Field hockey team honored at county awards night

Sam Desmond
Posted 1/26/23

The Bayport-Blue Point girls varsity field hockey team dominated the Suffolk County Field Hockey Awards, taking home three All State and three All County honors.

“A Division II school …

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Field hockey team honored at county awards night

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The Bayport-Blue Point girls varsity field hockey team dominated the Suffolk County Field Hockey Awards, taking home three All State and three All County honors.

“A Division II school taking home three All State awards is unheard of,” said assistant coach Katie Burbige. “This award is for the elite-of-the-elite athletes who never have a bad day—the highest-achieving players.”

Seniors Caroline Lewkowicz (goalie), Kate McKillop (defender), and Maggie Kennedy (defender) were the three All State winners and the “leaders” of the team, according to Burbige.

“These three are a huge part of the team. They really are responsible for telling their teammates what they need to do and holding everyone together,” said Burbige.

The field hockey season, which is in the fall, running from the end of August through early November, ended with a near-perfect record for the varsity team, allowing only one loss.

“They were amazing this season,” said Burbige.

With practice sessions lasting two to four hours, six days a week, the team employs a “positivity only” approach.

“They know there’s no ‘I can’t’—maybe it’s ‘I’m unable to right now, but I’m trying,’” said Burbige.

This season’s practices were focused on ball handling, with most time devoted to positioning.

“We had a very athletic team this year; most players are two or three varsity-sport athletes, but field hockey is a very technical game,” said Burbige.

The attention to detail and the honing of stick skills paid off, with the BBP team as the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs for the 2022 season.

Field hockey is typically not played until the seventh grade, but many of this year’s players had started in fourth grade with a summer clinic hosted annually at the BBP High School.

“It’s great that the girls are friends and a team, on and off the field,” said Burbige of the closeness of the players, who are often together in social endeavors as well as athletic ones.

McKillop, in particular, who joined the varsity team in her freshman year at BBP, is cited as a leader of the team and was Suffolk County’s Defender of the Year. As Burbige said, “She is a driving force.”

Underclassmen Kendall Woolley, Emma Shanahan, and Julia Fusco (all forwards), won All County awards.

“Emma was an integral part to our offense,” said Burbige.

As three key players graduate this year, Burbige is confident in the team doing well next year, as they would be retaining many “core” players with the 18-player roster.