By far the toughest call I had to make while creating The Daily Item preseason all-star team was whether to include a particular freshman.
And trust me when I say, that in such a fertile area of field hockey talent, there is no shortage of difficult choices for this list of standouts.
When it came to this girl, however, there was compelling information in her favor that trumped the fact I'd never seen her play.
At the end of the day, I opted against including her. I figured, despite her credentials, that I'd be doing her a solid by nixing any extra pressure in her transition to varsity hockey.
Cassie Sumfest laughs at my discretion.
She joined a Lewisburg team flush with skill and athleticism, and helped thrust it into contention for the Heartland-I and District 4 Class AA titles.
I chose to handle her carefully, like C4 plastic explosive, but she was obviously destined to go off with an attention-grabbing bang, regardless.
"She's something I haven't seen before," Green Dragons coach Emily O'Connor said prior to the season. "I'm not the most experienced coach, but I know she's quite an exceptional kid."
If you're wondering about Sumfest's pedigree, the fact that she's the younger sister of former Lewisburg standout Rachel Sumfest only scratches the surface.
Rachel, a 2011 Lewisburg graduate, was a Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-South Region Second Team selection at Virginia last season after tallying 16 goals (fourth in the ACC) and 36 points. She transferred to Drexel University, and, prior to the start of her junior year, she was named to the U.S. National Indoor Team.
Before Cassie stepped foot on a varsity field, she was named to the U.S. Under-17 National Team, as well as the U.S. Under-19 National Indoor Team.