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2018 Clarence Field Hockey Preview

Every season and every game is about learning.

The most valuable lesson that the Clarence Red Devils field hockey team learned last year was that mottos are a great way to rally everyone.

But the words fall flat if they aren’t backed up with action.

“We always liked the quote ‘Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard,'” said co-coach Gina Stephan.

“Last year we realized that to win, it’s not all about having the best stick skills or the hardest hit. The determination one brings to the field and the work ethic players put in is what will take us to the next level. The team started to say “work hard” as a result which stuck with us as our motto. It reminds us that we have to put everything into every practice and game to be successful.”

Stephan and co-coach Marissa Faso have their team buying into the mindset that even if they don’t walk away with the result they wanted on the scoreboard there is no excuse not to work your hardest and try to get better for the next game.”

Returning 18 players will go a long way in the Red Devils continuing to build that mindset during the 2018 season. Especially considering both coaches have strong ties to Clarence.

Stephan played field hockey for Clarence. And Faso, who played at Nichols School, is in her fourth year coaching in the Clarence system. So they both have the ability to speak from the heart about how much this program means to them.

Leading the way for Clarence will be Maggie Kelkenberg who finished among the top-20 scorers in Section VI.

Eighth grader Madison Leeper (midfield) will join Kelkenberg as one of the most potent 1-2 offensive punches in the area. Also back, are Kailee Godesiabois and Elise Bearance who were two of the Red Devils top play makers last year.

The mix of experience and ability will make Alyssa Johnson and Morgan Cole assets on the back end.

New faces to varsity include two promising underclassmen; eighth grader Natalie Myslkinski and freshman Emma Muchow.

Muchow is the younger cousin to Maggie Kelkenberg and her twin sister Ella Kelkenberg.

“We expect that our team continues to achieve their individual and team goals,” Marissa Faso said. “We are also expecting that we learn from each competition, and cohesively grow together for the 2018 season.”

Stephan and Faso also paid closed attention to the importance of bonding during the off season. Along with lifting sessions, the Red Devils took part in 7-on-7 games that not only helped build chemistry but also helped foster the players love of the game. The Red Devils also took part in Friday Night Lights at Sweet Home.

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