Favorite athlete: Chris Long
Favorite team: University of Kentucky football
Favorite memory competing in sports: My sophomore year playing field hockey, we beat #1 seeded Unionville in double overtime to advance to the District Finals
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports:My very first high school field hockey game as a freshman, I tripped on my shoelaces and wiped out during the first play of the game.
Music on mobile device: Everything from The Beatles to J Cole
Future plans: Attend the University of Michigan and play field hockey
Word to live by: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
One goal before turning 30: See the Northern Lights
One thing people don’t know about me: I have traveled to 41 states with my family
By Mary Jane Souder
Casey Reichwein is an elite athlete, but talk to those who know her best, and it’s pretty clear the Central Bucks West senior is an even better person. In truth, it doesn’t take the word of others to confirm that fact.
A four-time all-league defender who will take her talents to Big Ten power Michigan next year, Reichwein was a key member of field hockey squads that won 52 games over her first three years but then had just four wins this past fall.
A frustrating experience for the senior captain? Hardly.
“I think going into it I knew it was going to be a different kind of challenge,” she said. “It was tough in the fact that I was struggling with some injuries at the beginning of the season. I wanted to be helping my team more but really couldn’t at that point.
“I think a lot of the scores didn’t reflect the hustle we showed on the field as a team. Some of the moments out there on the field – beating Pennridge 2-1 (late in the season), I couldn’t have been prouder of those girls.
“The season was a different experience, but I wouldn’t want to change it for anything. The people are just fantastic, and I definitely learned so much from just being around them and having the privilege of being their captain.”
According to coach Ginny Moore, an inexperienced West squad not have asked for a better leader.
“This past season, Casey Reichwein stepped up as a fearless leader and captain,” the Bucks’ first-year coach said. “Casey led the team in goals and confidence.
“She has outstanding defensive skills with an unmatched work ethic. Her dedication and compassion for her teammates is admirable. She has a lot of heart, a common characteristic of CB West students. Casey is bright and ambitious. I believe she will go very far on and off the field. It was a pleasure to coach her this year.”
During a stellar four-year varsity career, Reichwein has been an integral part of some of the best moments in West field hockey history.
As a freshman, she was a key defender on a squad that advanced to the District One 3A title game. A year later, Reichwein anchored the defense of a squad that pulled off the upset of the district tournament with an electrifying double overtime win over a top-seeded Unionville squad that was predicted to coast to a district crown.
And there were plenty of other shining moments, but Reichwein doesn’t mention any of them when asked what she’ll remember most about her high school field hockey career.
“In 10 years from now, people aren’t going to remember how many wins or losses or specific plays on the field, but they’re going to remember how you treated them and how you made them feel,” Reichwein said. “When I think about what I’ll miss the most about West field hockey, it’s definitely the people and the relationships I’ve made there.
“I think the atmosphere we’ve created throughout the program – a West player never gives up, is so hard working and is a true team player. I found that almost all the girls that went through the program – we’ve all been so similar in those aspects. So the relationships and the friendships we made – that’s definitely what I’ll miss most.”
Sports have been part of the senior standout’s life for as long as she can remember, and the Reichwein legacy began well before older brothers Cal and Jake began their standout careers at West.
“Two of my older cousins – Craiger Eshelman and Reills Reichwein – one played basketball for East and one played basketball for West at the same time, so our whole family would go to their games,” Reichwein said. “My siblings and I were pretty young, but I still remember sitting in the stands and watching them play.”
By the time she entered high school, her older brothers had already made a name for themselves, but Reichwein never felt pressure following in their footsteps.
“There’s definitely something to being known as – ‘Oh, you’re Cal’s little sister, Jake’s little sister,’” she said. “I kind of embraced that over the years.
“When I was younger I basically did everything I could to keep up with my brothers. I had the mentality – anything you can do, I can do. Having them as role models not only on the court but leading their peers definitely had an impact on me.
“Even my little sister Jada, she might not have made as many headlines as Cal and Jake, but she’s definitely taught me a lot too – how much enthusiasm can affect and inspire people. I feel like I would be a different person if I didn’t have my brothers to influence me growing up, and I’m so thankful.”
