FAN’s top 5 in 2022: No. 2 ‘Mechanicsburg, State College set to play an historic game at Penn State, honoring 50 years of Title IX, and the future of field hockey’

One of the most powerful stories Female Athlete News was honored to write in 2022 focused on a tremendously important topic.

FAN supports Title IX. It is a federal civil rights law that was enacted in June 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any education program that receives funding from the federal government, including sports.

While there has been an evolution to essentially allow girls and women a proverbial seat at the sports table throughout the past 50 years, discrimination still persists in many forms in 2022. FAN was founded simply to cover girls and women in sports because only 5 to 10 percent of media markets report on them.

Several of us at FAN have experienced negative reproach for asking questions about girls or women in sports or have been treated differently because of being a woman in sports. Our team at FAN is made up of men and women, who see the value of ensuring that our girls and women continue to have opportunities that add to the health and wellbeing of America’s sports culture.

Relationships matter to us. So, when we found out that Mechanicsburg and State College were playing at Penn State and the players, coaches, and former athletes were to honor the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we were thrilled.

FAN only hopes that the memories all the players created will be unforgettable. A special thank you to State College head coach Sharon Herlocher, State College Athletic Director Christopher Weakland, and photographer Jeff Shomo for working with FAN on this story.

“The thought of a girls’ high school field hockey team traveling 100 miles to compete in an athletic event was unimaginable 50 years ago.

But, on Friday, Oct. 7, Mechanicsburg will join State College at Penn State University to play in a Mid-Penn Conference contest. The game, however, isn’t at the heart of what the players will experience.

“I want today’s youth to understand Title IX,” State College head coach Sharon Herlocher said. “And to make sure every person they know understands it.”

Title IX was passed into law on June 23, 1972. The federal law made history for enforcing equity in education and in sports. This year marked 50 years of its impact on female athletes.

“Obviously, this is an important year,” said State College Athletic Director Christopher Weakland. “It’s the anniversary of Title IX. My wife played volleyball at Penn State and my daughter played volleyball at Winthrop in South Carolina. I believe there is 100 percent value for all kids, but especially for young women, to empower them to play sports. We hope this opportunity provides them an enjoyable moment that they are going to remember for a long time.”

No. 2 Mechanicsburg, State College set to play an historic game at Penn State, honoring 50 years of Title IX, and the future of field hockey

No. 3 After three decades of not offering field hockey, Lycoming College brought it back

No. 4 Central Dauphin’s Maya Williams overcame limitations in high school to earn a field hockey scholarship from Hofstra University

No. 5 ‘A lot of their parents never envisioned that their kid would be an athlete,’ Lydia Smeltz on PA Revs All Starz and what that could mean for athletes with disabilities who play field hockey

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