When Windham senior Emma Casale first picked up a field hockey stick in sixth grade, she was hesitant, but stepped outside her comfort zone. Years later she became a star player on Windham’s varsity field hockey team and on Tuesday, June 6 at Windham High School, Casale signed a letter of intent to attend Saint Joseph’s College where she will play field hockey and major in medical biology with a pre-physician assistant track.
DiDonato said the growth she’s seen from Casale is the more than DiDonato has seen in over 19 years of coaching.
“She worked extremely hard,” said DiDonato. “She worked day-in-day-out, wanted feedback. Her quiet leadership spoke volumes, because when younger kids see someone like Emma who quietly goes about her business, nose to the grindstone, never gives up, they say ‘that’s who I want to be like.’ That’s Emma.”
“The people really did it for me,” said Casale. “My friends are on the team and the coaches are great. I really developed the love for the sport because of them and I really like pushing myself and being the best person that I can be.”
WHS Athletic Director Rich Drummond pointed out that during the summertime, he would drive by the field hockey field on his way to work and day after day he would see Casale on the field working on getting better. Her dedication has made her a better player.
“She’s very understanding of everyone around her and she’s good with teamwork,” said teammate and
Windham senior Emma Theriault. “She was one of my defense people when I was the goalie; she’s easy to work with and very easy to understand. She’s a force to be reckoned with on defense.”
Casale is a hard worker off the field. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Key Club and Mental Health Club. She likes giving back to the community and has wrapped presents for children in need and made wreaths for veteran’s gravestones.
She picked Saint Joseph’s College because it’s great for her major, it’s close to home and Casale had worked with Saint Joseph’s College field hockey coach Rupert Lewis before, and she really liked his coaching style and said he’s very supportive.
It felt really good for her to sign this letter of intent. It’s taken a lot of mornings out, practice and playing on travel teams to get to this point.
Her advice to underclassmen is to put yourself out there; go for things even if you’re scared or nervous.
Casale said she wouldn’t be the person she is today without field hockey. She’s grown so much confidence and it’s a great thing to try a new sport.
Casale would like to be a quiet leader on the Saint Joseph’s College field hockey team. She said she will be a good defense player and hopefully a big part of the team.
She would like to thank Mr. Drummond for setting up her letter of intent signing, Coach DiDonato for all she’s done for her along with seeing things in her Casale never saw in herself. Casale would also like to thank her parents for supporting and helping her and all her friends and teachers who pushed her. <