Bay Rivers District Field Hockey Preview: Tabb Looks to Continue Dynasty is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Tabb's will have to replace All-American Kara Enoch. (file photo)
Tabb’s will have to replace All-American Kara Enoch. (File Photo)

The Tabb Tigers have won five state championships over the last seven seasons, making them the premier Bay Rivers District field hockey program.

While the Tigers lost a good chunk of players from last year’s state championship team, expect Tabb Coach Wendy Wilson to have her players prepared to make another run at a title.

York and Grafton are two teams that could potentially unseat Tabb in the district and look to be, on paper, upper-tier teams in the Bay Rivers District this year.

Lafayette and Warhill are in opposite situations with regards to their coaching staff. Warhill is returning the defending Conference 25 Coach of the Year while the Rams are breaking in a new head coach. Bruton, who had a successful season in 2014, will also have a new coach at the helm.

Jamestown returns an upperclassman-heavy roster, which should help the Eagles end the season with a winning record and a better chance at a deep postseason run.

Below are previews for each Historic Triangle field hockey team in the Bay Rivers Distrct.

Group 4A

Head Coach: Brooke Feiner
2015 Classification: 4A Conference 18
2014 Record: 14-6
Players to Watch: Sydnie Swartwood (senior – F), Emma Kirschke (junior – M), Erin Malone (junior – D), Laurel Nicks (junior – GK)

Season Outlook: Coming off a 14-6 season and an appearance in the 4A South semifinals, Grafton will have to replace three first-team All-Region players that includes M.C. Harrah and Aileen Ahlers, both of whom are playing Division I field hockey. Luckily for Feiner, the Clippers return Swartwood, a first-team All-Conference 19 forward who will be called upon to lead the offense. Grafton also returns Kirschke and Malone, who both had successful sophomore campaigns that saw the Clippers earn first-team All-Conference honors. One of the biggest assets for Grafton this season will be the skill of Nicks in the cage at goalkeeper. Feiner is loath to highlight individual players this year, instead focusing on a team-centric mindset. The Clippers should be in a position to compete with most teams in the district.


Head Coach: Chris Jones
2015 Classification: 4A Conference 18
2014 Record: 8-8
Players to Watch: Lauren Walker (junior – F), Caroline Schweitzer (senior – M), Kelsey Huckins (junior – M), Erin Zrakovi (senior – M)

Season Outlook: New coach Chris Jones said he expects his Rams to play an up-tempo pace. Citing his team’s speed on the attack and in the midfield, Jones said Walker, Huckins, Schweitzer and junior Devin Lucas will likely be some of the fastest players on the field at all times. The Rams will need to lean on their speed if they want to make a deeper postseason run than last year, in which they were edged 1-0 by York in the Conference 25 quarterfinals. The Rams will have to cope with the loss of two first-team All-Conference players in Cailin Agnello and Allison Everson. The Rams are unique in they return no All-Conference players from last year’s team. If Lafayette wants to remain competitive this season, the Rams will need to lean on their veteran presence in the attacking half of the field.


Head Coach: Jen Schrum
2015 Classification: 4A Conference 18
2014 Record: 7-8-1
Players to Watch: Maddie Clevinger (senior – D), Taylor Croyle (senior – F), Logan Haynie (senior – M/F), Cate Hutcherson (senior – M/F)

Season Outlook: Jamestown returns one of the most upperclassman-heavy rosters in the entire Bay Rivers District. With eight seniors and 11 juniors, the Eagles have depth and experience in spades. While the Eagles are coming off a respectable 7-8-1 record, they struggled finding the back of the net during district games. Schrum does not think that will be the case this year, saying her team is strong on all parts of the field. With a strong defense led by Clevinger and an experienced midfield consisting of Haynie and Hutcherson, Jamestown should be able to generate stops on defense that lead to attacking opportunities. Schrum said she expects the Eagles to go further in the postseason than last year’s first-round loss to Grafton in the Conference 19 tournament.

