YORK — Tabb High's field hockey program is lucky to have Macy Peebles as its first All-American in several years. Peebles, the Daily Press All-Stars Field Hockey Player of the Year, is a great ambassador for the program because she feels so lucky to have been a part of it.
Consider that Peebles, a starter for the Tigers the past four seasons, can't wait to tell her teammates at the University of Virginia what a terrific program Tabb has. Virginia, where Peebles will play next year on scholarship, is pretty good in its own right, having reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
She'll be able to talk about having been a part of three Group A/AA state championship teams for the Tigers. More impressive is her positive attitude about the 2012 season, which ended with the unbeaten Tigers losing a 2-1 heartbreaker to Chancellor in overtime in the state championship game.
"It wasn't sad how the season ended, because I was proud of how far this team came," Peebles said. "Win or lose, we were still a team and we worked hard to get as far as we got.
"We learned a lot about sportsmanship, working hard and staying positive. Our main goal was to play with class and work as a team."
The words are authentic, from someone her coach and others describe as an ultimate team player and a genuinely nice person.
"She's really a sweet girl," Tabb coach Wendy Wilson said. "If she's knocks you over on the field, she'll literally try to pick you up.
"She's done so well because she doesn't have a big ego. She's always looking to help her teammates and give them credit."
Peebles plays the perfect position to do both: center midfielder. In Wilson's system, the center-mid must have the ability to think fast in leading the transition from defense to attack.
"The center-mid is the quarterback of the team," Wilson said. "She's been in that position for four years, and it's not one you see a lot of freshmen play.
"It's a hard-working position with a lot of grunt work. You're not going to get a lot of statistics."
Peebles' seven goals and eight assists are modest for someone who won or shared Player of the Year honors on the district, state and regional levels this season. Brooke Feiner, coach of the Grafton team that lost to Tabb in the 2011 state final, said that opposing coaches understand Peebles' value even if it's not apparent on the stat sheet.
"She's very good at setting up the attack from a defensive posture," Feiner said. "She has very good vision and understands the game well.
"She knows that even before you receive the ball, you've got to know what you're going to do with it."
Peebles says she'll look back fondly at the large crowds that routinely cheered on the Tigers at home games. About the only things she wishes she experienced more often were close games like the state final against Chancellor.
She knows she's in for plenty more at U.Va. and believes her time at Tabb has prepared her for them.
"Coach Wilson pushed us hard on runs in practice, rain or shine," said Peebles, a National Honor Society member. "You might not have always enjoyed it, but looking back you're glad she did, because that's why we were so successful.
"I know that will definitely help me adjust to the next level."
Aly Harmatz | Tabb | senior: First-year starting forward was a scoring machine, setting a school record with 37 goals and 19 assists in earning Group AA all-state first-team honors. Will play on scholarship at Kent State.
Caroline Beaudoin | Grafton | senior: Two-time AA all-state first-team midfielder starred for state quarterfinalists with 17 goals and eight assists. Will play on scholarship at Stanford.
Hayley Mills | Tabb | senior: Lafayette (Pa.) College commitment scored nine goals en route to first-team all-district, all-region and all-state honors.
Macy Peebles | Tabb | senior: A scholarship player next year at national power Virginia, Peebles led the defense and attack from midfield, and was first-team all-state for the third year in a row.
Marissa O'Brien | Tabb | senior: Group AA all-state first-teamer broke a school record with eight defensive saves and led a defensive unit that allowed only four goals against AA opponents all season. Will play on scholarship at Appalachian State.
Betsy Wusk | Tabb | senior: An all-state first-team selection for the second consecutive season, she starred on defense and was 6-of-6 on penalty strokes.
Julia Young | Grafton | senior: Defender played on the U-17 national team, was selected a high school All-American and to the all-state first team, all of which netted her a full scholarship to North Carolina.
Andrea Rinehart | Grafton | senior: A varsity goalie for three years, she recorded 11 shutouts this season to earn first-team all-state recognition.
Abby Cole | Bruton | senior: Second-team all-state selection set a school record for points, notching 24 goals and 26 assists, in leading the Panthers to second place in the Bay Rivers and a berth in the regional semifinals.
Kaylee Maunz | Grafton | senior: Headed to VCU on a scholarship, Maunz had 21 goals, three of which were postseason game-winners. Second-team all-state.
Bri Greene | Gloucester | freshman: First-team All-Peninsula District pick marked opposition's most dangerous player for a defense that allowed one district goal.
Anne Waverly Spencer | Hampton Roads Academy | senior: Scored the game-winning penalty stroke in the state quarterfinals on her way to first-team all-state honors.
Carley Shannon | Bruton | junior: Midfield standout had 10 goals and 21 assists for the Panthers despite splitting her time between field hockey and winning the district cross country title.
Emily Jackson | Walsingham Academy | senior: A great senior season included more than 200 saves.
Cassidy Goodwin | Gloucester | freshman: The Dukes' assist leader, Goodwin was picked as the Peninsula District Player of the Year in leading her team to the district title.
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