Napanee’s Caroline Griffin will be taking her field hockey talents stateside next year, committing to North Carolina’s Belmont Abbey College.
The soon to be NDSS graduate played the last two seasons for the Golden Hawks following three years at Albert College. Outside of school she had played field hockey for the Toronto based GOA Reds, while twice she was selected to represent Ontario East at the national level. Her achievements caught the eye of a few U.S. college scouts.
“I had a few options,” Griffin said of her decision to sign with Belmont Abbey. “Overall the coaches (at Belmont Abbey) and everyone there was so friendly. As soon as I walked on campus they were welcoming me and I just felt this would be my home for the next four years.”
Known as the Crusaders, Belmont Abbey’s field hockey team plays at the NCAA Division II level. Last year was the fifth season for the field hockey program, where they went 6-6 in their own division, 7-12 overall.
“Every season they’ve done a little better and better,” said Griffin. “Their coach is hoping from here on they’ll be making the Final Four which is exciting. I’m happy I’ll be coming in and hopefully making a difference.”
She’s expected to play midfield, a position she’s played throughout her high school career.
Along with helping her new team, she hopes to help grow the sport she loves in her hometown as well. She hopes her story will encourage other young athletes to take up field hockey.
“Yes there was no field hockey around here (at the club level) but I’ve been committed and I think that it’s going to show other girls you can do it,” said Griffin. “Our high school team did really well so I think from here on it will grow the sport. When I come home, I want to make field hockey a bigger sport in Napanee.”
She credits her parents for helping her reach her goal of signing with a U.S. program, as they drove her to Toronto on a weekly basis to practice with her club team. She hopes to take the lessons learned with her new school and pass them along to young athletes in Napanee and establish a more local base for field hockey.