Ribbon minimize on Smith Academy’s Judy Sturdy Discipline

HATFIELD — The Smith Academy subject hockey group will now be enjoying its house video games at Judy Sturdy Discipline. 

Sturdy has a storied subject hockey profession, starting at Smith Academy earlier than transferring on to play at UMass, the place she shined. She later performed for Workforce USA and received a bronze medal on the 1984 Olympics and coached at Western New England and Smith Faculty. She’s now in her first yr as varsity coach again at her alma mater.

On Sunday, Smith Academy formally named its subject hockey subject — which was constructed two years in the past — Judy Sturdy Discipline, with a ribbon slicing ceremony adopted by an alumni recreation between present and former Falcons. 

“I’m not one to love consideration or awards since you’re not in it for that, you do it for the sport,” Sturdy stated. “I’m a little bit overwhelmed with what they did to call this subject in my honor.”

That is the primary yr Smith Academy is internet hosting subject hockey video games on its new subject and although not it’s not turf, the sector does have low minimize grass that’s simple to play on. That’s definitely a stark distinction from the fields Sturdy performed on throughout her time with the Falcons.

“The fields we performed on weren’t spectacular and we nonetheless obtained the job executed,” Sturdy stated. “Seventh grade, you’re simply studying to play the game and it’s a really distinctive sport. It’s one sport you may’t pickup until you play it. It’s simply completely different. To return full circle for all I’ve executed within the sport all through my profession then to finish up the place I began, it’s fairly particular.”

For Smith Academy athletic director Allison Slysz — who performed subject hockey for the Falcons — attending to play on the sector within the alumni recreation Sunday was about pretty much as good because it will get. 

“It was my dream to be on the sector enjoying on the identical group as folks like Judy Sturdy and Lynne-Ann Kokoski,” Slysz stated. “They’re legends at Smith Academy. For me to have the ability to be on the identical subject as them is tremendous thrilling.”

Many turned out for Sunday’s ceremony, with former gamers, present gamers and people who helped construct the sector talking concerning the impression Sturdy has had on them. 

Karlie Guimond, who graduated from Smith Academy in 2020, helped spearhead the trouble to get the brand new subject named after Sturdy. Guimond, who’s now a sophomore enjoying on the sector hockey group at Smith Faculty, stated she was happy to see it come to fruition.

“I’ve been working with Judy since 2018 and he or she’s made an enormous distinction for me as a participant,” Guimond stated. “I simply wished to see this undergo for her and see this subject named after her as a result of she deserves it. We began doing Zoom conferences in the beginning of COVID and it’s been assembly about how we’re going to make this occur. This subject appears nice and Judy appears so completely happy so I’m tremendous completely happy.”

Guimond, like many related to the present Falcon group, began enjoying with Sturdy when she began a youth subject hockey program in Hatfield. 

With the gamers she began working with now enjoying for her on the varsity degree and past, she stated she’s been in a position to see the progress made and is proud to nonetheless have an effect on the native subject hockey group. 

“I really like that it took a working begin proper off the bat,” Sturdy stated. “The youth program, we weren’t certain what we’d get for a turnout in 2018 and we had 30 youngsters check out. All I need them to do is be uncovered to the game. What they select to do, in the event that they play different sports activities, it’s tremendous. It was actually cool to see. To return now just a few years later and have them compete and get some video games in, they’re hooked. I’m hoping it would maintain the way forward for subject hockey going.”

Sturdy stated she’s proud to get the possibility to return again and coach on the faculty the place all of it started.

“That’s what Hatfield is all about,” Sturdy stated. “We’re a small city however each time there’s an athletic occasion or a parade, everybody rallies and it’s spectacular to be part of this small city assist.”