Athlete Spotlight: SU field hockey player Presha Merritt
Shenandoah University 18-year-old freshman
Sport: Field Hockey
Parents: Patricia and John Merritt
High School: Brooke Point (Class of 2012)
Nickname: Probably just “Presh” at home and then on the field my coach calls me “Jello” because my legs kind of flail out when I’m running.
When did you start playing field hockey: I started in seventh grade and I had no idea what it was. My P.E. teacher said, “Oh, you’re fast, let’s see if we can get you on the field hockey team,” and I’ve just been playing ever since.
What you love about field hockey: I love how I can use my speed and aggression and put it on the field, and just working with the team, it’s really run.
Biggest strength and weakness in field hockey: Probably my biggest strength is just my speed. I can usually outrun people. And my biggest weakness is just my endurance. I can sprint for probably like 20 seconds straight, but then I’m totally done and exhausted, so I have to be subbed in a lot.
Sport you always wanted to try: Cricket. It just looks so confusing, I just want to try and see what it’s like.
Most memorable moment in field hockey: This year one of my best friends (senior midfielder Hannah Johnson) got proposed to at one of our last home games. It was so sweet. It was our last home game and we were all getting ready to leave the field and coach told us to come back and then he proposed to her at the middle of the field.
Most embarrassing moment in field hockey: When I’m running really fast and my legs are flailing everywhere I trip really easily, so most of the time I’m on the ground and it’s pretty much always embarrassing. I just try to get up and laugh it off.
Favorite athlete: (Jamaican Olympic gold medalist) Usain Bolt. I just love watching him run, he’s the fastest man alive.
Favorite sports team: Notre Dame football
Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Usain Bolt would be one, (singer) Chris Brown and (television icon) Oprah. Chris Brown is just so hot and he has the voice of an angel. And to me, Oprah in my eyes is just the strongest woman and I idolize her.
Favorite Quote: “If you ain’t first you’re last.” – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
What’s on the iPod: Pretty much everything, I listen to what’s new, some R&B and country, I love country. I don’t really like heavy metal.
Pregame routine/ritual: I always braid my hair from the back up and I hit my shin guards three times after I put them on.
Plans after college: I would love to go into probably athletics directing or anything that has to do with coaching.
— Compiled by Kevin Trudgeon