— What a month it's been for Christine Johnson.
The William and Mary and Jamestown High alumna got married last Saturday in greater Williamsburg. Tuesday night, the Williamsburg/James City School Board approved her as the new field hockey coach at Jamestown.
"Being the new coach will be an exciting turn of events in my life," Johnson said in an interview last week. "I didn't see myself coaching for high school right after I graduated, but being such a recent player myself, hopefully I can bring a new perspective to the team."
Johnson returns to Jamestown after a decorated career as a high school and college player. She was an all-state performer in 12th grade, leading the Eagles to postseason play four years in a row.
In college, she started 46 matches for William and Mary, including every game the past two seasons. She finished her career with 10 goals, eight assists and four defensive saves. As a senior, Johnson ranked second on the team in scoring with eight goals and five assists, and was a first-team all-state selection by the Virginia Sports Information Directors' Association.
But coaching isn't new for Johnson. She got a glimpse of teaching the sport while she was in high school.
"I started off only coaching very little kids, but I began coaching high schoolers throughout my college career," she said. "I always enjoyed it as a side job, so being able to really take control of a team will be new and exciting for me."
Johnson said she's excited for the opportunity to coach where her field hockey career began.
"I feel as though I already have an idea of how things go and what practices will look like," she said. "Although not everything is the same, it is fun to break out a lot of the Jamestown T-shirts that were tucked away in my closet for so long."
Peel Hawthorne and Tess Ellis were mentors to Johnson during her time at W&M, and her coaching style resembles that of her former coaches.
"Players already know that I believe conditioning is a major part of the game," she said. "Because I was so recently a player, I still very much think like a player. Hopefully this will cause me to set realistic goals and incorporate drills that further the development of each individual player. I appreciated so much the personal investment that my coaches Peel Hawthorne and Tess Ellis gave me throughout my college career that I can only hope to do the same for my players."
Senior forward Ally Johnson is excited about what the new coach has to offer.
"I think she will be a super good coach for our team this year," Johnson said in an interview this week. "So far, she's done nothing but made our team stronger as a team. I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us."
Jamestown lost nine seniors from last year's team that finished with an 8-7 record and ranked fifth in the Bay Rivers District.
"I'm coming in completely fresh and I'm excited to see what the season holds," Johnson said. "I think as long as we keep focus throughout the season and build upon each game, we will do great."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun