Girls Field Hockey has been going now for about 21 years! Tara Worley was hired as the Lakeland High School field hockey junior varsity coach in 1998. The following summer she started the league and camps to build interest in Suffolk for girls to have the opportunity to learn the game at a younger age. The Girls Field Hockey League started as a small, two team league in 1999 and developed into an organized intramural-type league with 6 teams in 2000. The following year, the league continued to grow expanding to 12 teams and a high school division. The high school division allows the high school teams to play together as a team to prepare for the coming season. Most of the high schools from the Southeastern district now participate in the league. Girls Field Hockey started as a dream, never realizing how much it would affect field hockey in this area.
Today, the league stays consistent with an average of 350 girls per season with participants ranging from 4 years old to 17 years old. Our seasons include winter (Indoor- Feb. – Mar.), fall league (September- October) and summer (outdoor- June- July). Girls Field Hockey also has day camps throughout the year (April and September) and a week long camp, N2 Stix Field Hockey Camp that takes place in the summer (late June).
The league is truly a family affair for Tara. Her mother and father both assist in the younger leagues by officiating. Most of the league coaches and officials are area high school and college players and graduates. Our coaches and officials are able to mentor their teams and share their knowledge and excitement for the game to a younger generation each year. Not only are these experienced field hockey players helping the younger ones, but the younger ones help them to know both sides of the game. These athletes volunteer their time to enhance the sport.
It is the goal of Girls Field Hockey to provide a fun, competitive learning experience in a safe and family atmosphere. We welcome suggestions for improvement and also…praises! If there is anything you feel we should be made aware of, feel free to contact us.
About Tara Worley
Tara was introduced to field hockey in high school when Suffolk Public Schools joined the Southeastern District. Before that time, high schools in Suffolk had not participated in the sport. She began playing in a summer league in Newport News in order to learn the game, so she could make the high school team. From the moment she stepped on the field, she knew she loved this game. Although, she was very successful in high school, she decided to play softball in college due to having more experience in that sport. While in college, Tara restarted a club field hockey team at Christopher Newport University that had been dormant for over 15 years. CNU club began to travel and play all across the state against other colleges and universities. Upon graduating from college, Tara passed on the club responsibility and later watched the club team turn into the successful Division III collegiate program that it is today.
Tara was hired to teach and coach JV field hockey at Lakeland High School in Suffolk in 1998. After completing her first year, she was hired as the varsity field hockey coach. In her first year as varsity coach, the team finished third in the district, coming from last, and qualified for the district tournament for the first time in school history. The following year her team finished first. From that year until the present her team has won 13 district championships, 12 regional appearances and 4 state appearances. In 2010, Tara’s team won its first regional championship and also won the Virginia AAA State Championship going undefeated 24-0. That team outscored its opponents 136-4. Sometimes, even more important, her 2009 & 2010 team won the Virginia AAA Sportsmanship Award. In 2010, Coach Worley also collected her 200th win. Her teams had continued success after 2010, making it to the state tournament for 2012 & 2013. In 2013, her team was the runner-up for the state title, losing in overtime. In the winter of 2014, Coach Worley retired from coaching to pursue higher education and spending time with her children. However, even after retiring, she continues to win awards. In 2014, she was awarded the “National High School Field Hockey Coach of the Year” by National High School Coaches Association.
She founded the youth league and camps in 1999 to bring the sport of field hockey to the forefront in Suffolk. She has been a United States Field Hockey futures coach, high school referee and also organizes the travel team Suffolk Storm that participates in tournaments throughout the year. She was a Physical Education and Health teacher at Forest Glen Middle School for 12 ½ years and was the “Wellness Coach” for Suffolk Public Schools for 6 years. Next, she was an Assistant Principal at Nansemond River High School. In 2022, she started in York County Public Schools as an Assistant Principal at Grafton High School, moving closer to her residence. She spends a lot of her spare time running the league and organizing other field hockey events in the area. Field Hockey has and is a large part of coach’s life. However, the biggest part would be her two children, Regan and Grayson.