By Dom Nicastro
Alex Butler is raring to go in Year 1 of her campaign as the Revere High School field hockey coach. The teacher in the Susan B. Anthony Middle School brings her team into the 2023 fall with plenty of optimism after a successful preseason.
“My fellow coach [Hanneliese Scheel] and I have been so impressed with the skills demonstrated by both veteran players and newcomers,” said Butler, who played for Peabody field hockey in the early 2010s.
Butler has aspired to be a coach since she began teaching at Revere. She loves the opportunity to help young students grow and learn. “I love working with students to help them learn and develop new skills in my classroom and wanted to be able to transfer that teaching process to the field,” Butler said. “Field hockey is such a unique sport that often does not get enough attention or credit. As someone who is passionate about this sport, my role on this team is to continue and foster the growth of this Revere program.”
Revere is looking to get back to the postseason this fall for the first time since 2019, when it drew the fifth seed in the Division 1 North tourney with a 12-2-2 record. It lost to Chelmsford in the first round. “The biggest goal for Revere field hockey is to make the tournament this season,” Butler said. Although Revere did not make tournament last year, I have really high hopes for this year’s team. They are so motivated and passionate; I think we are going to have a great season.”
To get to the next level, Butler said she is working on building the program from the ground up. That means working with the city’s youth to spark more interest in field hockey. She has a pretty good perch for that in her role in the middle school. Scheel, her assistant, is also in the middle school. Scheel played field hockey throughout high school and at the collegiate level and “has an incredible understanding of the sport and therefore is able to identify and communicate to players ways in which they can improve specific aspects of their game,” Butler said.
“Our biggest area for improvement is just continuing to grow the field hockey program in Revere,” Butler added. “We would love to create a feeder program at the middle school level in order to spark more interest in the sport and develop these skills at an earlier age.”
As for the 2023 edition, stickwork is going to be a strength on the field. The Patriots have shown in the early going the ability to take care of the ball and transition things forward. “They’ve really demonstrated the ability to control the ball while passing and driving down the field,” Butler said. “I also cannot emphasize enough how incredible their comradery is as a team. The veteran players have welcomed new players, who are just learning the sport, with open arms and have been such great leaders. Their ability to effectively communicate with and support one another is awesome.”
The captains for the team are Bella Stamatopoulos (senior), Jordan Martelli (junior) and Ana Kalliavas (junior). “All three captains exhibit such great leadership skills and are incredible role models for the entire team,” Butler said. “They are the first to show up to practice, and the last to leave. Bella, Jordan and Ana are always willing to help and encourage a teammate and are such strong field hockey players themselves.”
Senior Matthew Terrell returns and brings speed and “such great control of the ball. His passes are quick, strong and accurate,” Butler said.
Bella Stamatopoulos will also be a strong contribution to the team this season. “She is an extremely dedicated player who shows great endurance,” Butler said, “and strong understanding of the fundamentals of the game.”
Revere opens up the season with two non-league games. The Patriots begin at Malden Catholic Thursday, Sept. 7 (4 p.m.) and then host Lowell Saturday, Sept. 9 (10 a.m.) at Harry Della Russo Stadium. They open up the Greater Boston League schedule at Malden at Pine Banks Park Monday, Sept. 11 (4 p.m.).