Field Hockey’s Right-Hand Woman

Paige Bolton uses her strong running skills and her ability to move about the field to make an impact on her team and opponents.

Being a leader doesn’t come easy for many people. The qualities a leader must possess aren’t always a part of one’s personality. For senior Paige Bolton, being a leader comes naturally.

“The girls can ask me anything they need and I try to get to know and help them,” Bolton said.

This season will be Bolton’s fourth and final on the varsity field hockey team. After wanting to try something new her freshman year, Bolton caught on quickly and fell in love with the sport.

Not only does Bolton enjoy playing field hockey, but she also is one of the team’s most valuable players and leaders.

Bolton didn’t have a set position her freshman and sophomore years; those two years were used as trial and error to find where she fit in best. By the time Bolton’s junior year came along, she found her perfect fit on the field as the right midfielder. Because of her strong running background and ability to move throughout the field quickly, the right side of the field is where Bolton spends most of her time during games. The right is considered “the strong side” and it’s where most of the action takes place.

Bolton often uses field hockey as a way to let off steam; she spends her time at practices and games with her friends which gives her something to focus on and devote her time.

“Playing is enjoyable because it takes your mind off of problems or anything making you upset,” Bolton said. “You can let your anger out on the ball and focus on something else other than what life is throwing at you.”

Since Bolton started playing on varsity her freshman year without years of experience under her belt, she felt she dealt with some tough criticism from older teammates. Bolton didn’t shut down and let the negativity affect the way she played; instead, she used it as motivation to improve her skills and become a better overall player. Now that she is a senior and has an important leadership role on the team, Bolton is using her past experiences to influence how she treats the rest of her teammates.

“I know how it feels to be shamed for not knowing the sport or playing well, so I told myself to not treat any new players like I was treated during my younger years,” Bolton said. “I try to be as nice and open to the newer girls and make friends with all of them.”

With her strong willed personality and her ability to be a kind and helpful teammate, Bolton is respected by her peers. Whether she’s giving advice for life or game-time situations, Bolton is someone her teammates know they can always count on for anything.

Bolton understands that being a leader doesn’t mean that help and support from other teammates isn’t needed. She often uses her friends on the team to bounce ideas off of and overall help one another improve.

“Paige is a leader because she is always willing to help people work to improve their skills,” senior Kaylee Griffin said. “Whether it be during a game or during practice, she is always working hard to have the best possible passes and shots on goal.”

This season, Bolton is hoping to use her strong leadership skills and outgoing personality to help the team grow together and become the strongest they’ve ever been. With the help of her coaches and teammates, she is hoping to make her senior season the best one to date.