Blue Lions Players and Families:
Please take a few minutes to read the following.
Throughout the past 12 years, we have experienced many changes. Our club started out with 15 players that wanted to go to the National Field Hockey Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. We then expanded to incorporate other events under the tutelage of Stuart Smith. When Stu became the assistant coach/goalie coach at Penn State, the club needed a new leader.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to increase my involvement from a “helper” to Director and Coach for the club. During this time, we expanded into the Indoor Field Hockey arena, expanded our age groups from high school age down to u-12 (and even a few u-10) players and opened our hearts and practices to players from all over the Central Pennsylvania area. We grew from a State College Area High School club to add members from Mifflin County, Selinsgrove, Muncy, Lewisburg, Shikellamy, Bloomsburg, Mifflinburg, Line Mountain, Belleville and more.
We both welcomed and said farewell to various coaches. Some went on to become High School Coaches and even College Coaches. We helped many players get a chance to pursue their dream of playing in college, while also catering to the player that just wanted to get better and play a great sport. We watched players succeed, fail, struggle and persevere, but hopefully we did it with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts.
It is time for Blue Lions FHC to undergo another change. As each change has brought about improvements for our players and their families, this too shall be beneficial. I have decided to retire from active involvement with the club, effective immediately. I have been thinking about this for some time and am extremely excited that Rachel Reed Smith and Evan Smith have agreed to lead the Blue Lions FHC into its next phase. They have been involved with Blue Lions for years, embrace our philosophies and culture, and see the vision for the club and its future. I will remain involved as a member of the Club Board of Directors, but will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the club.
I was a passionate fan and coach (sometimes a little too passionate). I have always prided myself that I gave 100% of myself to each player, as I always believed that you and your families deserved my best effort. I don’t feel that I am capable of providing that any longer. I have felt very blessed to have the opportunity to get to know each of you and your families. I have said that my family has expanded from 2 daughters to hundreds of daughters. For those players that I have coached in the past, I hope to continue to watch you play and succeed. I hope that should we cross paths in the future, you will remember our time together fondly.
I have the utmost confidence in both Rachel and Evan to provide even better opportunities for each of you. They are committed to growing the club, providing great service, and caring about each player. I sincerely wish them success and ask each of you to support them in any way that you can.
Yours in Hockey;
Coletta Beeler - Central Michigan
Rebecca Bonness - American University
Olivia Cimino - Albright College
Kathryn Einodshofer - Marywood University
Bayla Furmanek - Babson College
Lydia Hidlay - Susquehanna University
Kerstin Koons - Millersville University
Johannah Lee - Hofstra University
Cassie Slusser - Marywood University
Hello Blue Lions Families,
We hope you are enjoying a safe and healthy summer. We know you may be off to a busy start but if you could give us a few minutes of your time to read through this email and fill out the survey below we would greatly appreciate it.
As you now know, as of May 2022 Sean Meily has stepped down as owner and director of Blue Lions so we wanted to take a moment to re-introduce ourselves. Rachel Reed Smith has coached for both the Blue Lions Field Hockey Club and State College School District since 2017, during which the State College Little Lions won three consecutive district championships. Evan is a PIAA and USA Field Hockey certified umpire and is the President of the District 6 Field Hockey Chapter.
We are heading into a new chapter for the club and plan on continuing what Sean has worked so diligently to build these past 12 years. This club is here for you and your athletes no matter the age, skill level, or where they come from. Our offerings will continue to include training for both indoor and outdoor, tournaments, and recruiting support but we are expanding our offerings and have some new/returning opportunities on the horizon.
Here's a peek into the future:
- We will be partnering with Nittany Valley Sports Centre to bring a class for all your "littles" at home! This class will cover all the basics in preparation to join our team programs!
- We will be entering an NIT team in the u14, u16, & u19 age groups during indoor season, Pending Interest
- In August we will be hosting a 3 day end of summer program for grades K through 8th - more info on this coming soon!
- Fall indoor clinic for new players and players intending to tryout for an NIT team
- And MUCH more!
We are so excited for everything we have in store for the future. To best serve our local field hockey community, we ask for your opinions in the below survey to guide us into the 2022-2023 season and beyond.
You can also respond to this email with any other direct feedback, suggestions or comments. We look forward to serving our local field hockey community by incorporating any and all feedback.
Rachel & Evan
Co-Owners & Directors of Blue Lions Field Hockey Club