Athlete Spotlight: Danielle Fucci
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
School: Algonquin Regional High School
Sport: Field Hockey
Coach: Scott Taggert
What are your earliest field hockey memories?
“My first field hockey memory wasn’t something I experienced. It was more something I heard about from my family. My grandmother, whom I only knew when I was very young, played field hockey when she was my age. I wanted to have that lasting connection with her, so I decided to sign up when I was in middle school. Immediately, I felt her with me on the field as I played. I knew I was meant to be on the field. It was in my blood.”
What position do you play, and what do you consider to be your best attributes on the field?
“My position on the field has changed over the years, but I was always meant to be an attacker. During my high school career, I’ve played left wing and center-forward. I always try to get up to where the action is. My best attribute that I bring to the team is my speed. I love popping the ball over my opponents, setting my sights on the goal, and blowing one past them.”
Which coach has particularly encouraged you to succeed?
“I’ve obviously learned so much from all my coaches throughout my field hockey career, but if I was to choose one that’s really inspired me to be the best player I can be, it would have to be Coach Dan Welty. Every day he would inspire me to finish that last play, to perfect that last aerial, to speed past that last player, and to also give it 200%. I saw his commitment to my team, and the quality of our play, and it inspired me. Inspired me to make sure I tried my hardest every time I stepped on a field. It has truly been a privilege to represent him for two years on varsity.”
Which single game has been the most special?
“If I had to choose one game that meant the most to me throughout my entire career as a field hockey player, it would be playing Shrewsbury in the Central Mass. championship game. It was my last game for Algonquin. Shrewsbury has always been one of Algonquin’s biggest rivals, and to have the privilege of playing with them was amazing. Even though we didn’t get to hold that winning trophy, I have never been so proud of my team. We all endured so much frustration, fatigue, stress, anxiety, every emotion possible during that game. I was amazed to see my team push themselves the way they did. No matter if we won or lost, I knew I’d have a smile on my face at the end of that game because I knew I was part of more than just an average high school team. I was part of a family.”
Being a senior, have you given any thought to playing field hockey in college?
“I have thought about playing field hockey in college, but I don’t think I will. Freshman year, I really want to focus on my studies, and getting the whole college experience under my belt. But sophomore year, who knows, maybe I’ll be a walk on. Only time can tell. I don’t think I’ll ever have a team like the one I have now, but I guess it would be cool to build new friendships with players in college.”
What other sports do you play, and what is your favorite sport to watch?
“For the past two years, field hockey has been my main sport, but I’ve also played basketball, track, and softball. None of those could ever compare to field hockey though. Field hockey is my life. When that fall season rolls around, and I know I’ll have my girls back again, nothing can compare. I enjoy watching all sports. I’m a very big sports fan. I love sitting by the fire with my family watching football or hockey. Go Bruins!”
What is your favorite subject in school?
“I don’t have a favorite subject in school. I love learning new things. Whether it be history, science, math, contemporary literature, psychology or an elective, I can’t really say I dislike any of them. If I had to choose one core subject that was my favorite, I think I would have to choose psychology. In college I want to pursue music therapy, so learning about the human brain and behavior is very interesting to me. As far as an elective, I’d have to say drama or art would be my favorite. I love expressing myself in new ways. I love painting and acting. I want to be able to express myself. I’m very outgoing, and I always put others first. That’s why I like drama, because if somebody is having a bad day, I’ll cheer them up with a funny scene, or by telling a joke.”
What legacy would you like to leave at Algonquin after you’re gone?
“When I leave Algonquin, hopefully I leave behind optimism. To always stay optimistic, no matter what happens. Whether you get a bad grade in a class, or you lose a big game, I want everybody to know that they need to stay happy. Shake it off and have a good laugh. Remember what’s good in life, and always know that everything happens for a reason. I didn’t have the easiest high school experience, but it was the best time of my life, because I stayed happy. If something didn’t go my way, I always told myself: ‘what’s meant to be, will be’ and that’s something I want everyone to remember.”
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