Silver Chips Online

Blair Field Hockey team gears up for a new season

Team holds carwash to make money for the upcoming year

By Zoe Norvell, Online Graphics Editor
June 27, 2005
Soap, suds and smiles spread through the busy street of University Blvd. Saturday morning during Blair Field Hockey's first annual carwash fundraiser. The girls worked from 8:30 a.m. till late afternoon in 80 degree weather as cars came streaming into the Four Corners BP gas station on the corner of Colesville and University.

Blair seniors Amelyne Major and Sarah Rumbaugh, along with social studies teacher Robert Gibb and Blair parents came to show their support and have their cars washed. Senior graduate and former Field Hockey teammate Christina Do also arrived to see her friends and contribute.
Zoe Norvell
Senior Julie Spatz enjoys standing on University Blvd. to flag down cars thanks to the beautiful weather. "We couldnít have asked for a better day. Itís beautiful," she said.

When the last car drove away and the bills were counted, the team was overjoyed to find that they had surpassed their goal of $500 and made over $700 which will be put towards "new uniforms, attending the summer camp for the first time and the costs of having a great year," says senior Julie Spatz.

"It's been a total success. We didn't charge people and instead asked for donations. I think by not having a set amount, customers were willing to give us more," adds fellow senior Christine Hayek.

But making money wasn't the only agenda for the day; the fundraiser gave the team a chance to reconcile after a year of being apart and to meet the new players that will be trying out in the fall. "It's a good way for us to welcome them into the field hockey family," says senior Emily-Kate Hannapel.

Thanks to the seniors, there are plenty of newcomers for the team to meet. This year's seniors went to Blair's nearby middle schools to get younger girls interested in playing Field Hockey in high school. First year junior-varsity Coach Angie Cutner expects to have the largest number of girls trying this year. "There's a ton of eighth graders coming in. The seniors' advertising was very key because the problem with fall sports is that by the time school starts and incoming freshman start hearing about their options, the season has already begun and we're already trying to get things rolling," she says.
Coach Franceschini helps the team "start the program off right with money in our account" as she prepares a bucket with JV Coach Cutner. Zoe Norvell
Coach Franceschini helps the team "start the program off right with money in our account" as she prepares a bucket with JV Coach Cutner.

The first annual carwash is one of the many firsts that the Field Hockey team is expecting this season. Another critical change is the new JV Coach Cutner. Cutner has returned to her high school to teach Algebra and has decided to coach for the team she once played on as a student. All of the girls are looking forward to having a coach who has so much experience and from one who knows what it was like to be in their cleats. Cutner returns the girls' admiration with a smile. "One of the best things about this team is the overwhelming leadership from the older and more experienced players," she says. " I'm so excited to be a part of this group of talented girls." She also embraces all the changes that field hockey will be undergoing this year. "We're turning a new page in field hockey history."

The other first is having a head coach who has played field hockey for most of her life. New varsity coach Brook Franceschini, or "Coachie" as the team nicknamed her, was a goalie for her high school and Division 1 College. "It's sad that [Coach Franceschini] is the first coach who's had any real experience in playing field hockey, but that's one of the reasons why we're so privileged to have her-and now we have Coach Cutner, too!" Hannapel said.

Franceschini takes the sport very seriously and is working towards showing students, other sports teams and her players just how serious the sport is. Most of the players would agree that all these changes the team is undergoing are thanks to Franceschini's new attitude for this season and all that follow. She came up with the fundraiser idea in order to afford new uniforms she says the girls deserve. She has also been more than willing to take them to a summer camp and helped the seniors find the most suitable one.
The team split themselves up as rinsers, washers, and dryers in order to get cars in and out more efficiently. Often, they had 4 cars arrive at once. Zoe Norvell
The team split themselves up as rinsers, washers, and dryers in order to get cars in and out more efficiently. Often, they had 4 cars arrive at once.

Throughout last year, Fraceschini has made it very clear to the returning players and the newcomers that being in shape for the upcoming season is the most important thing to remember. With the threat of having cuts for the first time, the girls took the hint quite seriously. Having cuts "may not seem like a big deal but this will be the first time in my four years of playing that we've been able to," says Hannapel. "Whether or not we have cuts will depend on the turnout, but so far it looks like this year is going to be our biggest turnout yet."

"We are going to be taking those with the most talent and most potential," warns Coach Franceschini. She stresses that there will be "no wasted spots on the benches." Another goal of Coach Franceschini's this year is to make Field Hockey a more prominent sport at Blair, just as it is in other Montgomery County schools.

When the last car had pulled away and the girls were ready to relax, two more cars drove into the station. The team would gladly put off their break for these last cars, however, and they insisted that it was at no extra charge. The cars belonged to their beloved Coachie and the BP owner, Bobby: "Whenever you girls want to come back, just let me know."