From the Athlete: Thank You, Coach Lugo!

Lancer Field Hockey player sees the contributions Coach Christina Lugo makes on and off the field.


Jim Partain

Coach Christina Lugo’s role in senior Grace Partain’s field hockey career did not end with the player’s mid-season injury.

Grace Partain, Guest Writer

Coach Christina Lugo has served as the head coach of the Lancer Field Hockey team for  two years, and her contributions to the Lewis community deserve more attention. As a defender for the past four years on the team, I know how much Coach Lugo’s contributions are to me and my teammates..

I first met her my freshman year. I had tried out for the volleyball team but had been cut, so my friend dragged me out to field hockey. I’d never even heard of the sport until then; Coach Lugo taught me the very basics that day. The next day we had a home game. I wasn’t planning on playing, but Coach Lugo had a different idea. She put me in the game even though I had no idea what I was doing. I barely knew how to hold the stick correctly, but it was fun! 

We weren’t able to have a season my sophomore year due to COVID closures, but my junior year we did. It was a tough season because I struggled to get along with Coach Lugo. We were a JV team at best playing varsity teams. We were STRUGGLING. But Coach Lugo kept saying we were “at that level,” like we could beat them. We didn’t score a single goal that year. But I’m glad  Coach Lugo pushed the team that hard. If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have the two college offers I have now.

Now I’m in my senior year. We won our first game since my freshman year against Gainesville High School. I ended up scoring the winning goal. And after I made that goal, my teammate Junior Nastu Yamada (offense) ran up to me and gave me a hug. Then I just looked at Coach Lugo and smiled. We still had two minutes left in the fourth quarter, but after that final horn, I just ran to Coach Lugo and smiled. She was just shocked that we had won a game. I also think she a little shocked that I had scored the goal because I was playing defense and not attack. I, too, was shocked because I didn’t expect the ball to actually go in the goal. 

Unfortunately my season came to an abrupt end during our game against Park View High School. I tore my ACL. While I was on the ground, Coach Lugo ran onto the field and held my hand the entire time. And after I was on the sideline, she sat next to me until I stopped crying.

Because I’m continuing to play in college next year, I still need to practice my skills. Coach Lugo has been helping me with that. She’s corresponding with my physical therapist to address any questions that come up during my treatment. She even sends videos so that he knows what specific skills are prioritized in field hockey. 

Coach Lugo is not one to show emotions or at least, not that I’ve noticed. After I found out how much she was doing to support me and how she was working to still keep me involved with the team, I realized how amazing she is. Being a part of Coach Lugo’s team makes me happy. She is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. She’s tough when she needs to be, but she is also chill and understanding. I’m a better player because of her. Thank you, Coach Lugo!