Coffey comes to Cherry Hill West after previously serving as a varsity head coach at Haverford High School in Pennsylvania and an assistant coach at West Deptford High School.
Winning games has been a struggle for Cherry Hill High School West field hockey over the past three seasons. After going 5–9–1 in 2013, the Lions have won just two games from 2014 through 2016.
However, the program has some optimism heading into 2017, as a new head coach looks to rebuild the program from the ground up.
New head coach Beth Coffey is bringing lots of energy and enthusiasm to Cherry Hill West’s field hockey program. Though the Lions haven’t had much success in recent years, Coffey is confident this year’s team has the ability to kickstart the rebuilding process and top its win total from the past three seasons combined.
Coffey brings a wealth of field hockey experience to Cherry Hill West. She previously served as the head coach for Haverford High School’s field hockey team in Pennsylvania for four seasons. She also spent three years as an assistant varsity coach for West Deptford High School. Coffey also has playing experience at the college level at Division III Messiah College.
Coffey set expectations high for the Lions this preseason. She talked to the players about exceeding what they’ve done in the past and showing teams in the Olympic Conference they have the ability to compete and win games.
“From the start, they had to buy into it,” Coffey said about her team. “They needed to believe that it was possible. We have the capabilities to be successful.”
A lot of the preseason was spent working on basic field hockey skills and working as a unit. Coffey said Cherry Hill West’s biggest strength in the preseason was the team’s work ethic.
“When I started with the girls, I could see they were hard-working and eager to learn,” Coffey said. “They needed someone to guide them in the dynamics of field hockey. It’s a lot of teamwork. You need to be ready to play together and work on the fly.”
Coffey has looked toward some of the Lions’ returning seniors, such as Shannon Meloche, Kylie Judge, Julia Clancy and Kerriann Dignan, to provide guidance for the younger players and set a good example on and off the field.
Coffey has seen vast improvement during the preseason. She liked the communication, and it showed in the Lions’ first scrimmage last week against Cinnaminson High School.
“They’re working together well,” Coffey said. “They’re working on just increasing the speed of the play to keep up with the teams that they are facing.”
Coffey believes the Lions are capable of winning more games this season if they perfect some of the basic aspects of field hockey. She feels playing mistake-free field hockey will be the difference in some of the team’s games this season.
“I think it’ll turn some of those close losses into wins,” she said.
Coffey is committed to the long-term future of the Cherry Hill West program. She is happy to see the Lions fielding varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams this season and is looking forward to building a better feeder system for the future.
“My main goal this year is building our numbers,” Coffey said. “In the future, I’m looking to get more of the township and the middle schools involved.”