Shaker High School graduates extend career in Oswego

Familiarity between teammates is vital to a team’s foundation. In 2015, the Oswego State field hockey team experienced this importance with four players who have a history of playing together.
Junior forward Jenna Jevons, along with sophomores Jordan Sheehy, Andrea Kelly and Abigail Leahey, all played field hockey together at Shaker High School in Latham, New York. The four girls are now playing collegiately together at Oswego State.
Now in their second season playing together as Lakers, Jevons reflected on how they have grown as teammates over the years.
“We’ve played together since junior high,” Jevons said. “Every year we play together, we just get closer. I think it has definitely helped us grow into the players we are at this point in our careers.”
Being friends previously is definitely a helpful head start in regard to chemistry and the junior said that the connection they had in high school immediately translated into college.
“I was really excited to have them come play here with me because I knew that we were getting three great players,” Jevons said. “I was especially looking forward to having the familiar faces because I knew we would click right away.”
Back at Shaker, Jevons said that she and Sheehy were both forwards, just like they are here at Oswego State, and head coach Brandi Lusk believes the two have a unique link.
“I think Jenna and Jordan have a special connection on the field,” the ninth year head coach said. “They are both the same player; they play the same position, they’re both fast, they both even do the same dodges, so I think they have really good chemistry together because of that.”
Lusk added that although the four girls have a history of playing together, as well as a great connection off the field, the team has unfortunately not been able to enjoy the camaraderie of the four players on the field this season.
“Obviously with the injury to Abby [Leahey], not all of the girls have been able to play together this year,” Lusk said.
Leahey suffered a torn ACL before the season and will not see action during the 2015 campaign.
Kelly said it’s uncomfortable playing without someone she is so accustomed to.
“We definitely miss having her on the field,” she said. “It’s just weird to see her on the sidelines after playing with her last season.”
Although she may not able to play in games, Jevons said Leahey plays as big a role as anybody with her presence from the sidelines.
“Every game she’s out there cheering us on,” Jevons said. “She really has such a positive attitude. You’ll always see her pushing us to try harder and she really motivates us.”
Sheehy could not agree more with her teammate.
“Abby hasn’t played a single game this season and she still has such huge impact on the team,” Sheehy said. “We’ve really just rallied around her and supported her.”
The injury to Leahey is certainly unfortunate, but the way she and her teammates have handled the situation in such a positive way shows what a powerful relationship they have.
One may wonder how the sophomores ended up together on the shores of Lake Ontario. Lusk said it took some luck, but it also took a little bit of help from one of her players to reel the trio into the team.
“It was sort of a lucky coincidence that all of them wanted to come to Oswego,” Lusk said. “But Jenna [Jevons] definitely helped me in the process because of her positive attitude towards the program. I think that definitely swayed the other three’s decision to come here.”
Since Jevons is one year older, she had already played at Oswego State for a full season by the time the other three graduated from high school.
“I really got a taste of the program after playing a full season,” Jevons said. “So when it came time for coach to start recruiting, I was there to put in a good word.”
Most of the girls were not recruited directly from Shaker.
“Interestingly enough, Abby was the only one of the four that I actively recruited,” Lusk said. “The other three were walk-ons.”
Both sophomore walk-ons had different roads to collegiate athletics, but each made their final decisions for the same reason.
“Field hockey was one of the big things I was looking for in a school,” Sheehy said. “Jenna told me a lot of good things about the team here, and I already knew her, so it was an easy decision for me.”
“At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play in college,” Kelly said. “But I decided that playing with the girls again would be a lot of fun. I’m really happy with my decision.”
They all diverge after high school, but the four athletes found their way from Shaker High School to Oswego State to continue writing their story on the turf together.