YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown coach Bernadette Gannon is retiring from coaching field hockey after 26 years, the last five spent at Yorktown.
Gannon, who coached the Huskers to 23 victories during her time at Yorktown, said she wants to spend more time with her family.
“I have decided to retire from coaching field hockey,” Gannon said. “As difficult as it is to leave my players and the field-hockey field, I really miss spending time with my own kids.”
This year, the Huskers went 6-8-3 against a tough schedule to earn the No. 10 seed in the Section 1, Class B Tournament. There, they faced host No. 7 Brewster in the opening round, falling 1-0 in a highly competitive game, laying a solid foundation for the future.
“It was extremely important for me to make sure we built up the program from JV through varsity before stepping down,” Gannon said. “I did not want the new coach to have to worry about starting completely fresh. They have to implement their system, so knowing that the kids have worked together and are on the rise should help the new coach out with establishing this mentality and continue with making Yorktown a strong team in the section.”
From this year’s squad, junior goalie Addy Araneo, was named All-Section and All-Elite, and senior Kelsey McDonnell earned All-League and All-Elite Honorable Mention honors.
“To have players get awards just helps the kids to know that their hard work was noticed by other coaches and that helps the younger players strive to get these accolades too,” Gannon said.
When asked what she’ll miss most about coaching at Yorktown, she said it was an easy question to answer.
“I am going to miss the players who I have gotten to know over the five years at Yorktown and working with Lauren McAulay, as my JV/assistant coach,” Gannon said.
Gannon also coached 19 seasons at Suffern and two years at Clarkstown North.
She won 186 games at Suffern, including the 2012 Section 1 Class A title game in overtime, beating traditional powerhouse Mamaroneck before defeating Kingston, also in overtime, in the opening round of the regional tournament.
Suffern’s victory over Mamaroneck was the first time a Rockland County team had won a sectional title in field hockey and, to this date, is still the only school across the river to do it.
“Winning the section title and moving on in the state tournament is something that only a few teams and coaches get to experience,” Gannon said. “Once you get there, though, it is very addicting and makes you want to get there over and over again. It is an honor when you win that title and should never be taken for granted.”
Off the field, Gannon was equally proud of her Husker squad that gave back to the community that supported it.
“It shows the community that we as a program appreciate everything and want to help give something back to them,” Gannon said. “I have awesome players and they like seeing all of the people or animals who benefit from a little bit of help from them. It was something that I did at each of the three schools that I worked with. I also have such an amazing group of parents who are willing to help with the Animal Shelter tournament, the pink game and the soup game. Without their help, we could not have done what we set out to do.”