockey has taught me to push myself to be the best player and teammate possible.”

Q: What is your take of the 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A: “My 2020 field hockey season was one that I will never forget. It was not only a very unique season to adapt to the different circumstances this year, but also Honesdale’s first time winning a district championship that was awesome to be part of.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A: “The importance of sports to me is they teach leadership and discipline.”

Q: Closing remarks on your field hockey playing career?

A: “I would like to thank my coaches and everyone who has helped and supported me throughout my field hockey playing career.”

* LEAH KROL, an 18-year senior, plans to pursue a nursing degree and then further her education by getting a nurse practitioners degree.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “I gained so many hard-working friends. My teammates’ work ethic motivates me to push myself to be the best I can be.”

Q: What is your take on the 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A: “This season has been a very memorable season. I knew from freshman year that this would be the right group of girls to leave a legacy. We instantly clicked and were able to exceed so many expectations.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A” “It teaches time management and responsibility. You have to learn how to balance everything, and you are the one in control of whether or not you succeed.”

Q: Closing remarks on your field hockey playing career?

A: “I am so grateful to have been part of the hockey team. It’s really shaped me mentally and physically.”

* GRACE MAXSON, an 18-year old senior, plans to study mechanical engineering after graduation.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “My field hockey experience at Honesdale has given me so much to be grateful for. The opportunities, memories, and wisdom gained are things I will hold onto for the rest of my life.”

Q: What is your take of the 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A” “My team this season was a blessing, I could not have asked for a better group of girls to end my career at Honesdale. This season went from one we never thought would happen, to one we will never forget.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A: “Sports has been an influential part of my life for as long as I can remember. It has molded me into the person I am today. I have learned some of my most important lessons though my involvement in athletics, I am abundantly grateful for the impact sports has had on my life.”

Q: Closing remarks on your field hockey playing career?

A: “I just want to say another thank you to my team and coaches for making it an incredible experience. I am so grateful for such a unique group of girls and the memories we made in our historic season.”

*SARAH MEYER, a 17-year old senior, intends to study biology after graduating Honesdale High.

Q: What did you gain from your field hockey experience?

A: “I gained knowledge of how to be a strong-willed, motivated, and respectable individual. My field hockey experience built my character from the ground up.”

Q: What is your take of the 2020 field hockey season and your team?

A: “This season was the most memorable season during my whole high school career. Our team had a bond like no other, and we pulled through with a remarkable victory.”

Q: What is the importance of sports to you?

A: “Sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. They keep me grounded in the way that I am organized and focused on everything else going on in my life. The importance of work ethic and discipline go hand in hand with the characteristics taught in sports that I couldn’t imagine myself without.”

Q: Closing remarks on your field hockey playing career?

A: “I will forever have a place for field hockey in my heart, and I won’t forget where that love of field hockey came from.”

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