Ballard Hoping to Impress at US Field Hockey Camp

By: Nate Sulham
By: Nate Sulham

She's already one of the top high school field hockey players in the Commonwealth.

This week she has a chance to prove she's one of the best in the country.

Charlottesville rising junior Kendall Ballard is in Virginia Beach this week as part of the USA Field Hockey Nationals Futures Championship.

The invitation-only tournament features the best high school players in the country, all hoping to impress the numerous college coaches and US National coaches in attendance.

"I'm really honored that they chose me this year and I'm really excited to go and show them what I can do," Ballard said.

It's an opportunity for the reigning Region II Player of the Year to see where she stacks up among the nation's elite.

"It's hard playing against them but it's also great getting to play with better players and having the opportunity and more exposure with them," she explained. "That's what the college level will be like."

Lindsay Larson is Ballard's coach at CHS and is a firm believer that the step up in competition will benefit her down the road.

"What's great about doing the National Futures is it helps her develop as a player and move on to the next level," Larson explained. "She's going to blend in more and it will be good for her to get a little higher competition."

Ballard is a three-sport athlete at CHS, also excelling on the girls basketball and lacrosse teams. She plans on playing all three sports "until her body gives out", but says the field hockey turf will be where she calls home at the next level.

"Field hockey is definitely a part of me that I just don't think I could live without it. It's just always been something close to me," she explained.

She's already receiving interest from schools like Virginia and Maryland, with that list sure to expand after her time at Futures. Her coach says it's her will and desire to be great that will be the difference, no matter where she ends up.

"You know that passion is there and that drive is there and she's going and getting it," Larson said. "She doesn't stop playing. She's literally eating, breathing, sleeping field hockey."

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