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Team Captains

Josh Siefert and Michelle Pazdernik

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High school sports are almost always the center of attention, with dances, parades, and spirit weeks centered around them. And to the athletes, the greatest honor is becoming team captain. But what goes into becoming captain?

Depending on the sport, the process by which the team captain is chosen is typically different in some aspects but still relatively the same across all sports with similar virtues being a common factor.

We let our athletes vote for their captains at the beginning of the season,” said Rhinelander High School football coach Chris Ferge. “Our players have to decide that when they vote but I believe that attendance at all team functions, weight room attendance, seniority, volunteering, grades, participation in other sports should all be factors.”

Regarding whether or not there is ever any controversy sparked over who the team captain is, Chris Ferge, who has 13 years coaching experience in totality said “I am sure that not everyone is happy over the decision, but it is still a fair decision nonetheless.” When asked if team captains are subject to change throughout the season, Chris Ferge responded “I would be open to changing captains if our staff and team felt like our captains were not holding their own, but that has never happened.”

Rather than letting the players vote over team captain as Chris Ferge does, it is chosen by the coaching staff. “It isn’t a popularity contest” said longtime head basketball coach Derek Lemmens “ I look at a number of variables when deciding who to make team captain such as team dynamics, player commitment, leadership ability, communication skills, coach-ability, and other traits to determine who will best fit in the captain position.”

Lemmens later expanded stating “I want an extension of their coach. I want players that will lead, set an example, and be responsible for the team and their teammates.  They can’t be afraid of confrontation and are willing to hold their teammates accountable on and off the court.  They set the example themselves and see their role as an important responsibility.  They are not perfect, but are willing to be responsible for their actions as well.”

When asked whether or not team captains are subject to change throughout the season, Lemmens responded “I have never done this, but it would definitely happen if a player didn’t fulfill their role within the position.”

In conclusion, becoming team captain is more of an honor than one might think. Lots of thoughts and considerations made by the coach and team go into it, along with the responsibility and rewards it brings.

 

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