It has been almost 30 years since Tara (Kaminski) DeMoura played her final field hockey game for Quaboag Regional, but autumn, especially early in the season, still evokes memories of her special and successful years with the Cougars.
“I can still go outside now, in late August/early September, and feel the dew and the smell of the grass, and it always takes me back to my field hockey days,” DeMoura said in a phone interview from her home in Westport. “It was just a wonderful time.”
DeMoura, a midfielder, was part of two Division 2 state finalist teams, a three-time T&G all-star and a U.S. Field Hockey Association High School All-American, and played in many great rivalry games against Notre Dame Academy. She graduated from Quaboag in 1992 as the program’s all-time leader in assists with 49.
“As I have said many times, I have been extremely blessed to have been associated with amazing student-athletes here at Quaboag,” longtime Cougars field hockey coach John O’Neill said. “Tara, like many, was not only an exciting athlete, but also a highly-motivated individual. It was an honor to have coached someone like her with such talent and passion.”
DeMoura, who went on to earn All-Big East and All-America regional honors as a four-year starting midfielder at Providence College, has kept in touch with O’Neill over the years.
“I made so many great friends at Quaboag, and John was a huge part of that,” DeMoura said. “He created the glue inside our team. He taught me about leadership and how to be a good teammate, which, certainly, as I have developed my career has been key for me in my success. For me to have the opportunity to play for a Division 1 program at PC, I feel strongly I would not have had that opportunity had he not been my coach, supporting me, making those connections for me at those critical times. He was really instrumental in helping me achieve that. I really appreciate that from him.”
The player DeMoura, as a freshman, covered in the 1988 state final, Watertown junior Cathy Guden, became her teammate at PC.
“I really looked up to her,” DeMoura said, “so to go onto play with her was a big deal for me.”
DeMoura also played on Quaboag’s 1989 state finalist team.
DeMoura graduated from Providence in 1996. For more than two decades, she has enjoyed a highly successful career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Earlier this year, she was named vice president, employer business segment. She was recently named “2020 Woman to Watch” by Providence Business News Business Women Awards.
“I’ve had so many opportunities afforded to me at Blue Cross to move up,” DeMoura said. “I always wanted to move up inside an organization, and I’ve moved up, and I’ve moved around, and I’ve really learned the business holistically. There was always a new position to try. I’ve had a tremendous career at Blue Cross, and hopefully I’ll continue to have that.”
In her current position, DeMoura oversees and is accountable for the financial and operational performance of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s employer book of business, which is just over 425,000 members, she said, and makes up about $850 million in premiums. She is responsible for sales, marketing, pricing, customer service and operations.
DeMoura’s office is in Providence, but like many Americans, she has been working remotely since March.
DeMoura and her husband, Rob, have been married for almost 16 years. They have a son, 14-year-old Gavin, and a 12-year-old daughter, Addison.
DeMoura, who also played basketball and softball at Quaboag, and Rob, who played football at UMass-Dartmouth (then Southeastern Massachusetts University or SMU), have been enthusiastically involved in their children’s athletics and coached both of their basketball teams. Tara and Addison are currently taking an online cooking class.
The family loves spending time at the beach near their home and visiting Providence for shopping, dining and the arts.
“The Providence that exists today and the Providence that existed when I was in college are completely different,” DeMoura said. “When I was at PC, you didn’t go downtown. There was nothing there. Now, it’s a beautiful city people should take advantage of.”
DeMoura moved from New York to West Brookfield with her parents and siblings when she was in fifth grade. After she graduated from high school, her parents returned to New York (Long Island).
DeMoura doesn’t get back to Central Mass. too often, but she is still best friends with one of her former Quaboag teammates, Kimberly Wood, who lives in the same area as DeMoura.
“My Quaboag days were such a huge part of my life,” DeMoura said. “There were memorable moments and amazing wins, and I made such great friends. Providence College was fantastic, too. We had some exciting games, but it was more about when you go to college, and you’re on a team it gives you that instant friendship, that instant camaraderie, and you stay connected throughout your four years. The games were great, but it was the bonding and relationships that meant the most to me.”
—Contact Jennifer Toland at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @JenTandG.
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