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The Gazette 2016 Field Hockey Peak Performer: Shannon Snediker, Palmer Ridge

By: BRENT W. NEW preps@gazette.com
November 30, 2016 Updated: November 30, 2016 at 7:48 pm
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Palmer Ridge's Shannon Snediker, the Gazette Field Hockey Peak Performer of the Year, is pictured at the school on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

It was only a few days before the Palmer Ridge field hockey team got another chance at longtime tormentor, Colorado Academy. As perfect of a time as any to try to squash some of the division among many of the girls on the team, thought Shannon Snediker.

The senior captain hosted a team barbecue for varsity and junior varsity.

Thirty-five high school girls bonded over hamburgers and s'mores and conversation.

"We just got to know each other," said Snediker, The Gazette Field Hockey Peak Performer of the Year. "I think after that we broke some barriers."

The scoring leader turned team leader ended up having the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Colorado Academy on Sept. 24, snapping a 12-game losing streak to their rival. The Bears would get past the Mustangs once more in the state semifinals a month later before losing to Kent Denver in the final.

Snediker led the state with 42 points and was second with 15 goals. Neither, though, might have had a bigger impact than the job she did off the field.

"Shannon was one of our team captains this year and she tried to bring as many people together as she possibly could," junior Liz Phillips said. "I think that (barbecue) helped out on the field quite a bit because I know I felt closer to people on the team, much closer than I had in the past. So we were able to connect better with each other on the field and help support each other a lot more."

The Appalachian State commit finished her three-year varsity career with a number of crucial goals and expert assists, tallying 33 and 22, respectively. Her ability to deke a defender was dazzling but so was her uncanny ability to find open space without the ball.

"Everybody has good stick skills," Snediker said, "but I think one of the most important things to a field hockey game is having good off-ball movement and making plays in your head so you can carry them out right there."

Because of it, Snediker helped the Bears reach the finals in 2014 and 2016, and the semifinals in 2015.

Palmer Ridge coach Paul Lewis did his best to put her legacy in perspective.

"She just really loves the game," he said. "She works hard, not just at practice but on her own, and has really developed into a really, really strong player that helped our program a bunch, offensively and as a captain.

"She's a leader on the field."

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