WILKES-BARRE – Wait! Wait! Ma, come here!
Brigid Wood yelled to her mother the way any youngster would after a big accomplishment. In this instance, the Coughlin freshman was calling her coach, Colleen Wood, over to join the team in accepting its District 2 championship trophy.
Among those in the celebration was Brigid's teammate and sister, Caitlin, a senior who scored the championship goal.
Now they are off to the state playoffs – together – beginning tonight at 5 in Hazleton against District 11 runner-up Stroudsburg.
This is our only chance, said Caitlin, who is second on the team with 14 goals. Even in indoor, we don't get to play together (Brigid is on a different team and Colleen does not coach). It was our one goal to be here. Now, it would be nice to beat that freshman season and go on for more than one game.
This is the last time we'll ever get to play together at states and the first time, Brigid said. This is really special to our family.
It's an interesting dynamic – the veteran and the rookie, led by mom. Does it break down into sibling rivalry? Not exactly.
She definitely has a strong personality, Caitlin said of Brigid, nicknamed Coach during her stint with the junior high team because of her extensive field hockey knowledge. It can be hard to tell her things. But she listens. She doesn't always show it, but she does.
They live the game and take it home once in a while. But they are nothing but smiles talking about it.
A lot of people don't understand the way we yell at each other, Caitlin admitted.
Yeah, all the time, Brigid added. If we are just screaming at each other, that's how we communicate.
The have the ultimate referee in coach/mom Colleen. She keeps things on an even keel, though the players know not to vex mom, because coach may be there to punish them.
Mom's actually a lot more strict (than coach), Brigid said. You try to not get on her bad side at home, though, so she doesn't make you run more at practice.
You clean your room if she tells you to, Caitlin said.
The freshman is one of three area players selected to participate in the USA Field Hockey Futures Elite program. Despite a wealth of talent, she still had to find a role with a very good Coughlin squad.
The senior is a two-time all-state selection, with a third nod likely on the way.
They enjoy pushing each other to be better each game.
Everyone expects her to be the best player, Brigid said of Caitlin. Some of the guys cheer for me. They cheer ‘She's a freshman' or ‘We want Little Wood' just to get under her skin.
But it's all in good fun.
For the Wood family, this is a special time, one that can be made more special each time they extend it with a victory. It's also been a long time in the making.
The last time we went on that run, both of them were little, Colleen said of Coughlin's state finalists eight years ago. When the kids were little, they were always on the sideline with us. Now, when the old players come back, they remember them from when they were little.
With this one chance to shoot for state gold together, the Woods are as ready as they could ever be.
We've worked so hard to be here, and to do it with my sister and my mother makes all the difference, Caitlin said. We understand what we need to do next.
Not only do they understand, but they can see it.
I want Martz buses and pasta parties, Brigid said.
And our own pep rally, Caitlin added.
And while unsaid, they have the same goal as Class 2A's Crestwood and Wyoming Seminary – state gold in two weeks.