Alumni Athlete: Abbey Playle

When did you first join the field hockey team, and what inspired you to join?

I first joined field hockey when I was in 8th grade, back in 2015. I used to play roller hockey in elementary school and in middle school but I wanted to try something similar, but still new! 

What position did you play at Leigh, and what are your responsibilities during games regarding your possition?

I played midfield for two years and then my last two years I played forward. Midfield is such an important role on the field because you’re both offense and defense; you hold the structure together and are depended upon on both ends of the field. Forwards, in a similar sense, are the first line of defense and the most important line of offense. Our main priority is obviously to score, but we are also set to support on defense. 

When reflecting on your time with Leigh Athletics, what do you consider to be some of your fondest memories?

Now that I look back on high school and playing field hockey at Leigh, I miss so many different aspects. I think the team culture is one piece that I really miss; the team dinners and just the overall bond with my teammates of all ages was something really special and irreplaceable. I miss our Leigh uniforms and the coaching staff as well! I think the games and the well-fought wins against the private schools and rival schools are some of my fondest memories. 

What do you consider to be your greatest Field Hockey accomplishment?

I think that my greatest field hockey accomplishment is being able to take it to the collegiate level and continue my athletic path alongside the academics. Also, receiving the award Offensive MVP and First Team All-Conference were huge awards that I was so blessed to receive. But overall, having an undefeated senior season will forever be something I cherish. 

What does it take to balance academic and athletic life, in high school, and in college?

It takes a lot of organization and responsibility to balance academics and Athletics in college. It’s a lot different to high school but the weight of both are heavier. We have a lot more commitments in college with our team as well as keeping our GPA at a high standard. I think what makes me successful when balancing everything is really scheduling myself strictly day-to-day on what time I allow myself for academics versus relaxing. 

I saw that you continued to play field hockey with your college team. What has this experience been like, and how did your time on the Leigh team help you prepare for this?

I absolutely love playing field hockey in college; it would have been a huge mistake not to continue. I could have never left it behind. College field hockey is a huge step up from high school but I learned a lot of valuable skills in high school field hockey whether it be on the field or off the field. I was a captain my senior year so that prepared me for a lot of the organizational and leadership portions required at the next level. Also, amazing coaches and teammates really pushed me in high school and held me at a high standard so that I was continuously improving and motivated to continue. Leigh field hockey made an overall impact due to inspiring and fostering my love for the sport by keeping it fun, while intense and competitive. 

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