Andover Girls Hockey Co-Captain Emily Batchelor ’19 began figure skating at a young age, then coupled that activity with competitive hockey. Once she reached fifth grade, Batchelor chose to pursue hockey and has played on the Andover Girls Hockey and Field Hockey teams for all four years of her time at Andover.
According to Batchelor, the field hockey skills she has learned have translated coherently into her ice hockey game.
“I think definitely quickness of your hands is one thing, and working on using your peripheral vision is big. It’s pretty much the same. You have to be able to look up while you have the puck or the ball, and being strong in general — not being pushed off the puck. It’s important to hold your ground in both sports,” said Batchelor.
Batchelor credits the Andover Girls Hockey team with teaching her the importance of playing for her teammates, and not just for the sport.
“[Andover has taught me] to be a good teammate because before Andover, it’s kind of like you just showed up, played the sport, and left, but being on the team here is like being a family… Andover has taught me to go beyond just the sport itself,” said Batchelor.
According to her teammates, Batchelor’s competitive spirit and tenacity make her a standout player, according to Carly Kreytak ’20 and Co-Captain Erin Kelley ’19.
“She’s really hard working on the ice. She never gives a shift off, even if she’s been on the ice for so long, she’s still going so hard. She’s really gritty, which is really inspiring for all the girls on the team, even though she’s smaller, she still makes her way about the ice,” said Kreytak.
Kelley added, “Emily in particular just always leads by example. Her effort on the ice is just incredible, and I think we all just look up to her and how much work she puts in.”
Batchelor, a center, likes playing the position because of her responsibility to be an assistive teammate on both ends of the ice.
“Something I like about [center] is that you get to be fairly active in both the offensive and defensive zone. Everyone is pretty active all of the time, but especially as a center, you’re kind of responsible for being like a third defenseman and then in the offensive zone, you’re just like another one of the forwards, so it’s super fun to be all over the ice and have a big role in all parts of the ice,” said Batchelor.
According to Lilly Feeney ’20, Batchelor facilitates great communication with her teammates to improve upon skills that benefit the whole team.
Feeney said, “She is great as a defender in the defensive zone. She’s really good on man-to-man coverage down low, and we all work off of each other, whether we are watching film or just watching the game, on how we can improve on each others’ mistakes.”
Batchelor matches her competitive and relentless spirit with a welcoming, vivacious personality, according to Kreytak and Co-Captain Kelly McCarthy ’19.
“I think that she is very bubbly. She makes it really fun for everyone. In the locker room after, and on the ice, too, but she’s just really intense in a good way. She brings a lot of energy and it radiates off of her, so it forces everyone else to work hard,” said Kreytak.
McCarthy added, “Emily is definitely super silly, fun, and energetic, and that’s the type of energy that we need. People always have different routines prior to the game — some might be serious, some might listen to music by themselves — but I know I can always count on Emily to get the energy going, to be dancing and singing or joking around and having fun. I think that really just helps everyone get excited for the game.”
Batchelor said she believes that it is important to be grateful for the team aspect of the game while still focusing on improving to compete at the team’s fullest potential.
Batchelor said, “It’s easy to get caught up in wins and losses, but at the end of the day, this is such a fun opportunity to play hockey in high school and be with some of the girls who are your best friends, and just remember to have fun with it and not get too caught up — well, wins are good and important, but just to not get too caught up in that aspect of it.”