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Errington to coach Cougar field hockey
DIXFIELD -- Those who step forward to take on the task are quite aware of the sacrifice and time requirements. However, Gretchen Errington is fully prepared to accept the responsibilities that transpire as varsity coach of the Dirigo High School field hockey team.
Errington is certainly no stranger to the Dirigo program because she started out wearing the blue and white as a
student-athlete in the early 1990's. This is actually her return to Dirigo coaching.
“Yes, I began in Jay as assistant coach to Jane DiPompo,” said Errington. “Then I came to DHS for three years, but gave it up when I had my daughter, did some coaching two years, two years at Dirigo Middle School and now I am getting back into it at the high school level.”
A combination of events influenced her to return, first and foremost is a love for the sport. A grand opportunity surfaced when Erin Leathers decided to step down, after having coached the team the past few years. This prompted several people to ask Errington if she’d consider coaching.
“I was really against coaching my kid, but finally decided to give it a try,” said Errington, regarding her oldest daughter, Brittany LaPointe, who will be a sophomore. “I talked with some of the older girls and asked them if they thought it would be a problem. They assured me that they didn’t think it would be a problem. They actually said, 'Errington is are harder on Brittany then any of us.'"
The veterans include Dani Ranger, Alyssa Charity, Megan Jordan, Sam Blanchette, Kate Bonney, Brooke Holmquist and Raylee Litalien.
Errington doesn’t anticipate changes because coaching philosophies that she has developed throughout the years can be utilized effectively still.
“Practice hard and play hard in the game,” said Errington, who teaches the Life skills program at Dirigo Elementary. “At the varsity level, the girls that show up to practice and work hard to develop their skills will play in the game.”
Errington and assistant coach Sarah Johnson recently finished a summer camp for both middle school and high school girls. The creation of the feeder system at the middle school is providing the younger players with an opportunity to grasp the fundamentals and is benefiting the high school team.
“We had the players come Monday-Friday (separate sessions),” said Errington. “We worked on the basics, did some scrimmaging and just had fun. Our goal was to get the girls excited about playing in the fall.”
The high schoolers have played every Tuesday throughout July at Livermore Falls.