Boutilier stars in field of hockey dreams

July 08, 1993|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

Come September, Peggy Boutilier could finish her what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation essay in three words -- "I played hockey."

Then again, the Roland Park senior might want to elaborate on her trip to the United States Olympic Festival in San Antonio July 19-28.

Sandwiched within a busy camp schedule, the Olympic Festival competition provides Boutilier, 18, with her highest level of experience yet. Boutilier and St. Paul's graduate Tricia Burdt were the only Baltimore-area girls selected to the Olympic Festival's four field hockey teams.

"I'm kind of nervous about it," said Boutilier, a first-team All-Metro pick in field hockey and lacrosse. "It makes me feel better that Tricia is going, and I know how she plays. I think I'll just try not to be nervous, and things will turn out OK."

Nerves, however, never have gotten the better of Boutilier in the big games. Since her freshman year, she has helped the Reds win or tie for the Association of Independent Schools field hockey title.

At the United States Field Hockey Association's Futures National Tournament in Boston two weeks ago, Boutilier had no trouble impressing the coaches.

This weekend, Boutilier will attend the USFHA's B Camp at Drew University in New Jersey. Coaches also picked her for the Junior Olympics in Knoxville, Tenn., Aug. 1-7, but she will skip that trip in favor of a rest at the beach.

In only her second year in the USFHA's Olympic-development style Futures Program, Boutilier has risen quickly.

"Peggy is the best hockey player I've ever coached," Roland Park coach Debbie Bloodsworth said. "She's the most dedicated, and she's taken the system to the max. No one I've coached has ever gone to the Olympic Festival, but she's done a lot of that herself."

Bloodsworth gives Boutilier the credit for her own success, because the teen-ager sought out and stuck with higher levels of competition. However, that kind of dedication seems to be routine for Boutilier.

Academically, she stands in the top 10 percent of her class and won the Bausch and Lomb Science Medal for the junior with the highest scholastic standing in science.

Athletically, she picked up the White Blazer Award, Roland Park's highest athletic honor, which she shared with teammates Jeanne Lekin and Brent McCallister.

At Roland Park since pre-kindergarten, Boutilier started playing field hockey as a sixth-grader. Her mother, Susie (Bradley) Boutilier, now a teacher at the school, played for the Reds, but the daughter said she probably would have played anyway.

Last year, Boutilier tried out for the Futures National Tournament, but she was not selected. She did, however, make a valuable contact, Steve Simpson, coach of the Washington Wolves club team.

"At the end of Futures, I didn't make the team and he said give me a call. Little did I know," said Boutilier, who joined Simpson's Wolves and played every Sunday in Washington during the fall and spring.

Simpson can't say enough about Boutilier, who, with great speed and stickwork, shines on the quick turf.

"Peggy is so unassuming," said Simpson, who also coached the local team at the Futures National Tournament. "She doesn't feel the need to show how good she is. which is not always the case with good players."

Boutilier doesn't talk about having big dreams. She just plays like she has them.

"I don't really look that far into the future," said Boutilier, who is undecided on a college.

"I look at the summer -- at Futures, at the Olympic Festival. Aside from that I just try to take everything as it comes and do well at the level where I am."

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