Choosing the captains of a team is an annual rite that often sets the tone and temperament for the season. The captains are the ones who represent the team and are usually selected based on leadership qualities, but the girls soccer team went about things a little differently.
“I chose an application process to give each girl a fair chance,” head girls soccer coach Misty Benson said. “There’s more than a few players who are suitable for captain. This way, I don’t leave it up to solely my opinion.”
The different way of picking captains was something that appealed to at least one player.
“Her method was much different compared to how captains were chosen last year, but I liked this method because it gave everyone a fair chance,” junior captain Rachel Willmann said. “I applied and was selected. I wanted to apply because I thought it was a role that I could take on. I really wanted to challenge myself and see if it was something that I could achieve and I’m glad that I did.”
Rather than having the players pick a captain in what can sometimes be a popularity contest, Benson’s method may help show the true leaders.
“I like this method a lot because it shows who is responsible enough,” varsity captain Kaylee Grigg said. “It shows who is willing to put in effort and care about the team. We need someone to continue to push us. We need somebody to go to when there is nobody else there for us.”
The method may be new to the players, but the end result is the same as it has always been.
“I do think it’s important to have captains,” Willmann said. “They help the team through rough times. Captains are also important because they have leadership opportunities and hold everybody accountable at all times.”
Though qualities sought in a captain remain the same, coaches often have different ways of approaching their selections.
“I pick captains myself, while also seeking input from other players,” varsity boys basketball coach Kyle Herrema said. “I like captains who are aware of more than just themselves. Captains set the tone for attitude, pace of practice, and competitiveness. This attitude is contagious amongst the team.”
When all is said and done, the method of picking a team’s leaders may not matter as long as the end result meets expectations.
“I’m satisfied with my method of picking captains,” Benson said. “I have some fantastic leaders on this team. This process has revealed just some of them. With these young women, our team’s future is bright.”