Hannah Lower loves playing video games, and that hobby has become an asset when she steps onto the turf with the Olentangy Orange High School field hockey team.
The senior forward channels the gaming experience when she plays for the Pioneers and had three goals through 11 contests.
"I like the competitiveness (of field hockey) because it reminds me of my video games," Lower said. "I feel like (field hockey) is more mental than physical and I like that. They always talk about the mom who lifts a car when her child is under it, and I feel like it's like that. I feel like I can push myself further mentally.
"I have really flat feet and have special inserts to help with that and I go to the doctor for it and stuff. Whenever I'm really into it (during field hockey), I don't feel (the pain) at all. All I can see is the goal and my teammates and what we need to do."
Coach Anna Karousis believes there definitely is a correlation between Lower's gaming and her performance on the field.
"Hannah has good hand-eye coordination and I think that comes from that gaming background," said Karousis, whose team was 5-5-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division after defeating Dublin Scioto 6-0 on Sept. 25. "I think it also helps her strategically and helps her in being in the right place. There are strategies to games and she can plug that game strategy into her head because that's the way she already thinks."
Despite enjoying field hockey, Lower shies away from sports-related video games. Instead, she prefers to enter a fantasy world for her entertainment.
"I don't like sports games. Right now, I like 'Destiny' a lot," Lower said. "It's set in space with guns and shooters. I like a lot of games, but that's the one I'm liking now.
"Honestly, (gaming is) my motivation (when playing field hockey). When I'm doing badly and not getting over the physical stuff, it helps me mentally. If this fictional character can do it, why can't I do it? I like to use their personalities on the field. What would they do in this situation, and how can I change what I'm doing now from being bad to something good?"
Lower started playing field hockey in the sixth grade, following in the footsteps of her twin sisters, 2015 Orange graduates Brittany and Cailey Lower. They currently coach in the middle-school program.
"I was watching my sisters play and thought I would try it," Lower said. "I wanted to play ice hockey, but that was a little harder for me to get into."
Orange showed steady improvement over the past three seasons, finishing 1-9-4 in 2014, 6-9-1 in 2015 and 9-6-1 last fall.
Lower had five goals last season. Karousis said her captain always seems to be in the right place.
"Hannah always has natural field placement for the game," Karousis said. "Wherever she's at, she's in that good position, ready to receive the ball, and she always can get a stick on it. Whether she possesses (the ball) or not, she can get a stick on it, and that's what you want from an attacker."
Lower plans to major in engineering or physical therapy, possibly at Ohio State. However, she does not plan to play field hockey at the next level.
"In general, the season has been really good," she said. "Sometimes the score isn't what we want it to be, but we all have fun and we're playing for each other.
"The definition of winning is playing 100 percent for the team and not ourselves. When you play for yourself, you're thinking of physical issues like being tired. I think about the legacy I'm leaving as a senior, and I don't want to let my teammates down."
begin golf postseason
The defending Division I state champion girls golf team opens the postseason by competing in a sectional tournament Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Royal American.
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
The Pioneers, who are the top seed in the district, shot 324 to win a sectional championship last season at Royal American as Ashley Au was medalist with a 72.
They then edged runner-up Dublin Jerome 327-330 to win the district title at The Links at Groveport.
Boys golfers to play
in Turnberry sectional
The boys golf team plays in a Division I sectional Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Turnberry, with the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advancing to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Last fall, Orange finished sixth (325) of 14 teams in the Turnberry sectional behind district-qualifiers Upper Arlington (300), Hilliard Davidson (314), Mount Vernon (319) and Thomas Worthington (321).
Alex Cabungcal shot a 77 and won a one-hole playoff with Gahanna's Jacob Simone and Reynoldsburg's Reece Strohm to earn the fourth and final individual district-qualifying spot.
Below are the coming schedules for the Orange cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 30 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Oct. 4 -- At Columbus Academy
Sept. 28 -- At Kilbourne
Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Gahanna
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Watterson
*Oct. 3 -- At Olentangy
*Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Westerville Central. The Pioneers defeated the Warhawks 25-14, 25-15, 25-15 on Sept. 7.
*Oct. 3 -- At Westerville South. The Pioneers defeated the Wildcats 25-15, 25-16, 25-14 on Sept. 12.