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STORY: Gloucester's senior leader
Gloucester's Courtney Poole (white uniform) is her team's only senior. Photo by Rob Ostermaier/Daily Press
Gloucester's senior leader
By Hugh Spain | Correspondent
Gloucester field hockey star Courtney Poole embraces the role of being the only senior on this year’s squad. She knows her teammates often will look to her for guidance, and she’s ready to lead by example.
“Field hockey is a huge part of her life and she takes it very seriously, yet at the same time brings an element of fun to practice,” said Gloucester head coach Janet Letizia. “The team really responds to her.”
Q. What is it like being the only senior on the team?
A. It’s difficult because they all look up me. Typically the team looks up to a group of seniors, but this year it’s only me. When the girls are down, I feel that they look to me for momentum and to keep their heads up. My leadership becomes a big role to push the team through to a victory.
Q. What kind of aspirations do you have for this young team in the Peninsula District? How far can the team go?
A. I hope we can win the district and do well enough in regionals to qualify for states. We may have a young team, but we are strong. You give us a task and we will accomplish it. We all work hard for our title, the “Gloucester Dukes.”
Q. What will be the greatest challenges to meet those lofty goals?
A. I think that beating Kecoughtan is a challenge. Cox, Princess Anne and a lot of the (other) Beach schools will be tough because they play on (artificial) turf a lot, so they have a greater advantage. And they have amazing passing games. They all work together very well.
Q. What is one thing interesting about field hockey that the general public may not be aware of?
A. It’s a huge sport in foreign countries for both men and women. I hope it will soon be a big thing here in the U.S.
Q. What are your plans after high school? Do they include field hockey?
A. After high school, I would love to play hockey in college. It’s a big dream of mine to play for an awesome school and be a great contributor to the team.
Q. What schools would you most like to attend?
A. I would really love to go to Ohio University, Maryland, James Madison, Old Dominion or Northeastern. I know I’m pressed for time, but it’s really hard to choose.
Q. Who is your favorite athlete and why?
A. The late Steve Prefontaine (one of the greatest American distance runners in history). He pushed the limits and never gave up. He set new records and gave everything he had for the sport he loved.
Q. Who are your most important influences off the field?
A. One of my biggest influences off the field is one of my best friends, Megan Lenhardt (a former field hockey teammate who graduated from Gloucester in the spring of 2007). Megan has always made me strive to be a better player and person. And all of my coaches are huge influences.
Q. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A. My picture-perfect future in 10 years would be for me to be a graduate from a great college and be playing hockey for the USA team. But I truly see myself being a teacher and coaching a high school team.
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