Making the jump from high school to college can be tough for anyone. Throwing a Division I sport into the mix can make things even tougher.
Luckily enough for incoming freshman midfielder/defender Elle Hempt, she knows someone who has been through it all—her mother.
“She’s been beyond a huge help,” Hempt said. “She knew the ins-and-outs before I even started working on college.”
Hempt’s mother, Amy, played basketball for the University of Pittsburgh from 1985-89.
“I mean basketball is a winter sport, so I couldn’t even imagine getting thrown into field hockey full swing, along with classes for the first time and just the college change in itself,” Hempt said. “She was very helpful with the whole recruiting process, finding out what I wanted and pointing out different things like the importance of the team, the importance of the coaching, the atmosphere and everything like that.”
“She has been through it all, so she was a huge help,” Hempt added.
Now it’s Hempt’s turn to go through it all, but this time on an outdoor field, rather than a hardwood court.
When it came time to start thinking about what college she wanted to go to, Hempt narrowed down her list to three schools: The University of Richmond, the University of Delaware and Temple.
After weighing all of her options and thinking about what it was that she wanted, Hempt ultimately decided to become an Owl.
“There was a lot that contributed, but definitely the team chemistry, there was a lot of team chemistry and the coaches were very confident,” Hempt said. “They come from amazing backgrounds. Like [head coach Amanda Janney] had a great career at Wake Forest and [assistant coach Kelly Driscoll] at [Old Dominion University].
“They’re coming from great places and I know that they’re so knowledgeable,” Hempt added. “I went to high school with one of the seniors and just seeing how far she has come shows the potential that I could have in the career and success that the coaches make here.”
The senior that Hempt went to high school with was Lauren Hunt, who is now a forward for the Owls. Both Hempt and Hunt went to Cumberland Valley High School.
The connection to Hunt helped begin conversations when recruitment started to pick up.
“We knew that she was connected a little bit to Lauren Hunt,” head coach Amanda Janney said. “That was nice that she knew a Cumberland Valley teammate of hers was at Temple already.”
“I’ve seen her play, because she is part of the [East Coast Field Hockey] club, one of the better clubs in the country,” Janney added. “So, I’ve seen her play a couple of times and knowing that she was from a high school that we already have a player from helped start a conversation.”
Janney said that she did talk to Hunt to get some quick background information before recruiting Hempt, but said that she doesn’t rely on her players to do the recruiting for her. Still, she says a good word always helps.
“Lauren did say she was a nice player, a good hard worker. It was kind of nice to know that we had a seal of approval from one of her teammates. We spend a lot of time dealing with the family and talking to them once we start the conversation with the recruit.”
Learning Hempt’s mother already had experience with college sports was something that stood out to Janney.
“We don’t have too many families who really understand Division I athletics at that level where the parents played at the highest level,” Janney said. “So that was pretty impressive to see. I knew that Elle would probably have the same kind of work ethic that her mom did that allowed her to play basketball at such a high level.”
Then, when Janney finally got to meet with Hempt, it was clear to her that she was a good fit for the Owls.
“As soon as I talked to Elle, I could tell she really has that kind of passion, desire and love of field hockey that we want out of all of our recruits,” Janney said. “Just watching her play, I knew she was a good talented player and we wanted her on the team.”
Since committing to Temple, Hempt has been going to workouts and open play with other members of the team. Hempt says she wants to contribute in any way she can.
“I just want to be as big of a help to the team as I can be,” Hempt said. “Whether that be on the sidelines, being encouraging, or playing. I just want to be as big of a help in whatever way the team needs me.”
Nick Tricome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itssnick215.