Student-Athlete Spotlight: Jillian Sommers

Senior Jillian Sommers, a key pillar in the success of the Cape Henry girls varsity field hockey team, has recently committed to a college to continue her education and field hockey career at Gettysburg College.

The Gettysburg College is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and is home to 24 varsity teams competing at the DIII level and a varsity women’s field hockey team. According to the team website, “since taking the field as a varsity sport in 1948, the Bullets have won over 500 contests (517-392-62), claimed seven conference titles, made eight appearances in the national playoffs, and had 14 All-America selections.” The Bullet’s prestigious program has not been the only drawing factor for Sommers. 

“When I first visited for a camp (which was the same week I committed), I stayed with the team overnight and went to their lift,” Sommer said. “I just felt like these are the people I can see myself with. I loved the coach as well and how she presented herself. The campus was so pretty, and I could see myself being there so easily.”

After picking their future university or college, seniors often have an aspect of the school they are looking forward to in college. Sommers said she can’t wait for her new start in the fall of 2023.

“[I am looking forward to] playing with my new team and finding my close friends for the next four years and excelling in the career path I want to go into – business,” Sommers said. 

Every athlete has a background story of how they started the sport and what has been so important to them throughout the years, and Sommers is no different. Sommers started her career in the third grade and has played on Cape Henry’s varsity field hockey team for five years. She is determined to lead the Dolphins to victory. 

“I am ready to show everyone who watches/hears about our team how determined we are to win and show them that we are the best in TCIS,” Sommers said.

Confidence is vital with Sommers; and when reflecting on her role models, she could not put her finger on just one.

“I’ve never had a true role model in [field hockey], I’ve seen and heard of so many great players, and I just look at them all and tell myself I can be just as good, so I try to put aspects of their play and work ethic into mine,” Sommers said.

Choosing the number on a jersey can be significant to athletes. Athletes consider lucky numbers from their past and unique connections to a specific number. Sommers, when she joined the varsity team in the eighth grade, chose the number 16, but in reality, her lucky number is 4. 

“In 8th grade, I didn’t get to choose my lucky [number] four because someone already took it, so I decided to get 16 because that’s four times four, and ever since, I’ve just stuck with it,” said Sommers.”

With the varsity field hockey season closing, the team has spent much time with one another and has experienced wins and losses together. Sommers has played a vital role in the team’s success this season, and she described the current team in one word. 

“Powerful,” said Sommers 

Looking ahead, Sommers will sign her national letter of intent in November to play for the Gettysburg Bullets and join the team in the fall of 2023.