Field Hockey Takes Center Stage: Gilroy Teams Compete for Section Title
After losing seven starting seniors at the end of the 2021 season, Christopher High girls field hockey head coach Dani Hemeon was unsure what the 2022 season would bring. With plenty of talented, hard-working girls on the team, she knew they would at least be competitive. However, with only four returning starters, it took considerable time and experimentation with new players in new positions to develop their strongest line up. As the season progressed, so did the team. “Things really began clicking for us the last few weeks of the season” Hemeon shared. “We were able to ride the momentum all the way to our first ever CCS Finals appearance.” Christopher lost a tough battle to Archbishop Mitty High school in the championship game 1-0.
At Gilroy High, head coach Adam Gemar “loved every second of our season.” The team went undefeated, registering a 19-0-1 record. Gemar cites team chemistry and work ethic as the key factors to the team’s success. “In the end it was bittersweet losing in the semi-finals to Archbishop Mitty. We almost had an all-Gilroy CCS Final.”
While the two powerhouse teams can be considered cross-town rivals, the relationship between players and coaches goes much deeper. Hemeon was a standout athlete at Gilroy High school, playing basketball, softball, and hockey while carrying a 4.15 GPA. Upon graduating in 2011, she went on to play hockey at the University of Iowa, earning numerous awards and recognition including All American honors. She is quick to credit Gemar for her success. “He taught me everything about hockey.”
Gemar has coached hockey for 25 years at GHS. He has had great players and teams over those years and puts this year’s team right up there with the best of them.
“We play hockey year-round. Now that our high school seasons are over, we are ramping up to start our Infinity program.” he shared.
The Infinity Sports Club field hockey season starts mid-January. The teams will compete in three college hosted tournaments at Stanford, UC Davis, and Cal Berkeley as well as local club tournaments. They will end their season at the international tournament Memorial weekend at Cal Cup.
Infinity also offers the opportunity for both squads to practice and play together. “Adam and I get to coach both sets of athletes side by side.” She shared. “We’ve been coaching Infinity together since 2016 and I absolutely love it. We both have the same goals but have slightly different coaching styles. I love that my CHS players get to tap into Adam’s expertise, while I get to share mine with the GHS players.” She added.
“We’re one family from Feb-May which just strengthens the high school teams come August. I’m so proud that Gilroy is a field hockey town. It’s all thanks to Adam and Erin Gemar. Being a part of the “Gilroy” hockey family both as a player and a coach has been one of my greatest joys and I’m glad I get to continue growing the game in such a great community alongside my biggest mentor.” “Dani and I have been working together with Infinity ever since she graduated from University of Iowa. It’s been a great partnership.” Gemar shared.
“Infinity field hockey is an absolutely great place to learn, improve, hone, play, interact, and enjoy the game of hockey at every level (12-19 years of age). We participate with all the local D1 college tournaments as well as travel teams.” he added.
Some highlights of this past club season were winning 1st place at several of the college tourneys, the U14 team winning Gold at Cal Cup (international tournament), and the U19 team placing 3rd (bronze) at Cal Cup.
“We have a great group of coaches that have experience at the Division 1 level and veteran coaches, and we have fun every practice…” Gemar shared.
Infinity Sports Club Spring soccer season will start February 6th- May 21st. Spring evaluations are on Jan. 30th and Feb. 1st at Gavilan College. 4:00-5:30 PM. To learn more, visit; Infinitysportsclub.org
Congrats to the Christopher High and Gilroy High school ladies field hockey players and coaches on a great season!