The Owls’ roster features 17 of 19 players that hail from the Keystone state.
Recruiting is one of the most analyzed and commented on aspects of the modern sports world.
Pennsylvania, as one of the most competitive regions for field hockey recruitment, is a blessing in disguise for the Owls.
While other top schools have to travel thousands of miles to find recruits, coach Amanda Janney doesn’t have to go far. Lancaster, Allentown and Central are areas of Pennsylvania that bolster some of the best field hockey players in the nation and Janney doesn’t squander her resources.
Two of the 19 players on Temple’s field hockey team aren’t from the Keystone state.
One of the largest challenges to a successful recruiting class is getting the high school seniors to commit to a program. But with Temple being in Philadelphia and in the middle of one of the most talent rich regions of the state, Janney said she knows the importance of location.
“Its huge, it just makes it easier due to the fact that all the athletes are so close to home when they do come to Temple,” Janney said. “It makes it easier for parents to come to games, and we get so much great family support at all of our games.”
Janney said that she is somewhat surprised with her recruiting success.
“When I got the job seven years ago, people talked about how hard it would be to convince girls and mothers to send their daughters to Temple, but there’s so many great things going on in the Philadelphia that once kids get on campus and meet our team, it kind of sells itself,” Janney said. “We’re close kind of like family, and sell ourselves as the ‘TUFH’ family.”
But location is only one aspect to the appeal of a school. Tradition and camaraderie are all equally important to recruiting as well.
This past Sunday as the Owls took on Atlantic Ten Conference foe La Salle on the Owls’ annual Alumni Day. The notable day honoring past players is a testament to the importance of the program’s tradition. Senior midfielder Kaylee Keener said she knows the how important the alumni’s part in Temple’s tradition is.
“One thing we focus on is playing for the alumni,” Keener said. “We’re kind of playing to keep that tradition.”
For all collegiate sports, high school students being recruited visit the school, generally staying overnight to get the true experience of being an athlete at that school.
As a senior at Greenwood High School, Keener was aware that most universities offered education as a major. But when she came for her visit to Temple, she said that a certain family feeling made her want to become an Owl.
“It was really the team atmosphere, and [coach] Janney was very proactive, getting to know you and your family,” Keener said. “It made me feel really comfortable.”
For freshman forward Amber Youtz, her visit to Temple made her decision on where to attend college very clear.
“The team bonding and seeing everyone together made me really want to come here,” Youtz said.
As more field hockey recruits are brought in to visit Temple, they will see the continuing tradition of this team of Owls. The family atmosphere, building on young talents including Youtz, paints a lucrative picture to prospective students.
Colin Tansits can be reached at email@example.com.