Michigan High School Field Hockey Association
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Team Spotlight: Detroit Country Day - Unity Means Strength

By Maya Nassif and Maya Rajan, 04/23/18, 10:15PM EDT

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As we came off the field (in October 2016) with the state championship in our hands, we realized that no feeling could quite top that of winning the game we worked all season for. The happiness and satisfaction was short lived, however, as our team soon realized that although we had won, we were graduating two of our best players, and next year’s season would be tougher than ever before.

Unity Means Strength

As seniors recollecting all the moments that made us who we are the past four years, we realized that although winning that final game two seasons ago was a major high of my high school career, the lessons we learned the season following had just as much of an effect, if not more so, than any win ever could.

Coming into the season a division up and graduated seniors down, there was certainly doubt in a lot of people’s minds, including my own. We knew that at our core, we were a hardworking team with incomparable passion, but in reality, could all that hard work make up
for the raw talent we had lost? As the season began, we noticed that maybe it could. The freshman came in with talent and drive, and the upperclassman came in with the mentality of living up to the season prior.

At the start of preseason we had fitness tests, drills, and scrimmages to get us back into the groove of field hockey. Our practices were challenging and we had a strong mentality with our team motto being “unity means strength.” We headed into the season confident, but aware that we would be playing teams with a much higher skill level than we ever had before. In the first couple games and over the course of our season, we came up short in many games and did
not come out with the record we expected or hoped to have. We were used to victories from our past undefeated season, so the losses were disappointing, but our incredible team dynamic that
developed over the season made this season the best team we have ever been a part of.

Our team was competitive as a whole, but never over competitive with each other. We built each other up during practices, often returning to the fundamentals and helping each other
out with form and technique. We did not have single superstars of the team, we worked together as a cohesive body on the field. The underclassmen learned from the upperclassmen, and vice
versa. Everyone worked on a different strength and, as a result, our team improved significantly over the season. The team not only meshed well on the field, but as friends and classmates in
school. From our team meals to homework help and study sessions to the pregame dance parties in the locker room, the girls formed an unforgettable family bond that was worth more than any
win on the field.

As we came off the field after falling short of making the second round of playoffs, the joy and cries rivaled that of our win just one year before. Although we didn’t come off with a win, we could truly say that our bond, hard work, and drive made us a team unlike any other. It isn’t every day one can say that each of their teammates became their friend, or sisters they didn't know they needed, but we are lucky enough to have been people who can. As we reflect, we know that although the season didn’t end with medals around our necks, we came off the field that final game with a different kind of win, one that was better than any trophy.