Matadors of the week: Amelia Strom and Sarah Im

Senior Amelia Strom attempts to steal the ball from a Homestead High School opponent, while senior Sarah Im gets into a good position to assist her. The field hockey team defeated Homestead 5-0 in their senior game on Nov. 7. Photo by Mihir Joshi.

Senior Amelia Strom attempts to steal the ball from a Homestead High School opponent, while senior Sarah Im gets into a good position to assist her. The field hockey team defeated Homestead 5-0 in their senior game on Nov. 7. Photo by Mihir Joshi.

Ashmita Chakraborty

Seniors Amelia Strom and Sarah Im discuss their journeys on the field hockey team.

Seniors Amelia Strom and Sarah Im have played on MVHS’ field hockey team since their freshman year. Now captain, Strom uses her experience in soccer to gain an edge on the field, while Im is able to condition herself for basketball season by playing field hockey. The team ended their season on Nov. 16 with an 8-0 loss against Gilroy in the CCS quarterfinals. In an interview with El Estoque, Strom and Im discuss their journey on and off the field.

Senior Amelia Strom attempts to steal the ball from a Homestead High School opponent, while senior Sarah Im gets into a good position to assist her. The field hockey team defeated Homestead 5-0 in their senior game on Nov. 7. Photo by Mihir Joshi.

El Estoque: When did you start field hockey and since when have the two of you been teammates?
Senior Sarah Im: We started playing our freshman year at the summer practices that MVHS and Homestead hold each year before tryouts and we got introduced to the sport together. It’s where a lot of people learn the sport before tryouts happen.

EE: Why did you decide to play field hockey?
Senior Amelia Strom: Some of my family friends actually told me about field hockey, so I decided to try it out, and after going to the summer practices, I saw that I enjoyed learning the sport. I also loved the people I was playing with, so I decided to stick with [field hockey].

EE: How do you condition in time for the field hockey season?
AS: I usually run during the summer, before season starts, but I also play soccer in the winter.
SI: I regularly go to summer practices, where we do scrimmages, drills and footwork. I also have the basketball summer league, since I’m on the basketball team. Actually, field hockey gets me conditioned in time for basketball season.

EE: How has playing soccer prepared you for field hockey?
AS: I started playing soccer in second grade, so playing field hockey became somewhat intuitive. The positionings are basically the same, so I always knew where to be on the field because of my experience with soccer.

EE: During field construction at MVHS, all field sports had to practice at Fremont High School and switched back to MVHS post-construction. How has your experience switching between MVHS’ playing field and that of Fremont High School?
AS: We in particular had to be very flexible the four years we were on the team, because we started playing on a grass field as freshmen, then had to change to FHS’ [turf] field We had to go to FHS every day for practice during MVHS’ field renovation.
SI: It was stressful, because we had to get there on time despite it being a different school altogether, and between going there and coming back, we lost a lost of practice time.

EE: Has returning to MVHS changed the team’s performance in any way?
AS: Definitely. Coming back to MVHS gave us more time to run and practice, so it did improve our performance.
SI: You could just tell when the team was playing that we were all much more conditioned.

EE: Any memorable moments from the past four years?
AS: Sarah’s winning shot in the senior game last year was definitely a memorable one. It was awesome!
SI: We were playing Prospect, and the score was tied when the clock ran down, but the game doesn’t actually end if you’re in the circle, which I was, and I made it in.

Photo by Ashmita Chakraborty.

Photo by Ashmita Chakraborty.

EE: Amelia, what’s it been like being captain? How has your role on the team changed?
AS: Being captain is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. I have to pay a lot of attention to the team environment and make sure that people aren’t having a hard time, and if they are, to address that and help them out. I have to take on responsibilities like communicating with the entire team and I have to be the link between the team and the coaches, which makes team captain a pretty integral role. Since I’ve been a team captain since my sophomore year, of JV in my sophomore year and of varsity in my junior and senior years, I haven’t felt too drastic of a change.

EE: What advice would you give to future players on the field hockey team?
AS: Definitely go to the summer practices for drills and conditioning, but also remember to have a lot of fun playing the sport.
SI: [Between school and field hockey] it can get really hard, but once you’ve committed yourself to the sport, just give it all you have. Also try to bond with your teammates and enjoy the team environment.

EE: Speaking of the team environment, how does the team bond?
AS: Of course, we spend hours on the field together, but apart from that, we have a tradition of decorating the seniors’ lockers, which is a really fun way to bond. This year, it was special for us since we’re the seniors now. We also do secret sisters [a gift exchange the team does], usually about four times each season.
SI: A great way to bond with the team is during our Jamba Juice runs, where we run to Jamba Juice as a team and then hang out and chat there. We also do trust exercises with each other.

EE: What has it been like knowing that this was your last season on the team?
AS: It’s been so weird, because the whole season, I found myself thinking things like “Oh, next year, we should do this, or change that,” but then it would hit me that there’s no “next year” on this team.
SI: It’s just … kind of surreal.