Over the course of the last few weeks of the summer, leading into the school year, there has been a great deal of discussion and confusion regarding sports captains at Ledyard High School.
In the past, captains were chosen prior to or at the very beginning of the season and those chosen would remain captains the entire season. Up until recently, there has been no confusion about the policy. Now, however, there are rumors going around that LHS has removed captains completely. This is not true.
LHS assistant principal and athletic director Jim Buonocore stated in a recent interview that, “The message isn’t being relayed correctly. We still have captains at LHS, [they’re] just game captains.”
This means that prior to every game, the coach designates two or three student-athletes to be captains for that day. Most of what their job entails is the coin-flip at the start of the game and representing the whole team when talking to the officials.
There has been a great deal of research done to support this new policy. Buonocore used it on the Ledyard football team from 2010-2015 when he coached. He said that, “it takes stress of the coaches and pushes athletes on a daily basis.” Now, the coaches no longer have to worry if they made the right choice about captains for a whole season. If it doesn’t work out, they can pick a different athlete for the next game.
Also, it creates competition, yet unity, on each team. Students cannot slack off but instead have to constantly work hard in order to be a captain. It pushes them to be the best they can be. It allows the chance for freshness in leadership. The new policy makes it possible for different viewpoints to mix together for the best possible outcome, and creates a sense of unity as everyone pitches in.
For students who have waited all of high school for the chance to be a captain of a sports team, it is still possible. As athletes work hard and challenge themselves, they can earn the privilege of becoming a game captain.
In a recent interview, one student-athlete stated, “if I am a captain I should just be one the whole season. I’ve waited four years and it’s not that big of a deal to just have the same captains the whole time,” in a recent interview. While he brings up a good point, the captains do not necessarily have to change every game. The same person can go up for every single game. Or everyone on the team could be a captain at one point or another. It is all up to the coaches’ judgment about how players performed on and off the field that week.
Buonocore recalled that one season, every senior on the football team had the opportunity to be a game captain. It wasn’t planned, but every one of them earned the chance to be a game captain.
The main goal behind this new change is for “every student-athlete to embrace the challenge and opportunity” that individual game captains provide to all athletic events.
Xander Hutchins, Staff Writer
Xander Hutchins is a senior staff writer for the 2019-2020 Colonel. He is a three-sport athlete who participates in soccer, basketball and outdoor track. He enjoys working with his hands and is currently enrolled in several ceramics courses at the high school.