CLIFTON PARK — Shenendehowa varsity field hockey coach Shawn Eggleston has big shoes to fill.
This week, she began leading her first preseason practices with the Plainsmen program following the retirement of Jeanne Frevola, a coach whose career included more than 300 wins and multiple state championships. Eggleston, a physical education teacher in the school district, played field hockey at Shenendehowa and has coached with the program’s lower-level teams since 2008. She’s replacing a Section II field hockey legend, but said she’s eager to take on that challenge.
“I’m just excited to kind of do my thing,” said Shawn Eggleston, whose daughter Kendall Eggleston is a senior on the Plainsmen’s team. “Maybe I bring a different type of energy and style to the program. I’m my own person. I’m excited, fresh and ready to go.”
And Shawn Eggleston, a 1994 Shenendehowa graduate, knows how she wants her squad to play.
“We’re going to be relentless,” Eggleston said. “We’re going to pursue every ball and we’re going to be passionate about what we do.”
The first-year varsity coach will be tested immediately. Shenendehowa opens the season against another one of the Suburban Council’s powerhouse when it heads Sept. 8 to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. Last year, the Plainsmen defeated the Spartans 3-0 in Frevola’s final game, the season-ending Suburban Council title game.
With restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Shenendehowa’s season ended without being able to participate in the state playoffs, which were canceled throughout the 2020-21 academic year, but return for this fall. Shenendehowa finished 13-1 last season.
Eggleston said the matchup against the Spartans will be a great way for the Plainsmen to start their season.
“We’re going to prepare and train for every game, but opening up with one of the best is really going to see where we stand, what we’re made of, what we can do well and what we have to work on,” Eggleston said.
In Eggleston’s first season leading the Plainsmen, several former Shenendehowa stars are among the program’s coaching staff. Emily Fraser is a varsity assistant coach, Taryn Marra is the JV coach, and Kenzie Woerner and McKenna Robinson are coaching the school’s modified teams.