Emily DeMarco describes herself as a St. Joe "lifer."

She attended St. Joseph Regional in Hammonton from kindergarten through the eighth grade.

DeMarco then moved on to St. Joseph High School in Hammonton, where she recently graduated as one of the best female athletes in school history.

DeMarco, 18, is one of the state's top field hockey players. The Hammonton resident also played four years of varsity softball as an outfielder for the Wildcats. She was a prominent reason why both teams won South Jersey titles this school year.

DeMarco is The Press 2013-14 Female Athlete of the Year. She led the Cape-Atlantic League in field hockey scoring with 41 goals last fall. DeMarco will continue her field hockey career at NCAA Division I American University in Washington, D.C.

St. Joe advanced to a state field hockey final in three of DeMarco's four seasons. The Wildcats had never been to a state final before DeMarco joined the team.

Last fall, St. Joe upset both Camden Catholic (2-1) and Bishop Eustace (2-1) to win the South Jersey championship and reach a state final.

"We're known as a football school," DeMarco said. "We kind of put St. Joe (field hockey) on the map. To make it to three state final appearances in the past four years is awesome. It's going to be a great field hockey school in the next couple of years."

DeMarco's family life revolves around St. Joe. Her father, John, is the Wildcats' field hockey coach. Emily is the second of John and Maureen's four children.

Emily's older sister, Megan, excelled at field hockey at St. Joe before graduating in 2011. Megan owns the St. Joe record with 126 career goals - two more than Emily scored. Megan is now a student at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Emily's younger brother, Jake, is 13, while her younger sister, Riley, is 9.

In a telephone conversation last week, Emily talked about a number of topics, including what it was like to have her father as a coach.

On how she started playing sports: My older sister got me started. When she started playing, I was like, 'Oh, that looks like fun.' I just wanted to do everything she did when I was younger.

On this season's field hockey wins over Camden Catholic and Bishop Eustace: We were the underdogs. They were both great teams. We're a tiny school with only 20 girls on our team. We won both games, and that was really exciting.

On the softball team's success this spring: This year was an exciting year. We didn't lose any seniors from last year when we lost to a great team (Sacred Heart) in the South Jersey final. We knew we had to come out this year and strive for a South Jersey championship. We had the skill and the drive. We knew what it was like to lose in a South Jersey final, and we wanted to come out and win it.

On playing for her dad: That's a tough question (laughs). Whenever anyone asks, I always say it was the worst experience. You wouldn't want your dad as your coach. But I honestly wouldn't want it any other way. He was a great coach for all of us. It was hard separating coach and father at first. At first, when we were at practice, he'd be like, 'Just call me coach.' That was the hardest thing I ever had to do - call him coach instead of dad. He was a father figure for all the girls. It was a positive experience. He did a great job.

On her decision to attend American University: It's so exciting. It's bittersweet. I'm so excited for college, but it's scary at the same time to think I'm a college athlete now. I can't wait for college. I'm doing the (American University) workout packet now. It's scary, but it's getting me in shape. I leave the first week in August.

On what she does to relax: I love to ski, and I love the beach. I've been skiing since I was about 6 years old. I go on the Black Diamond (trails). My grandmom lives in Margate, so we go to Margate (beaches) all the time.

On her career goals: When I grow up, I want to be a sportscaster. I'm going to major in communications and minor in broadcasting and media. Being in D.C., there are so many opportunities for internships. I'd like to broadcast football. I've been around football for so long, and being at St. Joe, that's all the boys in our grade talk about.

On the DeMarco family future at St. Joe: My brother will be a freshman in two years, and he wants to play basketball. My sister, Riley, will be in high school in a couple of years. My dad is going to wait it out, and she's going to be a great field hockey and softball player. For the field hockey part, she's going to be better than me and Megan put together. She's the one to watch out for.

Contact Michael McGarry:

609-272-7185

@ACPressMcGarry on Twitter

Previous winners of The Press Female High School Athlete of the Year

1989: Tiffany Bybel (Millville) field hockey, swimming and softball

1990: Suzi Breig (Millville) soccer, basketball and track and field

1991: Erica Vanaman (Millville) field hockey and softball

1992 and 1993: no award given

1994: Helen Wilks (Bridgeton) track and field

1995: Anne Marie Ambrose (Cumberland Reg.) softball, field hockey

1996: Brooke Ewan (Millville) field hockey, softball

1997: Amanda Haines (Hammonton) field hockey, basketball, softball

1998: Abbey Woolley (Ocean City) field hockey, track and field

1999: Alexis Seeley (Cumberland Regional) soccer, basketball

2000: Cyndy Wilks (Bridgeton) tennis, basketball, track and field

2001: Meredith Long (Ocean City): field hockey, swimming, lacrosse

2002: Monica Johnson (Wildwood): basketball

2003: Shameka Speed (Bridgeton) track and field

2004: Kara Ayers (Absegami) field hockey, basketball

2005: Alicia Hall (Holy Spirit) soccer, basketball

2006: Danielle Tauro (Southern Reg.) track and field, cross country

2007: Danielle Tauro (Southern Reg.) track and field, cross country

2008: Jill Smith (Southern Reg.) track and field, cross country

2009: Jill Smith (Southern Reg.) track and field, cross country

2010: Tara Wuko (Wildwood Catholic) cross country, swimming, track and field

2011: Kelsey McCusker (Middle Township) soccer, basketball, lacrosse

2012: Colleen Callahan (Atlantic City) swimming

2013: Colleen Callahan (Atlantic City) swimming

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