(October 20, 2023) — It’s been said that “Tradition Never Graduates.” On October 8, 2023 the Haddam Killingworth High School Field Hockey Family came together to play the 19th Annual HKFH Alumni Field Hockey Game. More than twenty former players from the HKFH family, ranging in graduation from the years 1984 to 2022, came together to face off against the current HK Field Hockey Team at the Alumni Game. Players came from as far away as Seattle, Washington to participate in this annual gathering, now named in honor of former Head Coach Patsy Kamercia and former player/coach Carrie Ness.
Coach Kamercia, who passed away in 2017, started the Alumni Game tradition in 2002. Patsy coached for forty seasons while also teaching Physical Education. She was also the first female Athletic Director in Connecticut. In her first season in 1977, her record was 5-3-5. Coach Kamercia went on to win 461 games, lose 176 games, and tie 89 games in her forty seasons at the helm of HKFH.
Coach Kamercia led HKFH to four state titles in her long coaching career, and coached two high school All-Americans, Nancy Lang and Leslie Zules. Many other former players went on to compete at the collegiate level. Christy Needham now coaches at Connecticut College and was recently inducted into the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2022, Ashley Smith also became a Hall of Fame inductee.
The Alumni are strongly connected, not only to each other, but also to the lasting memory of Coach Kamercia. Patsy had a profound effect on her players, several of whom have had their own daughters play for HKFH. In this year’s game, for only the third time in its history, the Alumni lost to the current HKFH team 2-1. After the game, all family members and players gathered to have a potluck lunch and share memories of their playing days. In attendance were former players, parents of former players, former coaches, Carrie Ness’s parents, and Patsy’s husband Michael.
In preparation for the 20th Annual Carrie Ness and Patsy Kamercia Alumni Game, we would like to reach out to the community to ask for help in contacting former players to participate, as well as future Hall of Famers to come and enjoy the tradition.
The game is scheduled to be played on Sunday, October 13, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., with lunch to follow. Those of you with young daughters in the HK community should come enjoy the game and the HKFH experience. If you know of a former player, please share her contact information with the current Coach, Dee Stephan, at email@example.com or join the HKFH Alumni Facebook page.
We can only grow and succeed as a program with the support of the HK community and an influx of young women who want to carry on the winning tradition that Coach Patsy Kamercia so cherished.