We are the champions!

BVH girls’ field hockey team goes undefeated

It was raining, the field was muddy, stress levels were high and masks were soggy. It was the day of the girls’ field hockey game between Otay Ranch High (ORH) and Bonita Vista High (BVH) on March 25th. Both teams were evenly matched and struggling to get a point. 

By the end, BVH and ORH were exhausted, cold and wet from the rain, but the BVH field hockey team pulled through and won with a score of 1-0. This would mark one of the many games this season that the BVH field hockey team would win, going undefeated this season with an overall record of 4-0.

The BVH Field Hockey team poses for their team photo. The photo was taken in March 2021 by photographer Alex Hurtado. (Provided by Sheryl Sanchez)

“The mentality [of] everybody on the team changed a lot, every game counted because the season was so short. Before the pandemic, we could have an off day [losing a game] and it would be okay because we’d have three more weeks of the season. [Now] we had to be on top of everything, so we couldn’t [afford to] have an off day,” Field Hockey team Captain and senior Rachel Cepe said. 

Once March 1st arrived, the team got a window of opportunity to get a physical and a COVID-19 test in order to get cleared to play. However, the team found that there were a lot of rule changes to the game itself once they started playing. For instance, before the pandemic, the team would only play in house, but now they were playing in quarters (an official field hockey match divided into four quarters). Another change was with the team’s gear, whereas before the team had to wear goggles, but recently that requirement was removed and replaced with wearing masks during the game. 

“We had to wear masks [and] that was a little weird, but I got used to wearing masks for so long that it wasn’t entirely weird; it just felt normal. [Playing field hockey was] the first normal thing in a while,” Field Hockey team player and junior Regina Luna said. 

There were many challenges for the group at the start of the season because the season occurred on short notice. Usually, the team would have a preseason, where they would focus on conditioning. Since the season was shortened, their preseason was more geared towards the actual game of field hockey itself, not so much fitness. During practices, the team members would talk louder and more frequently because it became harder to hear with the masks on. To solve this problem, their coach would go through plays over 10 times, so that everyone understood it.

“Everyone was excited. They wanted to go out and play because we knew the season would be short. We wanted to give it everything we have and everyone [had] high energy [and] high spirits. It made the game even better than it was before,” Field Hockey team Captain and senior Sachiko Kure said.

As a result of their continual planning and practicing, the girls’ bond as a team grew strong. As their team bond grew so did their teamwork and enthusiasm for field hockey. This was a large contributor to the team’s success in all of the games of the season. Kure stated that the team’s bond was present within everyone and can be visibly seen on and off the field.

“I felt [that] we were closer as a team and throughout the games; I felt [that] we were more inclusive. I feel our bond [has] gotten stronger since we are so far away,” Field Hockey team player and junior Sabrina Nixon said. “[The bond] made [the team] better because we had more communication on the field.”

After all the planning, practicing and team bonding, the team’s hard work had all paid off, according to Cepe and Kure. This was evident in the game between Olympian High (OH) and BVH. OH girls’ field hockey team’s overall record for this season was 1-3. Although it was their very first game of the season, their passion and effort shone through early on in the game. Their coordination as a team and enthusiasm helped them win that first game with a score of 4-1 and propelled them into their best season yet. 

“It was personally my favorite game because just getting back and being able to play a game again was a very big factor in my favoritism towards [the game],” Luna said. “I haven’t played in so long [and] it was very refreshing. The environment, getting to see people again [and] getting to practice early in the morning was nice. After our first game, I wanted to play some more.” 

I want them to really understand what it means to be a team. No matter what the outcome is, they always [have] to put in their hardest.”

— Field Hockey team Captain and senior Sachiko Kure

As the season came to a close, Kure felt as though this season was a “dream come true.” Cepe and Kure are very proud of the effort and teamwork everyone put in for this season. Both team captains are graduating seniors, and being undefeated for their last year was “a perfect way to close off [their] last four years within the [field hockey] program,” according to Cepe. 

“My hope [for] this team [is that] no matter where these girls go, if they decide to play next year, if they don’t or if they bring in more girls [to join the team]—[is] to just have fun,” Kure said. “I want them to really understand what it means to be a team. No matter what the outcome is, [I want them to know] that they’re always going to put in their hardest.”