Lexi Heath is an outstanding high school athlete, earning All-State honors last year as a junior in field hockey. But as good as the Dexter senior is individually, she has learned during her four years on varsity that the team comes first – which is why “the team” finished first last year in the state in Division 2.
The Dexter field hockey team has been very successful since becoming a varsity sport only a few years ago. They have already won a state title and are making a run at another one this season – in Division 1.
So how come all the success?
“Dexter field hockey is a family,” said Heath. “We take the word ‘team’ very seriously and know that success cannot come from any individual but from the whole team playing together as one.”
That team concept has netted incredible success for Coach Craig Flocken and the Dreadnaughts.
“Ever since my freshman year I have felt as though I’ve had a second family,” Heath said. “And as a junior and senior it’s been my goal to make the incoming freshman become a part of this family and feel the bond I felt.”
That’s how you build success. It’s also how you build a dynasty.
After winning the D-2 state last year, the Dreads were moved up to Division 1. The better competition hasn’t slowed down Dexter as the Dreadnaughts will head into the state playoffs as one of the favorites to go all the way.
“As a team our goal is to make it back to the state championship and claim the title one more time,” said Heath. “We have had that mindset since August and with playoffs starting this Friday we are pushing ourselves at practice to be at our best.”
Heath said the Dreads’ first season in the top division has gone well so far.
“Coming off of a state championship there’s definitely a lot of pressure to succeed but our team is handling it well,” she said. “We had a couple tough ties that set us back and they ended up playing a huge factor in our standings but it only gives us more motivation going into the playoffs.”
Heath, 17, is the daughter of Pat and Jody Heath and plays both midfield and defense for the Dreadnaughts. She started playing field hockey in the seventh grade after a few of her close friends told her how fun it was to play.
“From the first time I played in the gym at Wylie I was hooked,” she said. “I also played softball at the time so the hand-eye coordination was there. I just had to develop the other skills.
“When I started playing I loved how competitive it was. It demanded team work and determination from all 11 girls on the field. Knowing you have 10 teammates relying on you when you play was also something that attracted me towards field hockey.”
She’s had an incredible career at the high school level. She made varsity and started as a freshman and was named the team’s Rookie of the Year. She was honorable mention All-State as a sophomore and then All-State as a junior after helping lead – with the 10 other girls – Dexter to a state title.
Next year she plans on attending either the University of Louisville or Michigan State University.
“I want to go to school and study nursing,” she said. “Depending on which school I attend I hope to play field hockey at the club or possibly collegiate level.”