On and Off the Field, Hoepfner is Taking Command


Samantha Gibbons, writer

Junior Grace Hoepfner has played field hockey since 7th grade and has enjoyed every minute of it. As a freshman, she started the season as captain of JV but was pulled up to varsity halfway through and has played on the varsity team since.

A committed player to Grafton’s team, Hoepfner’s time was spread thin between field hockey, being the Vice President of the Special Olympics club, and school. She also plays for Focus year round and participates both indoor and outdoor track. She noted that balancing all of her commitments “can be very exhausting” and shared: “I’m very dedicated to my academics in school, so keeping my grades up is another priority of mine.” Hoepfner explained that field hockey has taught her a lot about time management: “Playing it year round has required me to learn to juggle all of my priorities in order to be successful.”

I learned that positive results [cannot] just be handed to you. You have to work hard and earn your achievements.”

— Grace Hoepfner

She loves being in the Special Olympics club and working with the athletes. Hoepfner revealed that it is “the most amazing extracurricular activity” she is part of.

Hoepfner enjoyed playing in the state tournament this year as she disclosed that “it was so exciting being able to play in it since Grafton hasn’t qualified in 5 or 6 years, so it was something new for all of us.”  She could not express the bond the team formed during that weekend, especially during the bus rides to the games, and she “couldn’t be happier” with the way the team played. As she described the game she told: “We gave it our all from the beginning of the game, to the double overtime, and even the three rounds of shootouts.” Hoepfner admitted that even though the team “fell short” after two and a half hours of hard play, “it was still the most amazing and memorable moment.”

Hoepfner believed she learned the importance of hard work as a field hockey player: “I learned that positive results, whether it’s just improving individually or as a team, or winning a championship, none of it can just be handed to you. You have to work hard and earn your achievements.”

A lot of Hoepfner’s favorite parts of being on the team happened off the field. The Varsity players talked in a group chat everyday and shared numerous inside jokes.  She broadcasted that the team is her second family and communicated: “We love each other so much, and I have never experienced that kind of chemistry with any other team in my life… Everyday this season was enjoyable.”

When discussing the future, Hoepfner stated that she was looking into playing for a D1 team in college, but she was definitely more focused on the academics when it comes to picking the right university. Currently, the school she was most interested was University of Delaware, but she was “keeping [her] options open.”