By Marlysse Trampf
This past weekend was the annual Fall Festival at Southern Okanagan Secondary School (SOSS), an exhibition field hockey tournament with a record 15 teams coming from as far away as Maple Ridge and Vancouver.
With six players on the team graduating last year, there was only 10 returning players, resulting in having to rely on players from younger grades.
“The festival was a great way to get our feet wet and get to know each other as a team,” said senior field hockey coach and former Hornet Leslie Noftle.
Noftle organized the festival as well as umpired and coached throughout Friday and Saturday.
On Friday the Hornets played against Mount Boucherie from Kelowna and tied 2-2. Following that game, Oliver took on LV Rogers from Nelson and lost 2-0.
On Saturday the Hornets played Maple Ridge Secondary School and won 2-0. The next game saw the Hornets challenge Okanagan Mission, but they lost 2-0.
Two of the younger girls who played with the seniors last weekend, Bavneet Soolch and Jasmeen Tatla, enjoyed playing.
“It was a lot of running, but we’re communicating with each other really well,” said Soolch. “The seniors were very supportive and patient with us; we both felt welcome,” stated Tatla.
As well as having many new players, there are two new coaches on the team – Carly Russo, the former UVIC Vikes field hockey captain, and Megan Murray, a senior student who cannot play field hockey anymore due to an injury.
Madelyn Bjornson, a senior who has played since Grade 8, is very excited about her final season.
“We all played well in the festival and improved as the weekend went on.”
Bjornson is a strong defender on the field with very powerful hits, and says she will miss being a Hornet once she graduates.
The team is off to Chilliwack this Wednesday to play in another tournament, this time on turf. Good luck, Hornets!