Stepping up, filling in


Heather Murphy

The JV Field Hockey team poses after a win against Edison. Coach Andrew Ssekikkubo’s teaches a mentality of playing every game like it’s the final game. “Yes, we want to win every game but are we learning from our mistakes? Are we learning from new opportunities? Are we growing in the game?” Coach Andrew Ssekikubo said.

Christina Lu, Editor-in-Chief

It began with a job posting — for head coach.

“When the season’s about to start there’s always job postings, and I saw a job posting ad for TJ varsity [field hockey]. So I was a little confused and some of the players reached out to me. I stepped in and I told the girls ‘Hey, look, I’m going to figure this out.’ What’s important is, we’re going to play,” Coach Andrew Ssekikubo said.

Ssekikubo met with Student Activities Director Dylan Forshay to discuss their goals for the field hockey program.

“I got the varsity head coaching position and quickly moved into searching for an assistant. We ended up getting two really good assistant coaches, one that actually works in the building and another former college player, so we are fully staffed,” Ssekikubo said.

Junior Sinead Molony, a varsity field hockey captain, also saw a need to fill the holes in leadership from the absence of last year’s graduating class, including former captain Lauren Delwiche.

“Lauren definitely kept everyone together and working hard. This is the first year without her so the dynamics changed a little bit,” Molony said. “I tried to take on some of the leadership that Lauren had and try to step up and help people where it’s needed.”

Ssekikubo also believes this year’s team is strong with the addition of new freshmen.

“I think that freshman group replaced the really good seniors that we had. And our returners [are] phenomenal,” Ssekikubo said.

As a coach, Ssekikubo prioritizes the experience of players on the team.

“Is the environment welcoming? That’s all I’m about. We need to be building that very strong community where they’re there for each other, not only on the field, but off the field,” Ssekikubo said.

In addition to the social, supportive community, the team is also serious about its performance this season.

“This year, it’s a lot of social, which is a really good outlet for school, but I think over the past few weeks, that’s been changing a little bit and we’ve been getting more and more serious as we have more district games coming on,” Molony said.

The team is emphasizing learning from mistakes this season by watching game film.

“I could talk all I want about their positioning, but they’re not able to see it. Them being able to watch the film and watch them drift in an off position that they’re not supposed to be will give them a much better idea of what I’m talking about,” Ssekikubo said.

Ssekikubo’s goal for the team is to go as far as they did last year — District semifinals and Regional first rounds.

“I believe we have a very good JV and varsity program and I’m just excited to see how far we can go as a group,” Ssekikubo said. “I think we’re gonna crush my goals.”