Fluvanna introduces new field hockey program

PALMYRA, Va. (CBS19 Sports) -- Picking up a new sport in high school can be a challenge, but these Flucos are ready for a new experience.

"I swam for the past six years, I swim very competitively," said junior Emmaleigh Vernon.

"I love playing sports. I played lacrosse before," said junior Cassi Wagner. "I enjoy the challenge of learning new sports and how to play them."

Fluvanna County High School is introducing a new varsity sport this fall: field hockey. They selected Dr. Saami Shiabani, a local physics professor with a passion for field hockey.

"I've often said, if I was going to be executed after a game of hockey, I wouldn't know about it until the final whistle," said Shiabani.

He will be the program's first head coach.

"A lot of life is being in the right place at the right time," said Shiabani.

Shiabani began playing field hockey at age eight up through the university level, competing against Olympic athletes.

"And in my very first game I scored a goal and I will take that with me to my grave its a very happy memory," said Shiabani.

Although he's played all his life, he believes the players are able to pick up the sport.

"If I've got a good athlete who's got good ball sense I would like to think that within the next couple of weeks good things would start to happen," said Siabani.

About thirty players showed up for the first week of practices, learning the basics of the sport and bonding as a new team.

"We all work really well together," said Wagner. "We communicate and we've all kinda been friends before you know, throughout high school and elementary school."

"Trying it out for the first year and having that experience with everyone," said Vernon.

While the team hopes for success this season, the first year is all about development.

"Just to go out and do it no matter how intimidating it feels cause like everyone here is so open to new players and to teach you," said Wagner.

And they are just looking to go out and play the game.

"Weve all got to start somewhere," said Shiabani. "Jump in and everyone here has done exactly what I've asked them to, and they're spoiling me rotten."