VHS To Add Girls Field Hockey

By on January 30, 2019

field hockey on MyVeronaNJ.comVerona High School will be getting a new team sport this fall. The Board of Education’s Athletics Committee recommended to the full board last night that VHS add a fully parent-funded girls field hockey program.

The recommendation, which will be made official through a resolution at one of the next BOE meetings, is the outgrowth of nearly two years of work by the Verona Field Hockey Parent’s Association to bring back a sport that was cut from VHS’s lineup more than three decades ago. The organizers, many of whom had played field hockey in high school and college, held clinics for middle-school girls in the fall of 2017 and again in 2018. They also branched out to a clinic for third- and fourth-grade girls.

“The Verona Field Hockey Parent’s Association had a dream of a Verona High School Field Hockey team,” says Rita Scelfo, one of the group’s members, by email. “We are passionate about providing opportunities for girls to participate in athletics as it builds confidence, camaraderie, and of course a healthy lifestyle. We support all VHS athletics and are in no means trying to take away from current sports offerings. Instead, we hope to build upon the support system among teams.”
field hockey on MyVeronaNJ.com
The addition of field hockey, which will begin with a JV team only, comes a little more than a year after VHS added a winter swim team. The high school has long offered football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, cross country, track, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, wrestling, golf and competitive cheerleading. VHS also has a joint hockey team, VGR, with Glen Ridge High School and many high school and middle school mountain bikers ride for the multi-town Essex Offroad Mountain Biking Team. Many of the high schools that VHS competes against in these other sports already have well-established girls field hockey programs.

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According to Scelfo, Verona joined the Mid Jersey Youth Field Hockey league in the fall of 2018. At that time, more than 50 middle-school girls joined the Verona squad to create three teams that played neighboring towns, coached by parent volunteers. “By the end of the season,” Scelfo says, “many of the girls developed a real love for the sport and expressed a desire to continue playing past middle school. The coaches decided to form a non-for-profit association and formally submit a request to the Verona BOE to establish a Verona High School Field Hockey Team.”

Since the new team must be fully parent funded, the Verona Field Hockey Parents Association has already started fundraising to support it. Its February 22 wine tasting is sold out, but there will be a “Verona Idol” event at the Ringside Pub on April 27 from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. There is also a GoFundMe campaign.

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You can learn more about the association and its plans through its website or its Facebook group, the Verona Field Hockey Parents Association.
field hockey on MyVeronaNJ.com

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