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Free Lance-Star Fall All-Area: Field hockey player of the year
BAILEE HUBERT A TOUGH ACT FOR SISTERS TO FOLLOW
BY JUSTIN RICE
If Mountain View’s field hockey team seemed more like a family this season, that’s because it was or at least it was for the Huberts.
There’s oldest sister Bailee, directing traffic in the midfield, scoring goals and setting up teammates. And here’s younger sister Olivia, a raw-but-talented freshman soaking up all she can from her team’s leader.
On the sidelines is Mom, Willacq, the one who first put hockey sticks in her daughters’ hands.
Bailee is The Free Lance–Star’s field hockey player of the year, not just for her exemplary skill but for the leadership she showed helping to mold a host of young teammates—including her sister.
“I hope I’m remembered as a good leader and a good teammate and a good friend,” Bailee Hubert said. “And somebody that was always pushing people to their best.”
It all started with Mom.
Willa Hubert was a three-sport athlete, first at Stafford and then at North Stafford when that school opened.
Field hockey, though, was always No. 1.
She played in high school, and then got into coaching and officiating when Bailee was still a toddler.
When Willa’s oldest daughter was starting to get into sports, Mom hoped field hockey would be Bailee’s favorite, too.
“She played soccer, softball, basketball,” Willa said. “I was hoping she would play field hockey.”
Bailee doesn’t remember her first field hockey game or her first goal, but she does recall liking the sport immediately.
“I wasn’t really excited about it at first,” Bailee said. “Once I started playing, I fell in love with it.”
Hockey became a full-time job. There was Parks and Recreation teams, travel teams, indoor teams, clinics, camps not that Mom minded.
After Bailee came Olivia—four years younger—and she took a similar path.
And behind Olivia is youngest sister Maggie, who after two more seasons will get to play—as Olivia did this year—as a freshman with her older sister, the senior.
“We’re playing hockey all the time, all year round,” Willa said. “I don’t think I’d have it any other way. They’re passionate about it. We’re always together. They’re supporting each other.
“It’s something we share as a family.”
But this year was different.
Bailee and Olivia had never played on a team together. None of the Huberts had, in fact, because of the age differences between sisters.
In some families, that might be cause for concern. Sisters sometimes make for bad teammates.
But from the beginning, Bailee—the established team leader for what has been a solid Mountain View team—didn’t see it that way.
“It was an awesome experience [playing with Olivia],” Bailee said. “The fun part is me and her are so competitive. We’re always pushing each other in drills, one is going after the other. It’s fun to have that.”
Beyond scoring goals—Bailee had 26 this year, with 13 assists—and winning games—Mountain View was undefeated in district play and won the Commonwealth tournament title—she wanted to make sure she left her mark with younger teammates this year.
Bailee was a freshman once, too, and remembers what it was like to look up to seniors.
And it was doubly important, with a sister as one of those underclassmen.
“My goal was to leave something behind,” Bailee said, “with the freshmen and the younger girls, and show them what being a leader is.
“That was my big thing with Olivia—to show her this is how it’s done. This is how you have to work. Good things come if you work hard.”
Things get complicated again next fall for Willa.
She’s the scorekeeper for Mountain View, and this year she had to juggle only Mountain View games with Olivia and Bailee against Parks and Rec games for Maggie, and travel teams for all three.
Next year Bailee will play at James Madison University, Olivia will be back with the Wildcats and Maggie will be in the seventh grade playing for a middle school team.
But it’s field hockey it’s what the Hubert family does. Never as rivals, just as teammates and sisters.
“[Bailee] just said over and over how much she loved playing with Olivia,” Willa said. “They’re sisters. There’s always competitiveness and rivalries. But when it comes down to it, they’re going to take care of each other.”
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045