Junior captains of varsity teams benefit from rewarding experiences

Penelope Cruz

 

11/05/2015 - Brookline, MA - Parsons Field - Junior Liz Dumas (23) plays in a 1-0 victory over Haverhill on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Parsons Field. Dumas was girls varsity soccer captain in spite of being a junior. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff
11/05/2015 – Brookline, MA – Parsons Field – Junior Liz Dumas (23) plays in a 1-0 victory over Haverhill on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Parsons Field. Dumas was girls varsity soccer captain in spite of being a junior. Sam Klein / Sagamore Staff

Junior year: students focus on studying, taking the SATs, and immersing themselves in the college process. Some juniors athletes go the extra mile and serve as role models for their teammates.

Although being a junior captain can be stressful, athletes put in this leadership position believe it is a beneficial experience.

According to junior Liz Dumas, who was a one of three captains for the girls varsity soccer team this past fall, being a junior captain can be stressful but is ultimately rewarding.

“My best friend is my co-captain, so we’ve been able to rely on each other and work through problems together because we’re in the same position,” Dumas said. “I definitely rely on other teammates and friends on the team. They give me pointers and ideas on how to improve myself as a captain and ways to improve the team.”

Another captain of the team, junior Emily Ribatt, said that although some people may be impressed that she is a junior captain, the position is not as awe-inspiring as it seems.

“It’s a tool that I can use and people look at it in a much higher light than they need to,” Ribatt said. “Soccer is a very team-oriented sport so no matter how much I yell or play well on the field there are still 10 other people on the field trying to help me. The captains this year have done a great job recognizing that we can’t do all the work ourselves; there’s only three of us and we need eleven people on the field.”

According to Dumas, junior captains have certain responsibilities and standards to uphold as team leaders. Captains have to rally team spirit by coordinating spirit days and organizing team dinners.

“At practice we chat with our coach a lot and he always gives us tips on how to be good leaders,” Dumas said.

According to Dumas, though the transition from player to captain was more difficult than she expected, she eventually began to enjoy her role.

“I definitely took some time to get adjusted to the role,” Dumas said. “It was hard because being younger, I second guessed myself a lot.”

According to senior Nora Bayer, a junior captain of the girls varsity lacrosse team last year, a source of stress for her was having to direct seniors during practice.

“As a junior captain I thought it was going to be put into an awkward position,” Bayer said. “But because I had seniors who were captains with me, I was never put in that position.”

According to Bayer, despite her younger age, interaction with seniors was not uncomfortable because it resembled more of a group discussion.

“I liked leading everyone, and figuring out what was going wrong with the team and what was going well,” Bayer said. “As a sophomore or freshman there might be something you want to fix but it might be hard because you’re not in that position.”

Ribatt said that although being a junior captain put more pressure on her, generally the experience strengthened her as a soccer player.

“I have to be the best I can be and never slack off, because I am a role model for the team so I can’t afford to do that,” Ribatt said.