Growth of the new season / Aaron Johnson
Duplicating success can be one of the trickiest things in sports. While consistency is a foundation of success, being able to have a high level of it year after year can be difficult.
A perfect storm of the right players and the right time can mean the difference between hoisting the trophy in the shape of the Nutmeg-state at the end of the year and watching someone else do it.
While having a successfully previous season can help to garner a tradition on winning and success, the onus falls onto the next class to continue extending that same history of greatness.
The pressure that can fall on the player and coaches can hinder a season as a cloud hangs over every practice, decision, and game.
It can be a snake pit of pressure that some teams crumble under.
But the mark of a great champion and an even greater program come from those that can rise above the pressure that are put on them from past iterations.
The teams that can reach the lofty goals that players long before them have left in their wake of championship rings and pep rally celebrations.
It has been that task that the Staples girls field hockey team faces this season. After reaching the pinnacle a season ago winning a share of the Class L state title, separating last season’s success with this current season has been a focal point for players and coaches.
“It was probably the biggest issue coming into the season,” Staples senior Liv Ekholdt said. “Just making sure it’s a new season, we have new girls, and making sure we knew how to play ourselves. But we worked on it a lot coming in. We talked about our growth for this season compared to last season. This season is just different.”
Being able to have the necessary growth from the players that have been there, coupled with the talent of the incoming players is the first steps to the recipe for a repeat champion.
It is a journey that make have completed once, but only the special teams can do twice.