Senior athlete commits to a Virginia college


Amanda Hertz

Kaitlyn Hertz signs her Shenandoah contract at her house with friends and family on Dec. 12, 2021.

Hailey Bombard, Staff Writer

Senior athlete Kaitlyn Hertz was accepted to play field hockey at Shenandoah University this upcoming fall. 

Kaitlyn began her field hockey journey in second grade but took a pause for a little while. She later rejoined in sixth grade and hasn’t looked back since. Once she reached high school, she knew she wanted to play in college. 

Kaitlyn has been on the varsity field hockey team since she was a freshman, and this season she was one of the captains for the varsity team. 

“This past season we basically started with a whole new team which was a big transition. It was cool to watch everyone grow and the team improved tremendously as a whole, everyone worked so hard,” said Kaitlyn. “I’m going to miss everyone, and even though the season didn’t play out the way we wanted it to, it was one of my favorite high school seasons.”

Kaitlyn has inspired many, including sophomore Katelyn Snow, who has been on the field hockey team for the past two seasons.

“Kaitlyn inspires me as a hockey player and as a person. She is always so positive and lights up every room. She’s always there to help anyone and everyone. She’s the person you go to when you need help for literally anything. I am so proud that she is going to play in college,” said Katelyn Snow.

Kaitlyn did not always know she wanted to attend Shenandoah University. After she emailed different schools and toured their campuses, she decided that Shenandoah was the right fit for her. 

“I’m excited about the upcoming college season. All the people on the team feel like family already and I’m honored to be a part of their group,” said Kaitlyn. “I’ve been talking to some of the girls who are committed and we all get along very well already which is so cool.”

Kaitlyn took many steps to be able to play for Shenandoah.

“You have to work hard on and off the field. Focus on mastering the fundamentals of your sport and spending time conditioning and in the weight room to work on injury prevention exercises. Work to get good grades, do extra clubs and volunteer work. Keep in touch with the colleges you’re interested in,” said Kaitlyn.

Workout packets have not yet been sent out, but she still manages to stay active and work out six to seven times a week. Throughout her high school career, she has played club field hockey for the Saints Hockey Rocks, trained at Vault Athletics and Fitness, and spent a tremendous amount of time training on her own time to try to perfect her skills.

“I am trying to build up my skills and make them cleaner for college level,” said Kaitlyn. 

While preparing herself to play forward or midfield in the fall, she also has to think about what her major in college will be.

“I took a career quiz in 8th grade, and it said I would be a good physical therapist; then I just decided that that’s what I was going to do,” said Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn is going to major in exercise science on the pre-therapy pathway. By being offered a seat in the Early Assurance Physical Therapy Program, where only a few were selected, she was guaranteed a seat in the competitive Doctors of Physical Therapy school.

Kaitlyn would like to work in an adult outpatient clinic once she becomes a licensed physical therapist.

“She’s a team leader. She’s humble and doesn’t ask for glory. She’s the one that does everything and goes above and beyond. For her, it’s always about just doing the right thing when no one is looking,” said Coach Christine Thornton, who is now one of her SCA advisers. “She gets better and better each year. To me, it was a no-brainer that she got picked up by a college. I’m glad that Shenandoah could see the things that I see in her.” 

Kaitlyn shares a few words of wisdom as a senior.

“My advice is to make friends and be nice to everyone. Try to enjoy every moment because high school doesn’t last forever. Surround yourself with people who have the same interests and goals as you and always try your best and stay positive,” said Kaitlyn.