By Randy Whetstone Jr.
The Christian Academy-Louisville (CAL) Centurions won their first field hockey state title in team history this season after they defeated Assumption 2-1. After back-to-back final four runs in the state tournament the previous two seasons, the Centurions finally cashed in on a title in 2017. It was a great season for CAL, finishing the year with a 22-5-2 record.
One of their losses this season was to Assumption back on September 7; however, with their eyes on the prize, they avenged that loss in the state championship game.
I had the chance to speak to Coach Stanley Phulpagar, who has accumulated a 61-16-3 record in the last three seasons. He shared his thoughts on the team’s great feat.
What did it mean to win the state championship and what impact will this have on the program moving forward?
“To win the state title for the first time in the history of CAL meant that programs like ours can dream and achieve big dreams and aspirations. It lets the past, present and future players and coaches know that all of them have played a part in this achievement. The impact this will have on CAL field hockey program moving forward is to really build on this start of a new path of dreaming big, praying a lot and working at it a lot.”
Describe the girls’ feeling and reaction after winning the state championship.
“The girls were very excited and jubilant about their achievement. This is beyond what any one of us could have imagined just a few months ago with such a small number of girls playing this year for our school. God has truly blessed us with immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20 – 21).”
How did you see this team grow and evolve over the season?
“Our theme for this season was, ‘Different parts, one body!’ from I Corinthians 12. So, right from our retreat in May, our girls started really bonding together. Since the beginning of the season in July, the four captains have led the team, which is more like a family, with great servant hearts and attitudes. Our eight seniors have been a great help of creating a family atmosphere.”
What were obstacles that the team was able to overcome this year?
“Along the way we had to overcome injuries to several of our players. Lots of prayer, patience and hard work were needed to overcome those injuries. Our goal was to peak in October, and that’s what we were blessed with—all the girls were healthy and ready to play by then.”
How did you challenge this group over the course of the season?
“We challenged our team with lots of encouragement, training and a conditioning plan with our trainer involved in every step of the way.”
What do you envision moving forward for this program after this great accomplishment?
“I envision many more players dreaming big, enjoying working hard together and knowing that with God’s help we can accomplish anything (Philippians 4:4, 13).” VT