Washington Post correspondent Jake Schaller recently spoke with Bethesda-Chevy Chase field hockey coach Amy Wood to discuss the Barons' championship season. B-CC won its ninth consecutive state championship, a national record, when it defeated Towson, 2-1.
* Could you have ever imagined winning nine straight state titles when you first started coaching at B-CC?
No, not at all. I don't expect it every year. I expect to be in the hunt, and the fact we've won it every year is amazing. It's been one of those amazing runs that I never set out to do. When I started coaching, I was going to do it for one year.
* The 2001 state title game ended in a tie, so there were co-champions. How much more satisfying was it for you and your players this year to win the title outright?
It was amazing. The kids will tell you I always joke around that it's the difference between kissing your brother and kissing your boyfriend. There was so much sheer joy and excitement this year.
* How did you keep your team focused during all the cancellations, postponements and indoor practices caused by the sniper attacks in the area?
An issue when we first went indoors was just to take the kids' minds off everything. We did stuff like team handball and some games like that. . . . There were one or two days where we couldn't go in the gym, so we ran in the hallways and ran stairs. Everything we did was a contest. We'd do juniors against seniors up opposite sides of stairwells. We also did a lot of plyometrics and really got a lot stronger in those three and a half weeks.
* How important was All-Met goalkeeper Elizabeth Schlossberg, and how much will you miss her?
She has been absolutely amazing the past two years for us. I actually think she was more important last year because this year's team was more experienced. Last year, there was no way we would have won the state championship without her. This year was the same thing. She could only make one or two saves in a game, but one was so key, so amazing, that it would leave everyone's mouths wide open.
* Next season B-CC moves into Maryland's Class 3A. Do you look forward to a possible shot at the state's other field hockey dynasty, Severna Park?
Yes, but Fallston put Severna Park out [of the playoffs] the last two years. Between the three of us, we have 35 state championships, so there's no doubt in my mind the 3A will be the most competitive. But I've always been a firm believer that you should only have two state champions. I think Maryland has too many with four. I look forward to it because if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I play Severna Park every year during the regular season. It's going to be a fiercer rivalry. But you shouldn't coach if you don't want to beat teams like Fallston and Severna Park.