Sammy Johnson '16

Field hockey and ice hockey at Hamilton College
How did Groton prepare you to play college field hockey or ice hockey?
Groton has given me a complete advantage over my other teammates. I credit Groton for teaching me how to work hard and manage my time properly. When you begin at Groton, your time is managed for you. You have a set time to be doing certain things, and “freedom” is somewhat limited. As you move through the forms, you are rewarded with more and more freedom, and your schedule becomes less and less structured. Having experienced this, I know exactly how to manage my time while keeping up with my busy and demanding practice and game schedule, something that I have noticed my teammates struggle with. On my hockey team at Hamilton, my teammates recognized the hard work and level-headedness that Groton had instilled in me, and they elected me to serve on the Leadership Council for this upcoming season, something that was surprising to me being a rising sophomore. The transition from Groton to Hamilton, whether it be on the field, on the ice, or in the classroom, seemed natural, all thanks to Groton.

What is your favorite memory from your  Groton athletic career?
My senior year ice hockey game against the fast and skilled Milton Academy. Milton had been on our radar all season. We knew that this game was going to be a tough one; they had some very skilled players and were out for blood. It was incredible to see our whole team come together with grit and heart and leave everything we had out on the ice. They were extremely unprepared for what Groton had in store for them that day. We held them out 0–0 in the first period, then managed to bury one early in the second, putting us up 1–0. Milton responded more ferociously than ever. As a goalie, this was one of the most challenging games I have played, because there no doubt about how much skill our opponents had, yet the heart and flame I saw in our team was contagious and helped me step up to the task. Through multiple 5v4’s and even 5v3’s, we ended up winning 1–0. Though there were many triumphant moments during my time at Groton, this one particularly stands out.
What advice would you give to a high school student seeking to play college sports?
My advice would be to do it because you love it. Do it because you look forward to going to practice every day and cannot imagine your life without that sport. Don't do it because you like the title of being a college athlete or think it would make you cool. College athletics is a lot more intense than high school and a much bigger time commitment. If you have love for the sport, you will not have an issue. You will find time to manage your work and sports (much thanks to Groton) and have the best four years of your life. If this is not the case, you will have a hard time finding all the happiness that playing a college sport has to offer. You definitely have to be all in.

Athletic Accomplishments while at Groton:
Nine Varsity letters in three years (field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse)
Varsity captain ice hockey and lacrosse
Coaches’ Award—Field hockey and ice hockey
Charles S. Potter Award

Sammy's Hamilton field hockey profile
Sammy's Hamilton ice hockey profile