By Terry Jacoby/weloveannarbor.com
Anyone fortunate enough to watch the Skyline field hockey team play this past season might have noticed three players who looked pretty similar. They actually were hard to miss because they were three of the better players competing every time they stepped on the turf.
Of course, we are talking about the Courtright sisters. To say that they are the same player or the same person or share the same dreams would only be half (Court)right. While they share similar interests and have the same drive to succeed and the same grade-point average (4.0), they are very different individuals with unique goals and dreams. They each have different places they want to end up and different ways of getting there.
Coco, a freshman; Jessica, a junior; and Lauren, a senior, are the daughters of Susan and John Courtright. And they are as impressive off the field as they are on it, sharing a love of sports, academics, life and each other.
Let’s meet these amazing student-athletes in a little bit different way – maybe it’s the best way to learn what makes them different – and the same.
What are some things you have learned from or admired about your sisters?
COCO: “Something I have learned about my sisters is their work ethics. Not once did they miss an opportunity to get better. Every day they are grinding to get better and it shows. I am so proud of who they became over the years and what they have accomplished. I am so lucky to have them as my older sisters because they are great role models to me. They work very hard in school, at their sport or whatever they are doing, and they push me to be a better person, too.”
JESSICA: “Something that I respect about my sisters is how hard working they both are. It was so easy to tell how determined and persistent they were out on the field. Lauren and Coco would fight for every ball, and do everything they possibly could do to score or help another teammate score just to get the win at the end of the night. Seeing them both on the field with me caused me to realize how lucky I was to have sisters that will do anything possible to work their hardest and give 100 percent effort on the field, which I respect so much.”
LAUREN: “I really respect the hard work and determination my sisters have for this sport. They are always putting in the extra work to get better each and every day. Even on days that they have field hockey practice in the evening, they go up to the turf field at Skyline during their lunch time to play a little more.”
What is one quality each of your sisters possesses that you wish you had more of?
COCO: “I would definitely like to have Jessica’s competitiveness. We do a lot together, both on and off the field, and every time it somehow turns into a race. I like it though because it pushes both of us to be better at whatever it is. Lauren has really good attention to detail both in the classroom and on the field. She works very hard in school and helps me a lot. She pushes me academically and makes us all better students overall. They both balance me academically and athletically.”
JESSICA: “One quality from Lauren that I wish I had more of is being more organized and doing more around the house for my parents. Lauren always goes above and beyond to limit the amount of things my parents have to do, like cleaning up behind all of us. One quality I wish I had more of from Coco is her competitiveness. She will always try to win everything, whether it is racing to get shotgun in the front seat of the car or our 1v1s when playing each other in field hockey or even just our fights in general. I sometimes just give up because they aren’t worth it to keep the argument or the fight going, but she for sure doesn’t! It is such a good thing to have both of those qualities, which my sisters are very lucky to have.”
LAUREN: “I wish that I was as outgoing and optimistic as Jessica. Even when times may seem bad, she always looks on the bright side of things. She is one of the friendliest people I know and she always brings positive energy. For Coco, I wish that I was as competitive as she is. Whether it’s in a sporting event or just in a card game, she always brings a competitive spirit.”
What was it like playing field hockey with all three of you on the field?
COCO: “I loved being able to play with my sisters. I thought it was very fun, special and it got interesting. This year, I was a freshman so I did not know a lot of people and was new to the team, but having them helped me talk to new people and I got comfortable with the team right away. I have never played with any of my sisters before and it was fun to have each other on and off the field. There weren’t many challenges, but one I would say was the way we spoke to each other on the field. In stressful situations, we would act like sisters on the field and tend to yell at each other. We are all very competitive people and do not like to lose and it shows on the field.”
JESSICA: “Oh there were positives and challenges of this! All of the positives cancelled all of the negatives because this was such a special and rare experience that I got to have. Playing with two of my sisters was one of the best things that happened this season. We got to do each other’s hair for game days, drive together while jamming out to our favorite songs to games, be with each other for more time than normal, and got all of the love that came from the other two when one of us scored. Hearing the announcer say each name, and hearing three Courtright girls was something different from everyone else. One of the only challenges was the occasional fight we had at practice, in games, or in the car. They were all solved within minutes so it would not affect our play or our team, but they got a bit aggressive sometimes to say the least!”
LAUREN: “It was honestly so cool that I got to experience playing on the same field hockey team as two of my sisters. We had a lot of sisterly bonding time and spent multiple hours of our days together. Occasionally, we would get a little too comfortable on the field with each other and would let out our actual emotions. It can be tough to hold it all in when you’re playing with two sisters!”
