MILLBURN, NJ - Now a senior member of the Millburn High School field hockey team, Catherine Naas has been involved since freshman year. She plays field hockey all year round, almost seven days a week.
“I want to play field hockey for as long as I can. I want to be a grandma on the adult field hockey team and still be playing well and having fun,” Naas said.
As a dedicated lover of the sport, Naas also coaches two recreational field hockey teams. The teams include fifth- and sixth-grade players. “My goal is to make them better players and to help them love the sport and their team as much as I do,” she said.
Naas got involved in field hockey in ninth grade, but she always had a knack for sports like it. In the seventh grade she was a camper at Camp Horizons, the same camp she was a counselor at until it closed recently. At this camp one of her favorite counselors told her to try out pilo polo, which she did and ended up playing every free period she could. When she found out how similar field hockey was to pilo polo, she joined right away. Naas is now also involved in a club field hockey team, New Heights, which she will be playing with during the indoor season this year and is going to the Disney Showcase in February with them.
The Millers' varsity field hockey coach, Sarah Pallino, agrees that Naas is a dedicated member of the MHS team, “Catherine is very committed to the sport of field hockey. She has dedicated herself to improving and has improved significantly over the past years,” Pallino said.
When she’s not out on the field practicing hard, Naas is hanging out with her friends, listening to 90s music and watching "Hey Arnold." She also plays lacrosse and is a manager for the wrestling team. She enjoys running in her free time, but field hockey is always her main focus. “Whether it be on my club team or on the Millburn team. I love the sport. Currently I am injured, but before that I was a starting varsity player. I played defense and midfield,” she said.
Naas played at the beginning of the season but suffered a pre-stress fracture in her foot. She has been out for a week so far and the doctor will not allow her to run until it heals because if she does her foot could break and she would be out longer.
“I’m working on my upper-body strength and doing whatever I can to keep up my strength and shape, Naas said. “I’m going to be 100 percent healed after five weeks, hopefully less now. As soon as I can I’m going to jump right back into things because next year when I’m at college I’ll be playing Division 1.” A pre-stress fracture occurs when too much pressure is applied on the foot for a long period of time, and hers was most likely caused by playing field hockey.
“Catherine always worked extremely hard and hustled to everything," Pallino said. "Hopefully Catherine will be back on the field soon so we can all her see her play to her full potential for her last year at MHS.”