Field hockey seniors reminisce on their time at The Hill


Ben Schneider

Eight seniors were recognized in a pregame ceremony on Oct. 12.

Cabot Butts and Ian Hooks

The Cavalier field hockey season came to an end after a defeat at the hands of the J.R Tucker Tigers. While the result of the season was not what the players hoped it would be, the players believe that there are still many reasons to hold their heads up high. For the seniors on the team, Oct. 26 marked the last time that they would take the field for the Cavs. 

As a captain, Tessa Iorio had to take a pivotal role in leading the team. While she has a leadership role on the team, Iorio also found time to make many friendships with her teammates; in fact, she has made most of her friends through field hockey.

“Field hockey has given me so many friendships [with] people,” Iorio said. “It has helped me realize that I am not alone and I can rely on others. The team is just so close and everyone is happy to be together.” 

After high school, Iorio plans to attend James Madison University; she hopes to study law. 

Alena Johnson plays forward for the Cavaliers. Before field hockey, she had never played a competitive team sport, but she quickly came to realize the importance of the team aspect in field hockey. 

“I’ve never played a team sport before where we’re competing together,” Johnson said. “It was really nice to be a part of a group of girls [and] have that automatic friendship and camaraderie with them.”

As for her future plans, Johnson hopes to study chemistry or computer science at the University of Virginia. 

Defender Vianca Ruiz found that being a senior has led her to help many of the younger players in the fundamentals of the game as well as the emotional aspect.

“I think just helping them out makes me a leader,” Ruiz said. “I try to encourage them and make sure that they don’t feel bad if they’re doing something wrong.”

Ruiz would like to study sports medicine in college. Playing sports has really helped her in becoming more knowledgeable in the field. 

Centerback Deja Smith played for the Cavaliers’ varsity field hockey team for two years. While she says she played the sport for fun, Smith acknowledges that field hockey helped her to make friendships that she keeps today. 

“I honestly just did it for fun,” Smith said. “I didn’t really have anything else to do and just wanted to do something. I made friends with those I didn’t really mesh with at first: I have some really good friendships.”

While Smith does not yet know what college she will be attending, she wants to major in criminal justice and minor in business management. 

Forward Raneem Basir is thankful for the opportunity presented by field hockey. To her, field hockey made for an enjoyable experience away from the everyday classroom setting.

“Field hockey is something that I am very grateful to have played,” Basir said. “It has given me a way to just kind of escape from the everyday realities of school. I have made many friends through the sport.”

For now, Basir does not know her future plans, but she hopes that whatever is in her future will treat her as well as Clover Hill did for the last four years. 

It was the first year playing field hockey for Ava Harmon. While she did not get much playing time, Harmon is thankful for the team around her that taught her what she needed to know about field hockey. 

“I made a lot of friends throughout the sport even though I didn’t get much playing time because it was my first year,” Harmon said. “It made me… realize how much… teamwork helps when you’re playing because I didn’t know the sport. All the girls helped me learn and were really sweet.”

Harmon plans to attend Central Michigan University and major in psychology. She also plans to play lacrosse and field hockey as club sports in college. 

Defender Swetha Poluri has been a member of the field hockey team over the course of her entire high school career. Poluri enjoyed being able to just hang out with her friends after school.

“It was just nice to be able to go to practice and have fun [with my friends and teammates],” Poluri said. 

While she does not know where she is going to school yet, Poluri wants to earn a degree in either biomedical engineering or biochemistry. 

Katelynn Menjivar believes that joining the field hockey team was one of the best decisions of her life. 

“Field hockey allowed me to branch out [and create] so many bonds between the girls,” Menjivar said. 

Menjivar made some of her closest friends on the team, and does not regret the decision to play whatsoever. 

Now that the season is over, the Cavalier seniors will set their sights on the future.