by Kathleen Harte Simone
Philafieldhockey.com Founder & Editor
Dock Mennonite Academy 2017 graduate, Jill Bolton has left her mark on the school — in a very visible way. The star field hockey player — named Bicentennial League Player of the Year four times — earned the rare and distinguished honor of having her jersey retired. Bolton is one of only three athletes in Dock’s history to have their high school jersey retired, and the only field hockey player. Basketball star, Trina Derstine’s jersey was retired in 1989 and Greg Folia’s baseball jersey in 2008. Bolton’s jersey will be showcased outside the school’s Longacre Athletic Center alongside these greats as well as Dock graduates, Jess Gey (Olympic field hockey jersey) and Eric Kratz (Phillies jersey).
Bolton’s field hockey accomplishments are many including State and District honors: All-Bicentennial League First Team and MVP (4 years), Pennsylvania All-State First Team (2016, 2015) and Second Team (2014), All-Intelligencer Team (4 years), and All-Philadelphia Inquirer Southeastern Team (2016, 2015). Bolton, a two-time team captain, was also named Team MVP three times. Her career stats — which place her at the top of the program’s record books — include 111 goals, 39 assists, and 37 defensive saves. From the midfield, Bolton led her teams to four BAL League titles and a PIAA State tournament berth in 2016 — the first time in program history.
Like icing on the cake, in her senior season, Bolton was named to the Philafieldhockey.com Senior All Star Team and the BAL Senior All Star Team, was The Reporter Player of the Year, and earned a spot on MAX Field Hockey’s Top Top 50 High School Field Hockey Performers and the All Region PA/NJ Team.
“Jill Bolton has been the heart and soul of Dock Mennonite Field Hockey Program for the last four years. She has achieved many awards and honors but what really has set her apart from everyone else is her will to win; she is by far the most determined and gifted athlete I have ever coached,” said Dock Head Coach, Michelle Waldspurger.
Bolton was also a 4-year starter and standout shortstop and batter on Dock’s softball team and earned 1st Team BAL again this season. She was honored with the Career Achievement Award in Softball and Field Hockey by Dock and was named Female Athlete of the Year.
Bolton will continue her field hockey and academic career at Liberty University this fall. The Flames earned a Top-25 NCAA Division I national ranking in 2016 and advanced to the Big East Conference Championship game.