At the end of last week, Aurora Gerry received a message from a rival.
Jerry, a Parkland High junior field hockey midfielder, has verbally committed to play for the University of Michigan after graduating from high school in 2024.
Word of it spread quickly. She soon received a congratulatory note from Emmaus senior Abby Burnett, who transferred to the Wolverines last year. Emmaus and Parkland are scheduled to play their final regular-season game on Oct. 13, with rematches possible in the Eastern Pennsylvania and District 11, Class 3A tournaments.
“(Burnett) did send me a text that said, ‘Congratulations,'” Jerry said. “It was very nice of her. We might try to say hi after the game or something now that we go to the same school.”
Aside from her father being a Michigan fan, Jerry said she has no family ties to Maze and Blue. She visited Iowa and Louisville last summer before falling in love with Michigan, where she plans to begin pursuing her dream of being a teacher and possibly a coach.
She caught the attention of the Michigan coaching staff through her club team X-Calibur of Pottstown. Coaches saw her play at the indoor nationals at Spooky Nook in Lancaster and at the U-19 nationals in Richmond, Virginia.
“I’ve always wanted to play in college,” she said. “In high school I joined (X-Calibur) and started taking it seriously. Once I started window shopping and stuff, I wanted to go to D-1.”
“She (Gary) is a fast player,” Parkland coach Julie Bishi said. “The one thing I appreciate about her is that when she makes a mistake, she always stays in the game. She doesn’t give up the ball, ever. She is ready to play in any position. She is very versatile.”
Parkland, which made the PIAA Class 3A tournament last year, went 7-0 during the past week, with a 2-1 win over previously undefeated Nazareth the highlight. The Trojans suffered their first loss on Monday against Pocono Mountain West.
“It’s going really well,” said Gerry, who plays from the fly in the corners in defense and inserts in the corners in attack. “This year we have a stronger team bond. We’re really incorporating these young players into our style of play and getting everyone on the same page. We improved the execution in the circle.’
Junior forward Elaine Fragasi, another D-1 team prospect, has teamed with Gerry to make the Trojans a force on offense. Senior middle Lily Kivelas, sophomore defender Jordan Brunabend, senior forward Lanny Walker and goalie Hope Paterick were key players in a season that saw Bisha replace several senior starters from last year.
“What’s working for us this year is our teamwork,” Bishi said. “We definitely work very well together. Last year we had a lot of very good players who didn’t necessarily play as a team. They pass the ball very well this year and communicate very well on the field. They’re also very shallow in the circle, so that’s helpful. They always get the second and third strikes.”
When Scott Horton and his wife, Kim, ran the program at Wilson seven years ago, the Warriors struggled in two areas: recruiting enough players and simply winning the game.
However, over time, everything gradually improved. The goal has always been to improve each season, and Wilson has competed in the league and district tournaments and even made a qualifying game for the PIAA Class A tournament last year.
Last Friday morning, the Warriors woke up to some exciting news on the District 11 site. Their 9-0 record was good enough to earn them the top seed in District 11 Class A after a 32-point win over defending District 11 champion Palmerton.
Bowdoin College’s Melissa Shank had a great week, scoring twice in a 2-0 win over Moravian Academy and three times against Palmerton. Wilson is scheduled to host defending Colonial League champion Southern Lehigh on Thursday.
“The team’s expectations are getting higher every year,” Scott Horton said. “Now we’re getting more people with more experience. We have higher expectations.”
Thanks to a strong freshman class, Horton has more than 20 for the first time. In addition to Shank, Makenna Sandt, Briana’s twin sisters, who are back from injury, and Jaylene Reisner,
Sophia Bandy and Zoe Elman also added to the team’s success.
“The team lies together and works together,” Horton said. – They are ready to help each other.”
Emmaus’ Rachel Herbin joined a rare club last Thursday when she had 100 career goals and 100 assists in a win over East Stroudsburg South. She is the 12th notable player in American field hockey history to achieve these numbers.
Herbin is also the third Emmaus player to do so, following Meredith Shoulder … and the second in her family after older sister Annika Herbin, who graduated two years ago. Rachel is scheduled to rejoin her sister at Iowa State University next season.
Nazareth – Junior left center Cameron Alvino, junior right center Morgan Herzeg (3 goals, 2 assists), senior center center Gianna Tripodi (5 g, 5 a), attack center Zoe Emrick (14 g, 3 a, including 7 on this week).
Palisades – Sr. Juliana Kellenbach (2 goals), Sr. Dalia Greenburgh (1 g, 1 a).
Palmerton – Jr. Sydney Frantz (7 goals, 11 assists).
Parkland — Sr. center Lily Kivelas (1 goal, 2 assists), junior right inside center Elaine Fragasi (4g, 3a), junior left inside center Aurora Gerry Left inside (4g, 2a), soph. Bryn Harrison.
Pen Argyl – Grace Weaver (3rd).
Whitehall – Sophomore right mid Mattysin Derkach (4 goals, 1 assist), sophomore center Lydia Keppel (3 assists, responsible for holding midfield), left midfield Aubrey Steiner.
Wednesday – Nazareth in Emmaus, Easton in Northampton.
Thursday – Southern Lehigh at Wilson, Parkland at Easton.
Friday – Bangor in Southern Lehigh, Northwestern in Nazareth.
saturday – Palmerton at the Moravian Academy.
Monday – Moravian Academy in Saucon Valley.
1. Emmaus 10-0
2. Easton 7-1
3. Park 7-1
4. Nazareth 7-1
5. Wilson 9-0
6. Southern Lehigh 6-1-1
7. Upper Perkiomen 7-2
8. Stroudsburg 6-3
9. Moravian Academy 5-1
10. Northampton 8-4
First four out: Northwestern Lehigh 4-3-1, Pocono Mountain East 4-4, Palmerton 5-4, Whitehall 5-4.
IST PENN CONFERENCE
Emmaus 9-0, Parkland 7-1, Nazareth 6-1, Easton 6-1, Northampton 6-3, Stroudsburg 5-2, Pocono Mountain East 4-3, Whitehall 4-3, Liberty 2-4, Pleasant Valley 2 -5, East Stroudsburg South 2-7, Freedom 2-7, Allen 1-5, Bethlehem Catholic 0-6, Pocono Mountain West 0-7.
THE COLONIAL LEAGUE
East – Wilson 6-0, Moravian Academy 5-1, Bangor 4-2-1, Penn Argyl 1-6.
South — Southern Lehigh 6-0, Salisbury 4-3-1, Saucon Valley 2-3, Palisades 1-4-2.
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West – Palmerton 4-3, Northwestern 3-3, Catasauqua 1-6, Northern Lehigh 0-7.
Colonial—Souderton 7-0, CB West 5-1, North Penn 4-3, CB East 3-3, CB South 2-4-1, Pennridge 2-4-1.
Liberty – Wissahickon 7-0, Quakertown 4-2-1, Abington 4-3, Plymouth Whitemarsh 4-3, Upper Dublin 3-3-1, Hatborough Horsham 0-7.
Division IV – Wyomissing 3-1, Brandywine Heights 2-1, Hamburg 1-2, Tulpehocken 0-3, Kutztown 0-3.
Tim Shoemaker is a freelancer for The Morning Call.