State Championship or Bust?

With a more experienced and talented team than the 2014 Division II title squad, the Dreads have lofty expectations

By: Ben Daugherty

The whistle blew and the Dexter Varsity Field Hockey team took the field for their first game of the 2016 season.

Freshman goalkeeper, Maggie Jones, arrived with something to prove as this was her first game in a Dexter uniform.

If I’m thinking about being nervous, then it’s hard to focus on the game and the shots that are coming at me,” Jones said. “…my teammates have made it really easy to not feel nervous.”

This was also the first game that Trish Machemer took the field as Dexter’s head coach after being an assistant coach for several years.

Machemer was joined by assistant coach Tori Westhead, a recent graduate of Saint Louis University where she was the goalkeeper for four years. Growing up in Ann Arbor and playing field hockey at Huron High School, Westhead was excited to find a coaching position near home where she could continue to work with the field hockey community.

Dexter took control of the game from the start and showcased their talent with a commanding 6-0 win over East Grand Rapids, proving that their freshman keeper and new coaches had earned their spots on the team.

I feel a lot of pressure when I’m playing,” Jones said. “I remind myself I’m just here to play because I love it and I’m going to do my absolute best in goal.”

Expectations for the season are very high.  The coaches and players feel that they have an even stronger and more experienced team than the 2014 Division II state champion team. With such a veteran team, they’re dead set on winning another state championship.

“We’re looking forward to the season,” senior midfielder Sam Labadie said. “We have a lot of talent and coaches that know how to win.”

Labadie and the rest of the team have their minds set on winning a Division I State Championship.  The veteran team is almost entirely made up of upperclassmen with the exception of its freshman goalkeeper.

Led by 11 seniors, the varsity team understands what it takes to be victorious after winning the Division II State Championship two seasons ago.

“We are looking to capitalize on the fact that we have such an experienced group, and are eager to end our last season at DHS on a high note,” Labadie said.