Seeded among Suffolk’s finest coming into the new season, the Huntington High School field hockey team is setting high goals and has every expectation of reaching them this fall.
Practice commences on Monday, August 26 for a Blue Devil squad that includes a mix veterans and some varsity newcomers. Seniors Anna Wickey, Holly Wright and Meg Byrnes will lead Huntington into battle.
Meg Byrnes, Holly Wright and Anna Wickey return as the Blue Devils' top players. (Darin Reed photo.)
With 10 varsity players returning from last year’s team that went 9-6 and with the JV coming off a 12-2-2 season that showcased several outstanding young athletes, the Blue Devils are looking forward to advancing deep into post-season play.
“Words can’t even explain how excited I am for this field hockey season,” said Wright, who garnered All-County honorable mention recognition as a junior. “I have been on this team for four years now and each year comes with new memories and new challenges. This year are seeded No. 7. This is the highest we have been in years. This team is the perfect team to be here. Huntington girls’ field hockey holds a very special place in my heart.”
The Blue Devils are a very close-knit squad, to say the least. Will those tight relationships between players translate into victories? Time will tell.
“Being on the field for two plus hours every day after school playing a sport I absolutely love, with my best friends and my mom and cousin as coaches are moments that I will miss the most about high school,” Wright said. “I have been talking about this season with my mom since I was little. There’s things that every little girl dreams of doing with their mom and for me and my mom one of them is making this such a happy and winning season. We have such great potential to go so far this year. August 26 can’t come fast enough!”
Wickey has already committed to play field hockey for NCAA Division I Temple University in Philadelphia next year. A two-time All-County midfielder, she Huntington’s leading scorer last fall with 11 goals and six assists. The talented teenager was No. 11 among Suffolk’s top scorers.
“I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season,” Wickey said. “Although we’re seeded No. 7 and playing the best teams in the league, I’m confident that we’ll have a great season. I hope to make playoffs again and have a great last season.”
Byrnes (three goals and two assists) was also named honorable mention All-County last fall after shining at forward and as a flyer on defense corners. She’ll once again play an integral role for the Blue Devils.
“This should be an interesting year,” Byrnes said. “We are returning some very talented players who have the ability to make the difference in close games. We also lost a number of strong players to graduation and so we’re going to need to rely on some underclassmen. We’re definitely going to be strong and I know our seniors intend to leave it all on the field.”
Huntington head coach Kathy Wright and assistant Allison Conlon are also returning to the sidelines. Senior Brooke Biernacki, who was sensational as Huntington’s sweeper last fall is also back in the fold as are junior goalies Julie Rogel and Lisa Martin. Junior Isabella DiBenedetto and senior Maddie Kye, Lauren LoScalzo and Maya Santa-Maria are all veteran performers who the Blue Devils will be counting on more than ever.
Huntington will open the competitive season with a scrimmage at Half Hollow Hills on September 2 at 8 a.m. The Blue Devils host Newfield in the first game on September 6 at 4 p.m.