WEST MILFORD Its spring. So why are we talking about field hockey?
Coming off the phenomenal 2011 season last fall, there is a lot of buzz about the girls field hockey team. Led by head coach Jill White-Cullen, the team finished the season 20-2, taking the Northeast Conference Division 2, Passaic County Tournament and the North 1 Group 3 titles. White-Cullen made it her last season as coach and, while many were saddened by her departure, still more wondered who would fill her shoes. That questions has been answered.
Macopin social studies teacher Krista Rieder-Provost will lead the Highlanders field hockey program in 2012. Rieder-Provost is certainly no stranger to the field hockey family in West Milford. Shes been the freshman coach for the past five seasons, starting when she was student teaching in the district in 2007. The girls who had such a terrific season last fall went through her freshman program a few years before. Shes been a vital part of the program but didnt necessarily look to be the varsity head coach.
It wasn't my goal to be the head coach, said Rieder-Provost. I liked teaching freshmen the basics.
But then, she thought, it would be pretty cool to take it to the next level.
I thought it would be an awesome thing to manage the whole program. Jill Cullen really built up the program, she said. I want to keep it similar. The parents are very involved. Its like a family.
Rieder-Provost is certainly looking forward not only to the season in the fall, but also to the programs starting in the summer that will help feed the successful high school field hockey program, namely the travel program and the youth camp in August. The travel program was started by White-Cullen, she said, and it is a priority to her too.
The travel team really gets the girls into the sport, said Rieder-Provost, who played four years of field hockey right here at West Milford High School.
The girls play from August through November, the same season as the high school team. This team is for girls in fifth through eighth grades. They practice on Mondays and play teams from throughout the area on Saturdays throughout the season.
The youth camp is a one-week camp for girls entering fourth through ninth grades, held in August, Rieder-Provost explained. The basics are taught, drills are run.
It's a great way to introduce girls to the sport, she said.
Rieder-Provost likes teaching the basics; she loves taking the younger girls who have an interest in the sport and turning that into a passion.
Now she will be able to take it to the next step.
"It will be nice to see that next level," said Rieder-Provost.