How did you first get interested in field hockey and what did you like about the sport?
COCO: “Actually, Jessica got me into it. I started in fourth grade right after Jessica started doing Rec & Ed. All my friends were already playing it so I thought I should try it out and right away I loved it. I love how the sport is so much fun to play, and along with that, I get to play with all my best friends. I love how it is a team sport and you get to meet so many new people. I have met so many people that I call my best friends now and I am so thankful I chose field hockey to be my sport.”
JESSICA: “I first started playing field hockey in third grade when an old friend of mine asked me if I wanted to play with her on a local Rec & Ed team. The team was the Cyclones, which was the team that I ended up sticking with until middle school when I started playing club field hockey. As soon as
I picked up that field hockey stick and started playing, I fell in love with the sport and wanted to play on and on forever. I loved how unique and different it was from all of the other sports I had played, like soccer. I got to be so competitive and aggressive on that field, which gave me so much thrill. There are girls on that team that now play with me on Pinnacle and girls that ended up quitting, but I still talk to them every day.”
LAUREN: “I started playing Rec & Ed field hockey in about fourth grade. I played field hockey all throughout middle school, but never played at a super competitive level. I have always loved playing field hockey, but I just have never taken it as seriously as my sisters do. I stopped playing freshman year of high school because I was more interested in other sports, but I picked it back up again junior year.”
What have been a few of your highlights in your field hockey career?
COCO: “One of my favorite highlights of my field hockey career at Skyline was definitely tying Dexter, the defending state champs, just because they had been crushing everyone prior to our game and we came out and were not scared at all. Some highlights that I will always remember from my club team, Pinnacle, is the team bonding. I love going to every tournament because I get to go with my best friends. From the team dinners, to going into each other’s rooms at night, and driving to and from games with each other jamming music, it really shows how grateful I am for this sport. Making new best friends is definitely a big highlight in my field hockey career throughout the years.”
JESSICA: “One of my favorite highlights was winning the State Championship last year. Our team worked so hard to get into that final game, and even harder when the score was tied 1-1 vs. Chelsea. I saw some things in that game that I had never seen people do, which was one of the best feelings! Getting the trophy and feeling that accomplishment made me feel so proud of myself and of my team, which I will never forget. One highlight of my club career was winning Regionals in 2019, which advanced us to Nationals. Very few teams in the country get to attend, and it was such a special feeling knowing we were the best team from our Region, and that we earned that spot, which put us at No. 2 in the country, which was crazy! Lastly, and more recently, I committed to Ohio State, which is 100 percent one of my favorite highlights. Throughout the entire recruiting process, there had been ups and downs, and as soon as I made that call, I felt that I had finally made it to the level that I always dreamed of playing at. Knowing that I had just made my dream since a little girl come true, I was so proud of myself and all of the work I had to put in to get there.”
LAUREN: “Winning the Division II State Championship is definitely my proudest moment from my field hockey career. At the beginning of junior year, I was really indecisive and unsure about what I wanted to do with my time. Luckily, Jessica convinced me to join the Skyline field hockey team with her. I was very nervous about just picking up field hockey again after not touching a stick for a little over two years, but Jessica made me feel much more comfortable with the transition. I am so glad with my decision and that I was part of such a memorable team.”
What are your future plans?
COCO: “My goal is to play field hockey in college. My dream has always been to play D-1. Every day, I work my hardest to get better because I know it is not an easy task to do and the opportunity is not just going to come to me, I have to work for it. I think it would be really cool to go play in the Big Ten so I could play against or with Jessica at Ohio State. I hope my dreams come to reality, but I have a lot of work to do and I’m willing to put the work in.”
JESSICA: “I am planning on attending The Ohio State University and playing field hockey! I picked Ohio State because their coaching staff made me feel so welcomed to their program and made me feel comfortable with saying that Columbus could be my new home in a few years. Coach Martin was immediately so easy to talk to. I had attended a camp and toured their campus a few times, one time with my cousin who attends OSU, before choosing to continue my education there, and as soon as I arrived, I knew I wanted to go there. I loved the big city feel that Columbus gave off and everything there is to do there. I also have many family members that live around Columbus, which definitely helped sway my choice!”
LAUREN: “While I love to play field hockey, I do not want to play field hockey in college. I plan to go to college next year and I am just waiting to see where I may end up. I’ve applied to many colleges and am supposed to hear back from them sometime in the next few months. At college, I plan on majoring in Political Science and I hope to someday become a lawyer who serves underrepresented populations.”