Julene Valmaña: Field Hockey?


Julene Valmaña

Julene Valmaña (left, front row) poses with her field hockey team, Florida United.

Annie Farrell, Staff Writer

Sophomore Julene Valmaña first discovered her passion for field hockey at the age of eight years old. That’s right – field hockey. Though peculiar to most in South Florida, Valmaña learned of this uncommon sport through her best friend and immediately jumped on the opportunity to join the game.

Valmaña now plays on the Doral Field Hockey team and also competes on Florida’s competitive team, Florida United. These teams are two of the four total field hockey teams existing in Florida. Field hockey is a more prominent sport in the Upper East Coast; many schools offer it as a competitive sport and college scouts even attend games. If field hockey ever became as popular in our area, it’s possible that we all could experience the same observable exuberance Valmaña feels on the field.

“It feels amazing when you’re on the field with the ball dribbling by people and you score a goal … also, when the other team is about to score a goal and you stop the person from scoring, you feel really powerful and strong. Everyone is cheering for you,” Valmaña said.

The ability to perform so skillfully is not acquired effortlessly. Valmaña and her teammates practice vigorously from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays in order to remain at the top of their game.

Despite the intense practices, field hockey does not keep a Valmaña’s nose to the grindstone. Her favorite part about playing field hockey is all the team friendships and bonds she has made over the years.

“[Field] hockey gave me the opportunity to meet the closest group of friends that I have, and it let me get to meet girls my age from all over the United States,” Valmaña said.

As an IB sophomore, Valmaña also has a fast paced life off the field. The sometimes tipped scale between field hockey and homework is surely stressful, but somehow she finds the will to power through and still be able to participate in Gables’s yearbook, the Cavaleon, as a staff writer.

Valmaña exemplifies an enthusiastic person that is more than willing to put hard work in and think outside of the box. Clear the field – we are bound to hear more about her soon!