Jenna Cloutier is relentless. The first of many accolades Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head field hockey coach Kate McDonald uses to describe her senior midfielder. McDonald continues, “Jenna is a highly skilled and motivated player. She combines her sunny disposition with her relentlessness on the field, and is one of the strongest at her position in the Metro.”
Born on April 30, 1995, Cloutier has lived in Shelburne her entire life. Her family includes parents, Susan and Gene, younger sister, Tess, a seventh grader at the Shelburne Community School, and two cats, Tigger and Tiki.
It may hard to believe, but this talented athlete didn’t pick up a field hockey stick until the sixth grade at the Shelburne Community School. “A friend of mine convinced me to go out for field hockey even though I had never played before. I showed up a day late with no equipment. No stick or shin guards,” Cloutier recalled. “Even though I was pretty discouraged I stuck with it.”
Determined to overcome that humble beginning, Cloutier was motivated to excel. And so she did. A three-year varsity player and senior captain Cloutier commented on her strengths, “I’m a good communicator on the field. I let everyone know where the ball is.” Coach McDonald offered another compliment, “Jenna leads her teammates by exemplifying hard work and controlled intensity. She is delightful and I’ll miss her when the season ends.”
But the season isn’t over yet. The seventh seeded Redhawks will play Mt. Anthony in the semifinal game after playoff wins against Colchester and Essex last week. On the parity in the Metro division Cloutier commented, “During the playoffs it comes down to who is more mentally prepared that day.”
Talk about mental preparation. After serious consideration Cloutier shared her greatest achievement. “My biggest accomplishment is earning the respect of my teammates and being named captain this year.”
In addition to field hockey, Cloutier is a Nordic skier who is also involved in Key Club, the largest service organization at CVU, the Future Business Leaders of America, and Athletic Leadership Students. She is also a two-year mentor with CUBBS, an officer of the Environmental Club, and maintains two jobs. A three-year employee of the Shelburne Country Store, Cloutier is a jack of all trades. “I do a little of everything.” She has also spent two seasons at Shelburne Farms assisting at special functions.
What does the future hold for this determined senior? “I had what I consider my aha moment at Marist College recently. It’s so beautiful. It’s my top choice right now,” she said. “Plus field hockey is an option there.” If Cloutier’s college experience is anything like her field hockey playing days, it should be a highly successful four years.