Wolgemuth goes National

By on March 18, 2015
Manheim Central junior Jillian Wolgemuth, shown here shooting on goal in a District playoff game last fall, has been selected to USA Field Hockey’s U17 touring team which will travel to Belgium in April. (File photo)

Manheim Central junior Jillian Wolgemuth, shown here shooting on goal in a District playoff game last fall, has been selected to USA Field Hockey’s U17 touring team which will travel to Belgium in April. (File photo)

Manheim Central junior Jillian Wolgemuth was recently named by USA Field Hockey to the U17 touring team which will travel to Belgium from April 4-10.
“There is no doubt that this group has exceptional talent,” Team USA coach Kristen Holmes-Winn said in a press release. “What was even more pleasing was the mentality they displayed in the training environment and in our meetings. The momentum and growth from our training blocks will no doubt serve as a great foundation for our tour.”
One of those training blocks was held this past weekend, March 13-15, at the Spooky Nook Sports Center in Salunga.
“On a typical day, there are two or three sessions,” Wolgemuth said. “We practice from 7 to 9 a.m., followed by a meeting from 10 until 11. After lunch, there is another training session from 1 until 3 p.m., then off until dinner at 5 o’clock.”
And that is the shorter of the two training day schedules.
One of the fields available to them is a Division-One college and international-level “Wet-Turf water field.”
“There are eight underground water cannons that shoot water over the surface both before the game and at halftime,” Wolgemuth said. “The surface is faster and it allows us to slide. We also use special dimpled balls, like a big golf ball.”
Wolgemuth was chosen along with Penn Manor’s Brooke DeBerdine and nine other Pennsylvania athletes as part of the 18-member Junior National team.
“Pennsylvania is definitely a hotbed for field Hockey,” Wolgemuth said. “Hockey is not as popular in the midwest and the west.”
That pattern was confirmed when USA Hockey moved its training center to “The Nook” last year.
“While we’re in Belgium, we’ll play six to eight games with top flight club teams,” Wolgemuth said. “It’s a lot, but we’re definitely conditioned to be ready for it.”
The road to this point for Wolgemuth began in seventh grade.
“I first played at Kraybill Elementary (a Lancaster Mennonite satellite) and then in ninth grade at Manheim,” she said.
She didn’t waste any time making an impact with the Lady Barons, earning Lancaster-Lebanon League Honorable Mention All-Star as a freshman.
Her sophomore season brought more hardware (First-Team L-L Section Two All-Star), while the best was yet to come in the past nine months.
Last summer, the Rapho Township resident competed in the Futures Field Hockey training and evaluations for three hours each of nine Sundays. After being named to the U17 team, Wolgemuth led Manheim Central to a 12-0 Section record last fall and the No. 1 seed in the District Three Double-A Tournament.
For her efforts, (team leading 24 goals and 19 assists) the midfielder was named Second-Team All-Star by the Harrow Sports National Field Hockey Coaches Association Regional Team, representing Pennsylvania. She was also named State Double-A First-Team All-Star and L-L Section Two First-Team All-Star.
The following is a transcript of a recent rapid-fire Q&A with the Lady Barons’ star.
Kevin Frey: Your best skill?
Jillian Wolgemuth: “I can distribute the ball. Get it and give it. What I need to work on is my general stick skills and ball work.”
KF: Other sports and activities?
JW: “I’m trying softball for the first time this spring. Not sure what position yet. I’m also in Spanish Honor Society and Student Council.”
KF: Off-season field hockey team?
JW: “I play for the Nook club team with Brooke DeBerdine. We recently competed in the High School National Tournament in Richmond, Va. We came in third of six in a very strong pool.”
KF: Talk about the U.S. Junior U17 experience?
JW: “It’s by far the most extensive, high-level elite level hockey I’ve played. It’s so much fun, while challenging. Everyone pulls you up because you go 100 percent all the time.”
KF: What does this summer look like?
JW: “Futures tryouts are held every year. You compete based on your age on Jan. 1, so I have to try out for the U19 team.”
KF: College choice?
JW: “Duke. I committed two months ago. The academics are outstanding, the hockey team plays at a high level, and the hand fit the glove. The entire environment inspired me to be my best.”
KF: College goals?
JW: “I’m hoping to major in business while playing all four years in hockey. Also to get my undergraduate degree.”
KF: Long range field hockey goals?
JW: “Hopefully play on the Women’s National team some day.”

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