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New Trier field hockey program to be led by assistant coach

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New Trier field hockey program to be led by assistant coach

Recent Trier field hockey isn’t broke, so why fix it?

Recent Trier has looked inside for its latest head coach, naming Brittany Romano, a Trevians field hockey alumna, to interchange legendary coach Stephanie Nykaza — also a Trevians field hockey alumna.

Romano has served on Nykaza’s staff for the past 10 seasons and takes over a program that has won 16 state championships, including one while Romano was an NTHS player (2007) and 4 (2018-’22) while she was a varsity coach.

“I’m extremely grateful to Recent Trier, the athletics department and the administration,” Romano said. “They’ve been so supportive of me since I used to be a student at Recent Trier. … It’s amazing. There is no such thing as a other place I’d want to teach. I’m extremely grateful for the chance.”

Romano, a goalie, began playing field hockey at Wilmette Junior High, with a program that also exists today. She played at a Trevian under Nykaza until her graduation in 2009 after which went on to play collegiate field hockey at Denison University.

At Denison, Romano was an All-Conference standout and was the league’s defensive player of the 12 months as a junior. More accolades got here her way senior 12 months, and Romano still holds the college’s record for many profession saves and shutouts. Coaches (left to right) Saleema Rogers, Stephanie Nykaza and Brittany Romano at a retirement celebration for Nykaza in the autumn.

By the point she graduated college, Romano had already been coaching youth field hockey players for 4 years. Under Nykaza, she fell in love with the job.

As she moved up the ranks, her path became increasingly more clear. “During those years, I just knew,” Romano said. “I knew this was my path and this was the profession desired to pursue. … Overall I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding than getting to teach young athletes and young women.”

Nykaza helmed the Trevians for 35 years, ending a storied profession with a runnerup finish within the state tournament this fall. Under Nykaza, the Trevians won 14 state championships.

In an interview with The Record in October, Nykaza said that a talented coaching staff, led by Romano, was certainly one of the explanations she was comfortable retiring.

Romano said it can be difficult to not have Nykaza by her side on the sidelines, but she also knows her mentor won’t be distant. “It’s like that feeling of going off to varsity and you’re able to be on your individual but at the identical time you’re like, ‘Can I do that without them?’” Romano said. “… We’ve created a really close partnership throughout these last 10 years, so it can be difficult to not have that voice on the sidelines with me; despite the fact that, I believe she’s going to call after ever game and can probably go to numerous games. “It is going to be different, but so far as the culture of this program, all the things that (Nykaza) has built I imagine in. Plenty of the traditions, expectations and the way we run things will stay the identical. So I believe for the women the transition goes to be really smooth.”

Romano is in her second 12 months teaching at Recent Trier High School. She is on the kinetic wellness staff and teachers strength and conditioning and yoga and self defense as well.

Trevians field hockey has a comparatively unique offseason challenge following the unpleasant end to its 2023 season. After a remarkable regular season, the Trevians were upset within the state championship, 1-0, by Glenbrook (co-op).

Romano said this system’s rising seniors “can’t recover from it.” And while Romano and her staff must will likely be challenged to channel that energy in a positive direction, the eagerness inside the program is all the time there, she said. And it’s an enormous reason she, like Nykaza, bleeds blue and green. “I believe we have now such great kids,” Romano said. “They are available and need to work so hard. They’re extremely dedicated to our sport. … We understand that to achieve success we have now to work hard — long practices, a lot of conditioning — they usually do it. It’s not something we have now to persuade them to do. It’s very easy to teach these girls.”

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