Seniors bid farewell to field hockey

As the field hockey season ends, senior team members reflect on their first Mercy memory and four years of friendship, competition, and fun.


The Mercy Varsity Field Hockey team members smile at their banquet on Nov. 1, where they remembered and celebrated their successful season and friendship. (Photo credit: Erin Lyons)

“I can honestly say signing up for field hockey as an incoming freshman was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said senior captain Sarah Posa. “Field hockey introduced me to some of the coolest people ever and some of the best memories ever.”

For those unfamiliar with the sport, field hockey is played on turf or grass. Each team has 11 players on the field at a time, including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood or fiberglass to hit a round, hard, rubber-like ball. The length of the stick depends on the player’s individual height. For 60 minutes, the two teams compete and try to get the ball past the goalie and into the opposing team’s net.

Although most high schools in Michigan don’t run a field hockey program, Mercy offers the sport to all grades. Playing in a competitive league, Mercy field hockey teams play against Marian High School, Ladywood High School, along with many high schools in the Ann Arbor area.

“The league in which we play has some of the stiffest competition and really challenges every player,” said varsity head coach Butch Babler. “We win some and we lose some, but with every game, we grow as a team, we learn, and we move on.”

For many players, field hockey is more than an after-school activity – it’s their passion and one of their very first memories of Mercy.

“This program has impacted me incredibly,” said senior Olivia Collins. “It has given me something to be a part of where I feel like I belong. It has allowed me to grow closer with people and has introduced me to more friends outside the classroom.”

Participating in team sports allows players to bond and compete together. That’s exactly what this year’s Mercy Varsity Field Hockey team accomplished.

“The team this year had such a great dynamic, and really competed and played as a team,” said Coach Babler. “You could have the best players in the world, but if the chemistry isn’t there, there is nothing. We were fortunate enough to have the talent and chemistry this year.”

Finishing first in the Catholic league and winning its sectionals in the state tournament, the varsity team was very successful and had an impressive overall record of 9-9-2. But for the players, the team bonding and friendships made were what made the season an unforgettable one.

“I’m going to miss the team most and Coach Butch, of course,” said Collins. “I feel that the entire team is so close, and I’m going to miss the team spirit, and jokes, and competitiveness of it all.”

With none of the seniors planning on playing field hockey in college, the end of this season is also the end of their entire field hockey career. It’s a farewell forever to the scooter rides from the parking lot to the playing field, Mrs. Tisdel’s homemade chocolate chip cookies (a team favorite), and the bagels in the cafeteria on every game day.

“Although I’ll never pick up a field hockey stick again, I’m never going to forget my experience playing Mercy field hockey,” said senior Hannah Cohen. “I’ll forever look back at my experience with the program and say to myself, ‘Hey, that’s where I first became Mercy.’”