Erin: Let’s start by you introducing yourself…name, age, grade, where you go to school, any other fact you want to throw outthere.
JoJo: Hi! I’m JoJo Young. I’m 17 and a senior at The Potomac School and I play midfield.
Erin: Great! How long have you been playing with Southeast Storm?
JoJo: I began playing with Storm during indoor season my freshman year, so I guess it’s been close to four years.
Erin: What is your favorite thing about the organization? What has made you stick with it for so long?
JoJo: I really enjoy getting to know other girls in my area that share the same passion for field hockey that I do. It’s been really fun over the last few years to play against my teammates in high school games. A lot of the girls on my current club team are the same one’s I played with in my first season with Storm so it’s been great to see us all develop and improve into a highly competitive team.
Erin: Aww good answer. What is your best Storm moment/memory?
JoJo: Probably last winter at the Spark Friend of the Fallen Tournament. We had a really good tournament that day and everybody was working together nicely. We ended up winning the tournament after a few intense games. The best part was the t-shirts we got, they have an American flag on the front made from field hockey sticks. They’re pretty sweet.
Erin: Oh yea that was awesome! I really wanted that t-shirt. I think I tried to get you to give me yours right?
JoJo: Yeah, but there was no way. I take huge pride in that shirt.
Erin: Fine, I guess you earned it. Have you participated in any other Beyond Sticks programs?
JoJo: Yeah, I did the summer camp twice. It was a really unique camp because there was a classroom portion that taught us how to use the skills we learned on the field into different situations, which was pretty beneficial going into high school.
Erin: I’m glad you think so because that part is so important to us. That also leads me right into my next question which is…outside of field hockey, what is the most important thing you’ve learned from Beyond Sticks/Southeast Storm?
JoJo: Learning that there are certain things I can and can’t control is definitely a big thing I learned. Coaches always tell us as players we can’t control the refs or the weather, but those same things apply to all aspects of our life. It just helped me realize to focus on what I can do and accomplish instead of stressing about the things where I couldn’t do anything.
Erin: Yes! And that’s a tough lesson to learn. I feel like I still have to remind myself of that all of the time. Let’s talk field hockey. You play midfield. What do you like most about that position?
JoJo: I love that I get to do a little of everything. I know all positions play offense and defense, but a midfielder can score and can have a defensive save, which is a nice combination of both. I also just take pride in playing midfield because it’s a pretty difficult position, we do tons of running and transitioning the ball can be difficult but at the end of the game, when I’m completely exhausted it feels great because I know I left it all on the field.
Erin: What do you like the least about playing midfield?
JoJo: I’d probably have to say that we’re kind of expected to be everywhere at the same time. We have to support our forwards offensively but at the same time if we turn over the ball and the other team has a breakaway we’re expected to be right there on defense. When people don’t understand that we actually are working really hard to get back it can be frustrating. We also don’t score as much as say a forward does so our stats don’t look as good; we generally assist more and let our teammates have the glory.
Erin: Definitely. That is the life of a midfielder. Number 1 reason why you love field hockey?
JoJo: It gives me a place to forget about everything else that’s happening in my life for a little bit. When I’m on the field nothing else matters except the game and the girls wearing the same jersey I am.
Erin: So true. You did great. Last question. What is one piece of advice you would give younger players?
JoJo: Really appreciate every chance you get to be on the field with your team. As a senior, it’s becoming more and more real that my time on this team is coming to and end, and that’s really sad! So just remember that every practice and every game is special.