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Playing the field
Two field hockey winners this year!

Date published: 11/24/2013

THOSE short-headed sticks. Those hard balls. Those players crouching while running down the field. Field hockey is an unusual yet dynamic game. And now, the Fredericksburg area has two state-champion teams.

Stafford County's Mountain View Wildcats won their first-ever field hockey crown on Nov. 16. The school, which opened just eight years ago, has produced competitive hockey teams before. But this year, after a 21-1 regular season, the team finally brought the banner home. "This is just so sweet," Mountain View Coach Pattie Sullivan told The Free Lance-Star after a 3-1 win over the Gloucester Dukes in Group 5A play.

Spotsylvania County's Chancellor Chargers went into Group 4A play this year as the underdogs, even though they were the returning champions. A nearly perfectly executed corner in overtime produced the goal that catapulted them over the Lakeland High School Cavaliers, 2-1. For Coach Jim Larkin, it was a bittersweet moment. Twelve seniors formed the core of his team this year, and to him, "those 12 seniors are special."

As in all other sports, at the end of the year only one team goes home truly happy. What the others must remember is that along the way they've learned some valuable lessons in sportsmanship, discipline, teamwork and training. Hopefully, they've also had some fun.

Congratulations, Wildcats and Chargers! You've earned your banners--and made us proud.