Photo by John Gregory
SRHS field hockey: Champions again
The varsity field hockey powerhouse of Scripps Ranch High School earned its second CIF San Diego Section 2019 Open Division Field Hockey Championship in a row as it beat archrival Serra High 2-1 on Nov. 16.
Just a few weeks ago, it claimed another Western League title with a double overtime win against Serra High in a regular season ending game on Nov. 4.
For head coach Jane Morrill, the success of this year, which has carried over from previous seasons, comes down to one word: culture.
“We have a culture in which we win. You have to establish that type of culture if you want to win,” she stated. “Then it carries over from one season to the next.”
According to Morrill, every year the culture begins in the summer months.
“The girls play on clubs and go to camps,” she said. “At Fitness Quest they participate in a six to eight-week conditioning program. By the time we start practices they are in great shape.”
Yet field hockey is not a one-dimensional focus for most of the players.
“Almost every girl plays other sports during the school year,” Morrill explained. “Plus, these girls are so smart (academically) it is amazing.”
She points to the fact that there are six seniors on this year’s team, the three who are also the team captains – Adah Anderson, Hailey Brigger and Juliana Ishimine – and those three are all going to prestigious Vassar College in New York for field hockey and their academic pursuits.
The other three seniors are Jessica Ebert, Ashlynn McGrattan and Erin Burgess – all excellent players.
With only six seniors graduating from a team of 18-players, opponents will be hard pressed to beat the Falcons next year and beyond, Morrill believes.
“Our JV team went 29-0 and not one goal was scored on them the entire season,” she said. “That is an incredible statistic. Our returning varsity players for next season already know it is going to be a fierce competition to be on the team. Everyone will need to work hard over the summer. No guarantees.”
Beyond the wins and successes, Morrill values other aspects of being a part of such a successful program.
“I really appreciate the involvement of so many parents,” she said. “When you have parents who are so supportive and take care of so many necessary details, it allows me more time to coach.”
The values the girls learn are something Morrill knows extends far past their field hockey careers and even into the classroom, too.
“I believe our program builds character and integrity for each girl,” she said. “The peer group pressure to succeed athletically and academically is tremendous, and from that positive lifetime traits evolve. We want this program to shape lives.”