Field hockey was a passion from the first time Reichwein picked up a stick. Lacrosse – that was another story.
“I picked up lacrosse when I was in second grade,” she said. “It’s funny because initially I fought my mom on it. I remember being in the car and throwing an absolute tantrum, not wanting to go to my first practice. Two or three weeks later, I would sleep with my stick next to me in bed. I loved it. I’m kind of stubborn sometimes. It’s just a classic – I didn’t want to do it, but my mom’s always right.”
Reichwein – who competed for FSC on the hockey club circuit - excelled at both hockey and lacrosse, making an immediate impression in both sports.
“What I loved about her from the very beginning was that she was constantly trying to improve her game,” said former West hockey coach Courtney Lepping. “I can remember back to that first year when she was working out with our summer group, and she knew she wanted to get better at her drive.
“She asked me to videotape her drive. We were breaking it down and just looking at it. She would take everything I gave her and would attempt to make changes that would improve her hit. You see over the course of four years – as a senior she has an incredible hit.”
Lepping described Reichwein as “very analytical and reflective of her game.”
“She does a great job of trying to learn from each experience and improve each time,” the veteran coach said. “She’s very even keel. I don’t think she is fazed by much.
“She held down a defense that was constantly changing around her. She’s very unflappable, very solid. She has that quiet confidence. From a freshman on, the moment never felt too big for her. It never seemed like she didn’t belong on the field with the rest of those amazing players she was put out there with, especially early on in her career. There’s a maturity she always possessed from the very beginning.”
Instead of being intimidated by the players above her when she was thrust into the varsity lineup as a freshman, Reichwein was inspired by them.
“I can go on and on about the teammates I’ve had over the years and how they pushed me,” she said. “Even in practices, I really find that’s where I improved so much as a player.
“My freshman year it was Emily Halderson, who’s playing at Fairfield, Anna Hall who’s at Ursinus, Bryn Boylan, Taylor Mason, Dani Dundas, Laura Kubit and Peyton Fisher were both incredible goalies. Liv Fitzgerald is an absolute beast.
“There were a lot of girls that worked really hard and played unselfishly and I learned a lot from them. I remember my freshman year just feeling so lucky, not necessarily because of how much we succeeded on the field but the leadership. – I feel I couldn’t have had a better group of seniors to bring me into the team and show me what it means to be a West field hockey player and be an excellent example of what a real leader is.”
Reichwein – a Division I recruit in both hockey and lacrosse - was second on the lacrosse team in caused turnovers, and she is closing in on 350 career draw controls, averaging 7.4 draws a game last year.
“In a game of possession, she gave West a huge advantage,” said former coach Tara Schmucker, who stepped down at the end of last season. “Often coaches would stick check her and complain of illegalities, but first of all, that would be against Casey’s character, and secondly, she excels because she worked on this skill hours on her own time. She has a lot of strength and quickness in her forearm and wrist and has really developed her expertise.”
Although she loves both sports, Reichwein gives the edge to field hockey.
“I think it’s truly a team game,” she said. “You definitely have to think and be very aware. The game IQ of good field hockey players I find is very high.
“I think that adds another aspect of challenge to the game that I really enjoy.”
In the end, her college choices came down to the University of Michigan for hockey and the University of Richmond for lacrosse.
“It was the sport, but it was also – I love March Madness, and I grew up watching my brother’s football games,” she said. “I just love being in that kind of atmosphere, and what better place to be a part of that than the Big House (Michigan Stadium)?”
Off the sporting field, Reichwein is treasurer of West’s Athletic Leadership Council. She was a mini-thon leadership advisor last year and part of the planning committee this year. She is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and West’s Buddies Club, which works with special needs students. She also volunteers at A Women’s Place.
When Reichwein’s playing days at West are over, her legacy – like that of her brothers before her - will be one of excellence on and off the athletic field.
“Casey is one of those players that every coach wants – honest, diligent, will do whatever is asked of her and is an excellent team player,” Schmucker said. “She is also an incredible student and that transfers well to her game as she is a very smart player.
“As a person, Casey is a mature, genuine young lady, and her motive is always to help her team perform and play as a successful unit. She is an impressive student-athlete, and one I know I will miss coaching.”