On a given game day, Bridgewater-Raritan high school field hockey coach Kathie DeBonis can be found pacing the sidelines, preaching to her team to make the right pass or to keep its heads up. Sometimes she reminds them that they need to communicate with each other. But no matter what she says, the message always gets across.
For the fifth straight season, the Panthers captured the Somerset County Tournament title and for the eighth consecutive campaign they reached the final of the NJSIAA North 2 Group IV tournament. DeBonis, who has been there for every single season during of the aforementioned streaks, is the Courier News Field Hockey Coach of the Year.
“It’s a great honor and it’s something that should be shared by me and all of my assistants. They work equally as hard,” DeBonis said.
The Panthers went 23-2 this season and won 17 games in a row at one point.
“The girls really aspired to excel,” DeBonis revealed. “When you have a group that wants to do that, they make your job so much easier. There were a lot of games where the girls played near to perfection and they did everything we asked of them. It was fun to coach.”