This fall, Sussex Academy field hockey begins their inaugural varsity season after fielding a JV program the last few years. The team will play their first varsity game at home against Laurel Thursday, Sept. 6, at 4 p.m.

Leading the jump is Nicol DiMarzio, who takes the head job after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant with Delmarva Christian.

Delmarva Christian is just getting started, giving DiMarzio a good idea of how to approach things at Sussex Academy as they try to grow.

“Being at Delmarva Christian the last two years taught me a lot, it was a different kind of program, they hadn’t experienced much success,” DiMarzio said. “[Delmarva Christian] actually broke a record for wins last year, so it was nice to see a program that wasn’t very successful have some at that level.”

Along with a playing career of her own, DiMarzio has coaching experience beyond her time at Delmarva Christian. She spent time with several programs in New Castle County, including at the high school level at Archmere Academy and A.I. duPont, and at Tatnall where she coached 7th and 8th graders.

DiMarzio is anxious to get things rolling with the team.

“They’ve had a JV program the last two seasons and they have a middle school program as well,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to develop a program.”

There will be a feeling-out process with the coach and her players.

“I met with about 10 of the girls and I was probably just as nervous as they were,” DiMarzio said. “Though, it went very well, they were very receptive and seemed very excited.”

While this will be the first year for the varsity program, DiMarzio says the school is hoping to field both a varsity and JV team this year.

DiMarzio urged anyone interested to consider joining the team, saying they’d be joining a group that plans to grow together and have fun doing it.

“This will be a welcoming and fun atmosphere for those with experience or without it; we’re willing to bring in players who haven’t played before,” DiMarzio said. “It’s my goal to make the season as fun as possible.”