Group 3A


Head Coach: Wendy Wilson
2015 Classification: 3A Conference 27
2014 Record: 22-1
Players to Watch: Izzy Solaroli (senior – F), Cassidy Clark (senior – M), Courtney Fiest (junior – M), Jessie Meyers (junior – D)

Season Outlook: Labeling Tabb’s field hockey program as a dynasty is far from an exaggeration. The Tigers have won five state championships over the past seven years, defeating Maggie Walker 5-1 in 2014. Tabb will need to replace nine seniors from last year’s team, all of whom earned at least All-Conference honors. However, losing that many players does not mean Tabb’s cupboard is bare. Returning for Tabb is Solaroli, a first-team All-State midfielder who was instrumental in Tabb taking home another state title. The Tigers also return Clark and Fiest in the midfield, both of whom have experience controlling the flow of play. With Meyers shoring up the defense, the Tigers will still have a talented roster. Finally, the Tigers still have the best field hockey coach in the Bay Rivers District in Wilson, who seems to field successful teams every year. This year will be no different.


Head Coach: Kristen Castano
2015 Classification: 3A Conference 25
2014 Record: 11-6
Players to Watch: Jessica Cooke (senior – F), Kayla Cooke (senior – F), Haley Smith (senior – F), Erin Mullen (senior – D)

Season Outlook: Warhill may have the most difficult rebuilding job of all Bay Rivers District teams this season. The Lions will have to replace 11 seniors from last year’s team that led the program to its first conference championship. Reigning Conference 25 Coach of the Year Castano said she is confident her new players can step in and fill the shoes left by their predecessors. The Lions will be led by the Cooke sisters, both of whom earned first-team All-Conference honors for their play at the forward position. Joining the Cooke sisters on the offensive side of the field is Smith, a second-team All-Conference forward. With Mullen and junior defender Casey Broady heading up the defense, the Lions should be solid enough along the back line. A potential concern for Warhill will be goalkeeper after losing first-team All-Conference goalie Jessica Wiggins. If the Lions can overcome the heavy roster turnover, they should be able to remain a middle-tier district team.


Head Coach: Taylor Janus
2015 Classification: 3A Conference 27
2014 Record: 13-4
Players to Watch: Bentley Zabicki (senior – F), Courtney Ray (senior – M/D), Jordyn Keller (junior – F), Kristen Jacoby (sophomore – M)

Season Outlook: York put together an impressive 13-4 record last season, but saw its season end abruptly in the Conference 25 semifinals against Poquoson. The Falcons return a good chunk of last year’s team, including Division I-bound Zabicki, who is committed to play field hockey for Virginia Commonwealth University. Zabicki, a first-team All-Conference selection last year, is joined by fellow first-team All-Conference pick Keller. The one-two punch of Zabicki and Keller at the forward position will pose one of the biggest attacking threats in the district. Also returning for the Falcons are Ray and Jacoby, both of whom can provide stability in the midfield. Janus said this year’s York team is extremely talented and she is excited about the prospects of her younger players getting to learn from her veterans. The Falcons should be in a position to make a postseason run this year.

Group 2A

Head Coach: Lisa Marston
2015 Classification: 2A Conference 33
2014 Record: 17-3
Players to Watch: Tori McCurdy (senior), Brianna Smith (senior), Caitlyn Shafer (senior), Maysen Elliott (sophomore)

Season Outlook: Despite a new head coach, Bruton should still be poised to be one of the best teams in the Bay Rivers District. The Panthers return four first-team All-Conference players in McCurdy, Smith, Shafer and Elliott. With a talented group of defenders and goalkeeper, Bruton will be one of the better defensive teams in the district. Marston said she will have to readjust her front line after losing three first-team All-Conference forwards from last year, Kayla Copeman, DaSha Hill and Shaylea Burket. The Panthers return McCurdy as the lone starting midfielder from last year and are looking to replace Summer Zacharias and Hannah Pauler, a pair of first-team All-Conference midfielders. The Panthers appear poised for a postseason run if they can overcome their roster turnover.