Sam Chambers
Catherine Franklin follows lead of Spartan coach and commits to being a Wildcat next year.
The following story was published in the September 2009 edition of The Review, written by Caroline Gibson.
Catherine Franklin (‘10) has made the most important decision in her sports career so far.
Franklin recently committed to play Division I field hockey at Northwestern University next fall.
Unlike other seniors, Franklin is free from the stressful college application process because of her commitment to Northwestern.
She said she is apprehensive about juggling her college courses, social life and field hockey practices next year, but she is certain she has the time management skills to handle it.
“Playing field hockey and attending a school like SJS has made me learn to organize my time,” Franklin said. “Field hockey always came second to academics when considering schools,” she said, also saying that she is exceedingly happy with the combination of excellent academics and athletics found at Northwestern.
According to Franklin, coming from the south, where the caliber of high school field hockey is lower than on the East coast, getting noticed by college coaches requires a significant amount of time investment.
Since she was in seventh grade, Franklin has been attending rigorous out-of-school field hockey practices set up by the Futures Pipeline, a national field hockey organization that supplies players with opportunities to play in front of college coaches and forge the connections needed to break into the collegiate athletic scene.
Each year a select team from each region in the U.S. sends a team to Nationals, a tournament held in Virginia Beach, VA. Franklin has had the honor of attending Nationals for the last three years.
Franklin’s out of school hockey commitment also paid off on the SJS hockey field. The select teams she played for include a collegiate style of play that varies greatly from high school field hockey because it is played on turf rather than grass, which requires a higher skill level for a faster game, making high school field hockey easier for Franklin.
This year is Franklin’s fourth year on the varsity field hockey team; she helped lead the team to win SPC last year and intends to do so again this year as field hockey captain.
Going to Futures practices and tournaments was just one of the ways Franklin attempted to make an impression in the national field hockey scene.
She attended field hockey camps across the country to improve her hockey skills, wrote emails and sent videos to about fifty college coaches beginning her sophomore year, telling the coaches which tournaments she would be attending. “You really have to market yourself,” Franklin said of the recruiting process.
All of Franklin’s hard work finally paid off junior year when she was contacted by Carla Tagliente, the assistant coach at Michigan State University.
Michigan State University has ben a strong presence in Division I field hockey the last couple of years, and Franklin was honored to be considered for the program.
However, the head coach at the university, Stacy Fuchs, was offered the head coach position at Northwestern last year, and when Fuchs took the offer, she brought her assistant coach Tagliente with her.
Tagliente, in turn, brought her recruiting list with her to Northwestern University and Franklin was offered a spot on the field hockey team. Last summer, while at Northwestern, Franklin walked her résumé over to the admissions office, and the rest is history.
Though it took hours of hard work as well as sacrificing her summers to camps, Sundays to Futures, Thanksgiving break to the California Field Hockey Festival and always missing final exams for Nationals to achieve her goal, Franklin says that the friends she has made and experiences she has had were worth every minute.