The solely D.C. public faculty with discipline hockey tries to develop the game

Henley Kaminskas performed soccer rising up, however as a freshman final yr at Jackson-Reed Excessive she determined to attempt discipline hockey — considerably hesitantly. She needed to attend a apply actually early within the morning, and “none of us wanted to be there,” Kaminskas remembers. “But we all showed up, and we all had a really fun time.”

Now it’s a ardour, and it’s one she and a few teammates try to unfold.

Jackson-Reed is the one D.C. public faculty with a discipline hockey program, although it operates as a membership staff as a result of the D.C. State Athletic Affiliation doesn’t sanction the game.

Due to this, this system is self-funded by way of charges and fundraisers. Gamers have to seek out rides to highway video games. Kaminskas has observed some gamers have a tough time getting gear, from sticks to shin guards. On Tuesday, the Tigers opened their season with a sport on the Tenleytown faculty’s soccer discipline, the place they barely had any apply time earlier than a 5-0 loss to Washington-Liberty.

The state of affairs has prompted Kaminskas to develop into discipline hockey’s consultant at Jackson-Reed, the place she is main efforts to develop the game in her metropolis. She goes to be working with an area membership to fundraise and provides out additional gear to gamers.

“I think I have the leadership skills to face the problem,” she stated. “We have a lot of trouble with funding.”

Patricia Nantume based this system in 2011 earlier than handing it off to assistant Sarah Whitener. After 10 years on the teaching employees, Whitener retired final yr and gave head teaching duties again to Nantume.

At first of the season, Nantume’s job has consisted largely of educating the basics fairly than drawing up performs.

“Teach the game with passion; the players are going see that from you, and they’re going to play with passion,” Nantume stated. “Mistakes can be corrected. But if the passion’s there and the fundamentals are there, everything else falls in place.”

The Tigers struggled to get pictures off towards Washington-Liberty on Tuesday, and afterward Nantume huddled them collectively and requested them to consider their particular person strengths and weaknesses. The staff isn’t able to knock off a perennial energy — and extra are approaching a troublesome schedule — however she’s assured within the gamers’ skills to enhance.

The staff isn’t completely full of newcomers. Rigby Zentner was launched to the game at sleepaway camp in sixth grade and continued taking part in with the Past Sticks membership in McLean. It made her a frontrunner from the second she stepped on the pitch as a freshman.

Whereas lots of the senior’s teammates don’t have near the expertise she does, she admires how they at all times decide each other up and present a willingness to enhance.

“We like to call ourselves the most spirited team at the school,” Zentner stated. “We’re just super, super close-knit.”

Because it’s not in a location the place the game is sanctioned, Jackson-Reed gained’t have a postseason. Its annual late-season sport towards Brookewood, this yr on Oct. 28, might be handled as a one-game playoff.

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