DELMAR, Del. (BVM) — Delmar field hockey head coach Jodi Holloman knows success. Her teams have won four straight state Division II Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association championships. The Wildcats are also riding a 62-game winning streak and haven’t lost since 2016.
With a 6-3 victory over Indian River on Nov. 16 at Sussex Academy, the Wildcats’ seniors completed the impressive feat of going four for four, winning a state championship in all of their seasons at the school.
“I think it just shows the tradition our school has as far as field hockey goes and the dedication of our kids,” Holloman said. “The time and effort that they put into playing the game almost year round, coming into preseason and being in top shape and then working on their game, it just shows I have great kids who are dedicated and want to win. It’s a tribute to that for sure.”
The senior class was also an impressive one with two of its members, midfielder Morgan Fletcher and attacker Morgan Walls, being named first team all-state by the Delaware Field Hockey Coaches Association. The senior class included seven players: Fletcher, Walls, midfielder Mya Kemp, midfielder Taryn Houlihan, defender Ashlyn Cave, defender Gladis VanGessel-Everts and goalkeeper Natalie O’Leary.
Holloman said the accomplishment of four state championship victories for the seniors hasn’t quite hit them yet, but she thinks it will be something they can look back on with pride.
“I think as they get older and they really are able to reflect on the fact that they won four state titles when there’s people out there who dream of winning just one (they will),” Holloman said. “They’re always excited, always grateful, humble, all the words that describe them. There’s so many words to describe them. … I’m excited for them. I’m happy for them knowing they will always have those memories as they grow older.”
Although the Wildcats will lose some significant contributors to their recent string of success, they are not expected to slow down next season.
Holloman, the 2017 Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Coach of the Year, will have numerous weapons returning to her team including her daughter Josie, the DFHCA Division II Player of the Year, who will be a sophomore next season. Alongside Josie will be the returning first team all-state tandem of rising senior Morgan Bradford and sophomore Maci Bradford, who are also Holloman’s nieces. For Holloman, although it is great to have family with her on the journey and to watch their success, it is about finding a balance between coach and mother.
“She’s not treated any differently than anyone else,” Holloman said of coaching Josie. “In fact, I’m probably harder on her than anyone else. It’s an awesome experience being able to enjoy being able to do this everyday with my daughter. … I’m proud of her as a player, but kind of like me she’s more about the team winning and the extra individual awards are just extra.”
Josie and Maci will also bring some additional experience to the field next season as both were selected to the Team USA U-16 women’s field hockey national team, something that Holloman feels will be even more beneficial to the team even though their workouts have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For any kid to be selected to play at the next level and be a part of the U.S. team is a huge accomplishment,” Holloman said. “They’re able to train at the next level and train with other kids that are elite athletes and they can take what they learn and bring back to
As far as the streak goes, Holloman is a bit superstitious. The team doesn’t talk much about it and Holloman’s coaching mindset has nothing to do with streaks.
“I don’t even think I can tell you how many games it is,” Holloman said. “I know it’s been a while. If you’re worried about streaks when you’re coaching then that’s not good to me as a coach. We go out each game like everyone wants to beat us, which we know is the case, and we know streaks are made to be broken and one game doesn’t define you.”
Holloman’s goal for the team though is still winning. Each season, the goal is to win the state title. For Holloman, that should always be the team’s mindset.
“As a coach, you shouldn’t have lower expectations than that,” Holloman said. “You should go out there like you’re going to win every game and you should approach every game like you can win the game.”
With four straight state titles and a win streak that has dwarfed many others, Delmar will look to push its winning tradition onto the newest class of Wildcats. With luck, these freshmen will also be able to win the coveted four for four down the road.