New field hockey coach leads team through season opening


Lucia Rivera

Field Hockey Coach Brianne Paxton supervises her varsity team as they run during practice. The team practices from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on weekdays that they do not have games.

Abraham Zepeda, Copy Editor

As of the 2018-2019 fall sports season, Bonita Vista High School’s field hockey team is now coached by Brianne Paxton. Former coach Ernesto Luna stepped down as varsity field hockey coach at the end of the 2017-2018 school year due to personal reasons.

“I looked for months and I was putting the word out to coaches at other schools, JV coaches, middle school coaches. We were just asking anybody, ‘can you help us,’” Athletic Director and Physical Education Instructor Coach Jason Murphy said.  

Finally, Murphy found Brianne Paxton, former field hockey coach of nine years at various schools around the district, who also was coached by Luna.

“She is definitely a faced paced coach, and she definitely has the skill that is up to par with what we need. She is really cool and I definitely like her coaching style. She is not too easy but she definitely pushes us,” BVH senior and Field Hockey Captain Camilla Dopulos said.

Paxton had not yet been hired when the fall season began on Aug. 1. As a result, BVH field hockey seniors Camilla Dopulos, Jennifer Cubas Duenas and Jordan Mazzarella lead unofficial preseason practices for almost two weeks in early August.

“It was a couple of the senior players who got the ball rolling and we would just meet up and do some pretty basic drills and stuff mainly to get the new players into the feel and learn a couple skills before tryouts,” Cubas said.

These pre-practices were ended by Sweetwater Union High School District officials and Murphy due to liability issues associated with students practicing on school property without adult supervision.

The seniors and leaders of the team decided to continue their practice off-campus at public parks near BVH a few days during the week to help their fellow teammates prepare for the season. At these practices, the team worked on drills and helping new players adjust to the sport.

“I think it’s awesome that these girls took it upon themselves to get out there and organize it and keep it going and keep running to get prepared for the season,” Murphy said.

Paxton states that she adopts a strict coaching style to help the team play to their best ability.

“I am stern with the girls and there is a high expectation. As a result of that the girls have expectations for each other. We’re strict, but once we set the ground rules for things I think we can start having fun and learning the game,” Paxton said.

According to Paxton, this year’s team has the potential for a successful season. So far, the team is 21, only losing to San Marcos High School with a narrow score of 0—1.

“They really have that sheer grit and they push each other to be better. They are only getting better every single time. The skills were there already. Starting off the season is always handled a little rough but they’re just picking up right back where they were and they’re doing a great job,” Paxton said.

Paxton states that while she first felt like an outsider to the team, the team is accomodating to her new coaching style.

“They seemed really close. I mean of course I felt like an outsider coming in. I don’t know what we’re laughing about or what we’re doing but it’s easy to see they are really close friends, and even if its not they are teammates and they support one another,” Paxton said.

Cubas Duenas and Dopulos both explained that under Paxton as a new coach, there were new changes implemented in the program in terms of their formation on the field.

“She arranges her field completely different, now we have three forwards three mids and four defenders, which is new to us because we used to have a three-four-three or a four-three-three formation.” Dopulos sais.

As for this season, the girls previously played a scrimmage against San Marcos High School on August 28. In spite of this loss, Paxton and the girls won two games, beating Mission Bay High School 6-0 on August 31 and defeating Escondido High School 2-1 on September 5.   

Looking to the future, Cubas Duenas still holds high hopes for this season under Paxton’s guidance.

“We’re looking pretty good. Every game and every practice we constantly are improving and changing to modify what it is that we are weak in and need to improve on. I have high hopes for this season,” Cubas Duenas said.

The team lead by Paxton now await their game against Santana High School on Sept. 28.

“Having that grit, that passion, that drive, that kind of alternate state of mind; if you’re feeling some sort of pain or if you’re feeling things aren’t working but you find a way to make things work and kind of accept the current conditionsthat’s something I hope the girls have,” Paxton said.