1973 Field Hockey team receives its due

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Coach Dot Johnson (c), surrounded by members of the 1973 field hockey team. From left, Sue Jensen, Linda Dewey, Lynsie Wickman, Jody Wickman. Photo by Jay Harder

Two months ago, I wrote about the 1973 Granby field hockey team winning the first-ever field hockey tournament in Connecticut. After they won the title, all the players on the team were given dictionaries by the board of education. Today, if a Granby team wins a championship, they receive jackets for their accomplishment, as the field hockey team recently did in 2019.

On Oct. 4, at the Granby Memorial High School commons, Rob Penfield, who was the sports editor of the Farmington Valley Herald in 1973 and covered that season’s field hockey tournament, conducted a talk about the championship. Of the 50 or so people in attendance, members of the 1973 team including Coach Dot Johnson, were present as well as the current Granby Field Hockey team. Penfield gave a detailed description of that season, stating Granby was not the best team going into the tournament or the most skilled team; rather it was the best-prepared team for every game they played.

One example Penfield gave was preparing to play Darien. The few days leading up to the game were cold and rainy. While the Darien team practiced indoors, the Granby team practiced outside in the rain and the cold. Granby beat Darien, not because they outscored them—the game ended in a scoreless tie after regulation play and three overtimes. The game was decided on penalty corners, where Granby had the edge.

The championship game was played at Yale University and Granby won that game in overtime as well. Of the five games the 1973 team played in the tournament, four games went to overtime.

After Penfield spoke, First Selectman Mark Fiorentino presented the 1973 team with a Proclamation from the town of Granby. Coach Johnson accepted the Proclamation and four members of that team—Lynsie Wickman, Jody Wickman, Sue Jensen, and Linda Dewey, joined Johnson for a picture of them accepting the Proclamation.

To the 1973 Field Hockey team—after 50 years—the town congratulates you.