On Sundays, the gym at South Hanover Elementary fills with athletes of all ages and abilities.

They’re the PA Revolution’s All-Starz; one of the only adaptive field hockey teams in the entire country.

It’s a relatively new program, ensuring that these athletes get the chance to take a swing at the very popular sport in Central Pennsylvania.

The team is the passion project of Central Dauphin and Duke University field hockey player Lydia Smeltz.

“At the end of the day, this program is about creating access to sport,” Smeltz said. “And a lot of our athletes may have never had access to play this sport.”

Amber Rodriguez, 15, has played field hockey before on the Governor Mifflin High School team. But it’s with the All-Starz that she shines.

Each player is paired with a buddy. But to Amber, Lower Dauphin senior Bridget Lawn is so much more.

“She is my best friend and my BFF,” Amber said.

“I feel like we’ve become really good friends,” Bridget agreed. “We call each other best friend, give hugs every week.”

Amber says Bridget is the “best field hockey player” she’s ever seen. Bridget thinks just as highly of Amber.

“I wrote my college essay about All-Starz,” Bridget said. “It is my favorite thing that I’m a part of. It’s amazing to see kids be able to play the sport that I love.”

Amber’s mom loves to see the confidence that comes with the connection, which is why she also signed up Amber’s brother, Anthony.

“It teaches them to get along with other people, to try things they’ve never tried before and develop those friendships,” Colleen Rodriguez said. “It’s a lot more than just playing field hockey.”

The All-Starz is a team that doesn’t focus on the scoreboard. Instead, these athletes win just by showing up with a smile.

The only other adaptive field hockey team the All-Starz have heard of plays on Long Island. On Saturday, March 4, that team will travel to Lancaster County to take on the All-Starz during a scrimmage at Spooky Nook Sports. It will be held during the USA Field Hockey National Indoor Tournament.