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Enjoying another year at the Elite Field Hockey Camp – Boston Herald


WALTHAM — There’s still a month to go before field hockey teams get into preseason practices, but some of the MIAA’s best squads from last fall are already turning into gear amongst one another this summer.

As part of yet another massive showing at the Elite Field Hockey Camp at Bentley University, six full varsity teams and a variety of players from across the state are participating this week in the second session of the overnight camp’s bonanza of skill development, team-building and competitive games in a collegiate environment. Watertown, Acton-Boxboro, Danvers, Natick, Dover-Sherborn, Stoneham, Melrose, Hopkinton, Durfee and Belmont are several of the programs with heavy involvement this week, boasting some of the approximately 250 student-athletes to utilize the chance to get extra time on the field together before the season starts.

“What’s exciting this session specifically, we have a lot of MIAA recent playoff (contenders),” said camp director Meg Bozek. “They have the majority of their varsity squads and JV squads, so to be able to play a month before preseason and add all of the competition together in an environment where it’s both fun and competitive is really advantageous for these teams. … Right combination of high-level coaches that provide not only the hockey but the fun side of team bonding.”

Tuesday marked the third day of the four-day camp week, where individual players or teams get the chance to work out together on the university’s fields, get instruction from a variety of experienced coaches and current collegiate athletes, and then put it all to a test at night in a round-robin tournament. Most of the around 800 student-athletes that participate over the camp’s three weeks opt to stay overnight in the dorms, also giving them a further chance to bond.

(072522 Waltham, MA): Natick players lie and wait to jump into a drill during Elite Field Hockey Camp at Bentley University on Monday,July 25, 2022 in Waltham, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
(072522 Waltham, MA): Natick players lie and wait to jump into a drill during Elite Field Hockey Camp at Bentley University on Monday,July 25, 2022 in Waltham, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

This week’s turnout features some of the best programs from last year, and some squads like Danvers even send the junior varsity players. Reigning Div. 1 champion Andover is expected to send quite a few players next week, too.

The impact of the camp, which has been around for over 30 years, not only extends into the upcoming season, but leaves a lasting impression. Perennial playoff contender Natick always sends a team, and this year some alumni from their 2019 senior season are back to help coach.

They’re set on trying to spread the benefits they received from the camp back in their high school days.

“Each year (we did it),” Carolyn Greenland said alongside former teammates Brooklyn Lamb and Erin Quirk, all of whom play collegiately. “It was awesome, I learned so much, honestly. … I think it was really good to learn skills and stuff, and be with the team. It was great for team bonding.”

Quirk added: “A lot of other camps are individual based, so you go by yourself or with some friends. This one, when you go with your whole team and you can play with your whole team, it’s really good to get used to playing with each other. Team bonding is really awesome.”

If a program sends a full team, that team doesn’t train amongst others during the two sessions three of the four days hold. They only play against each other in games at night.

But for as great as the training is before the season starts, much of the emphasis is on the experience of the camp. Certain awards are handed out throughout, including a spirit award  in which teams can get creative with their attire to show off their unity. Some dress in Hawaiian shirts, other had bathing suits over their clothes.

“The goal of this camp is to make it a fun team experience with the combination of field hockey skills,” Bozek said. “They do team bonding in the evening, but also being coached by Div. 1, 2 and 3 coaches is really cool.”


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