All-State Spotlight: Kaitlyn Welsh
Kaitlyn Welsh, a senior at Glastonbury High School, was named to the All-State field hockey team by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CTHSCA).
Welsh, who primarily played center defensive midfield, received the news from GHS field hockey head coach Maureen Perkins.
“It was early morning and I got a phone call from coach. She said she just wanted to congratulate you on making All-State first team and I thought she was joking,” recalled Welsh. “I was totally surprised. This was one of the biggest goals that I had this year.”
Teammate and fellow senior Molly Harding was also selected to the All-State first team. The two have been playing sports together for nearly a decade, first starting with basketball and lacrosse.
“It was such a great feeling. It’s been such a fun time playing with her and spending time with her,” Welsh said. “To have this opportunity together is just such a heartwarming thing, I was so happy. There is no one that I would rather get this with.”
The duo teamed with six other seniors, providing experience for a Guardians team that advanced to the Class L semifinals this fall.
Welsh said that Senior Day, a 5-0 win over South Windsor on Nov. 1, was a standout moment this season.
“It was such an amazing feeling and it made all the seniors feel special,” said Welsh, who credited the younger girls with making the team better. “The underclassmen on this team are the best underclassmen that I’ve ever seen and they worked so hard to help us.”
She captained a defensive unit that shutout 13 teams and allowed only 11 goals all season. Welsh was also a big contributor on the offensive end, scoring 12 goals and dishing out 10 assists.
The All-State selection was a well-deserved reward for Welsh, who didn’t start playing field hockey until her first year in high school after a friend recommended it. Her childhood passion was basketball but she quickly shifted her priorities once she started playing the outdoor sport.
“I went into it thinking it would be conditioning for me because I played basketball. Back then I thought basketball was going to be my whole world but then I found field hockey and it’s been incredible. I will never go back,” recalled Welsh.
It was a wise move as she wound up playing all four years at the varsity level and developed a close relationship with the coaching staff, calling them “the best coaches that I have ever had.”
She added, “I’ve learned things that I never thought I would learn and the things we’ve done together outside of field hockey I will never forget. Basically field hockey season is the best time all year.”
Currently she is playing for a club field hockey team in Greenwich, making the long commute every couple of days to further her development.
Off the field, she enjoys time with her two labradors, Waylin and Stormy, and helps her parents with their passions. Her mom, Carol, operates CW Photography and her dad, Mike, owns Dude’s Donuts.
Welsh is still exploring her post-high school options and wants to keep playing in college, but currently she is doing a post-graduate year at Suffield Academy to further enhance her skills and expand her options.
“Hopefully I will do great things,” said Welsh. “I really would really love to play field hockey at the NCAA level and still looking around at colleges.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin