This Maryland high school player profiles series is presented by the U.S. Army.
Justice Washburn, a senior field hockey and softball player at Southern High School (Harwood, Md.), was nominated for the Maryland high school player profiles series by Bulldogs field hockey coach Cindy Gray.
“Justice is one of those kids where she is always reaching and exceeding expectations. It comes natural to her to think about, ‘What else can I do?’” Gray said. “Whereas a lot of kids meet expectations consistently, she exceeds expectations consistently. Her work ethic and her character just kind of take her a step above everybody else without asking her to be that person. It just naturally comes out.”
Gray commended Washburn for working out with her teammates during the summer with high school practices pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Washburn also volunteers with the Anne Arundel County Parks and Rec and South County Youth Association, helping to break in younger players — some of whom will soon be part of Southern High’s field hockey program.
Washburn answered some questions about being nominated.
CountySportsZone: When did you start playing field hockey? What is it about the sport that caught on with you?
Justice Washburn: I started playing field hockey at the beginning of middle school, so in sixth grade. I just really loved it. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the players. I think that the team and overall the sport itself just makes it more fun. It’s somewhere where I feel comfortable with my teammates and I’m able to be myself around them. Just love being outside and exercising and just having fun.
CSZ: What are your favorite memories from playing field hockey at Southern so far?
JW: One of my favorite memories is definitely our Halloween practices. I think that those were so much fun. We all dressed up. Each grade had a topic where they had to pick a costume — like animals or M&M’s or something of that sort. You came to the practice dressed up and we played games. I loved that so much. It was so much fun.
CSZ: What are some of the things that you did during the summer to make sure your teammates were all up to speed come the fall?
JW: I attended the eighth-grade practices with some of the younger kids, and some of the current players were there as well. I would ask my team if they wanted to go run on the weekend or if they had any time to just hit around. Mostly me and my sisters would go the field and we would hit around by ourselves if no one was available, but I would try to reach out and keep a stick in everybody’s hand just to keep us ready and prepared for whatever might happen for this season.
CSZ: What does it mean to be involved in the Anne Arundel County Parks and Rec and South County Youth Association programs and help younger players?
JW: To me, it’s great. It’s a great way to introduce the sport to younger kids, to get them to really enjoy the sport. I know that field hockey isn’t very common in a lot of places, but I feel it’s important that I share my fun and exciting experience playing as a high school player — hopefully college player as well.
CSZ: What are your plans for after high school?
JW: My plans are to attend a four-year college and hopefully play field hockey as well there, too. I don’t plan on playing Division I, but I am OK with D-II or D-III.
To nominate an athlete or team for a future U.S. Army Player/Team Profile, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Impact.
Photo Credit: Kelly Ingle