Skyler Fretz recently completed her senior season as a member of the Oley Valley High School field hockey team. Earlier this week, she signed her national letter of intent to play at Penn State University next fall.
Fretz had plenty of options. Many schools wanted her on their team, but she wasn’t even sure if she wanted to play at a Division 1 school. Once she narrowed down her opportunities, and visited colleges, she decided to go to Happy Valley, home of Penn State University. She said that it “felt like home.”
She got a very good feeling about her future coaches and teammates while she visited the school.
“They want you to work hard and they’re all working towards the same goal,” said Fretz. “I really like the campus. It’s not like a big town, but more like a town like Oley. “
She’ll tell you that finding the right school was harder than she thought.
“But once you feel at home there, it just kind of clicks,” said Fretz.
There were a couple of things that drew Skyler to Penn State. The first was that she liked the academic opportunities at P.S.U. She has not yet decided on a major, but she would like to work with people, possibly physical therapy, but nothing has really struck her attention at this time.
Skyler’s first impressions of Penn State field hockey coach Charlene Morett) were positive ones. Fretz felt very comfortable around her. It sounds like a minor thing, but Skyler believes that was a big help with her decision to attend Penn State.
“The players were really fun and out going,” said Fretz. “They all seemed like they got along really well. They had a good time together when they were around each other.”
Not all coaches will start first year players at the college level, but Coach Morett told Fretz that a starting spot was possible for her, but earning that spot won’t be easy. Skyler feels that if she works hard and stays in shape, she’ll be able to see some playing time as a freshman.
“I’m not expecting to start,” said Fretz. “But I think that if I work hard and get myself in really good shape, I’ll be able to play at least a little bit my first year.”
Going from a small school like Oley Valley, to a Division One college is a big jump. Most kids would be a little nervous about that. Skyler is nervous, but she feels that once she starts working with the team, the nerves will go away.
For Fretz, signing to play field hockey at Penn State is validation for all of the years of hard work she has put into her game. She’s been working since she was in third grade, and now it’s paying off.
“All the open plays, all the practices and all the team bonding stuff helped prepare me for this next event in my life,” said Fretz.