‘It’s one of the most exciting things ever, in some way, there is a connection,’ Lower Merion field hockey coach Kylie Kelce on Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

“Are you good? Are you good?”


And, “let’s go, let’s go,” aren’t current chorus lyrics in any of singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s songs. But, her powerful songstress influence has struck a personal chord with the Lower Merion field hockey team.


Head coach Kylie (McDevitt) Kelce, in her seventh consecutive season coaching the Aces, has fielded lots and lots of questions from her 2023-24 squad, she said. When asked how often her athletes ask about the perceived romance between the Kansas City Chief’s tight end Travis Kelce and Swift, she said, “all the time.”


Travis and Swift have been making sports and news headlines ever since Swift accepted his invitation to attend the Chiefs versus Chicago Bears game. It’s safe to say that a large number of field hockey athletes consider themselves ‘Swifties,’ as well as either Chiefs or Eagles fans.


“A couple of weeks ago, I gave them a 15-minute block of Q and A,” Kylie said walking off the field after Lower Merion’s game against West Chester East. “It really disappointed them how few answers I had for them. But, it’s OK. At the end of the day, I know they’re high school girls and it’s one of the most exciting things ever, in some way, there is a connection.”


She continued: “They were disappointed in my lack of answers. I gave them the opportunity to ask knowing that I didn’t have many answers for them. And, they were able to move on from it a little quicker.”


The team doesn’t have one favorite song. But, they know that Kylie is working for them so that field hockey never goes “out of style.”


“I coached middle school field hockey before I came back to the high school,” she said. “So, I have a hard rule against no sing alongs. Middle schoolers take it overboard. And, so, my high schoolers know they’re not allowed to sing along, but every so often, one of them will pull up blaring a Taylor Swift song.”


The Aces are 0-15 on the season. But, they continue to have unwavering support from Kylie, who has an NFL Eagles center as a husband (Jason), and a brother-in-law, who’s seemingly courting, of all people, Swift.


Why does Kylie stay?


“I played at [Lower Merion,]” she said. “So, I know the community. It’s important to me that we emphasize character and playing with class and being kind individuals. So, doing that, I know that we don’t have an abundance of girls who go on to play in college. So, I hope that they take from field hockey, not necessarily the field hockey skill, but more, just, like the life lessons. I think that it’s really important.”


Her college field hockey coach, Cabrini’s Jackie Neary, set an example for her, Kylie said.


“She basically raised her four kids on the sideline of a turf,” she said. “And, I kind of hope to do the same. My girls absolutely love coming to field hockey on the rare occasion that they do get to come. But, it’s a positive atmosphere, even though it’s a losing season. And, [the Aces] should know that they don’t get abandoned by a coach just because the season’s not going the way that they really wanted it to go.”


Lower Merion went 10-8 in 2022 and 6-12 in 2021, according to PIAA District 1 stats. In 2020, records show they were 5-4. Digging deeper into their record before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the Aces continued along the same path of ups and downs.


During Lower Merion’s contest against West Chester East on October 9, Kylie had an exchange with her goalkeeper Molly Diamondstein. Diamondstein dove for a ball. Once she got up, Kylie shouted, “are you good, are you good?”


Diamondstein looked completely unfazed. She shouted, “let’s go, let’s go.”


“They know that when I played at Lower Merion that our senior quote in the yearbook for field hockey was, ‘we might not win but we’re funny,'” she said. “And I couldn’t tell you what our record was, but I know for a fact that they are some of the greatest memories that I had in high school because you’re working as a collective whole toward a goal. And, so, I just hope they just take away that at the end of the day, they are women together who can raise each other up. They will continue to work hard and together. I always tell them they’re a family. You don’t always have to like your siblings, but you do have to respect them. So, there are just those life lessons that I hope they take with them. I think they do.”


Photo: Jana Benscoter, Lower Merion at West Chester East 

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