A team of their own

Two girls start field hockey team


Abbey Elalouf

Courtney Windt ‘26 practices field hockey. The team has given many students new opportunities to play a sport.

Abbey Elalouf and Minh Anh Le

Courtney Windt ‘26 and her mom had a dream–to bring an East Coast sport to Colorado.
Windt said she tried many sports as a child, but none of them really clicked for her.
Her mom, Erin, struggled to help her daughter find a sport she enjoyed.
“I was really disappointed when we moved to Colorado and there just wasn’t really an opportunity for girls to play field hockey here,” she said.
After joining a club team, Windt’s new passion fueled her to start a high school team last spring.
“I was playing on a club team, and it was sad because we had a bunch of younger girls, who were super committed to field hockey, but there was nowhere to play once they got into high school,” Windt said. “We made this video where we interviewed all the girls from our club and all our coaches to show to the athletic director why we thought field hockey should be a high school sport. And then we each also wrote personal letters to the athletic director.”
Dedicated to establishing a field hockey team, Windt and her friend, Lyla Jolly ‘26, took on significant responsibilities before they even started high school.
“Towards the end of last school year, it was confirmed that we were going to have a team,” Windt said. “Lyla and I went door-to-door asking for donations and if they knew anybody who would like to join.”
Their dedication paid off.
“Now we have a team of thirty five girls,” Windt said.
Kicking off the season, most of the players had never even picked up a field hockey stick before.
“A lot of our girls have never played field hockey before, but they may have played soccer or lacrosse or ice hockey or golf or something like that,” assistant coach Courtney Van der Linden said. “They usually have played other sports and are just trying a new one.”
Despite it being a brand new, district-wide team based out of Boulder High School, Van der Linden believes it’s well-organized, and the players picked up the sport surprisingly well.
“I love coaching and we have a really good team,” she said. “Everyone is really sweet and we’ve got some hard workers. I’m very impressed with how much everyone has learned in such a short period of time.”
Having a place to play a new sport has opened up many opportunities for the girls, and for Maddie Sims 24’, it has continued her family’s tradition.
“My parents played field hockey growing up because they lived on the East Coast,” Sims said. “They’ve always thought it is a really fun sport and wanted me to get into it, but we live in a state where it’s rare. I was really excited to be on the team. I hit the ball around with my mom a little bit, but that was the first time I’d ever picked up a field hockey stick.”
Many girls can now occupy their fall with a new sport, due to the dedication of Windt and her peers.
“All of these girls who are starting from kindergarten all the way up into high school are learning to play and loving it,” Windt said.