PHS team captains explain what it means to be a ‘dedicated’ team captain

Jhett Schwahn

More stories from Jhett Schwahn

November 26, 2021

PC: Greg Wise

(From left) Seniors Sheldon Shoopman, Sam Whitlock, Toran Graham, and Lane Shramick meet at mid-field for the coin flip.

A team captain. A leader. Someone who the team looks up to. Only one to four individuals are named “captain” at the beginning of the season. The characteristics of being a captain aren’t just things that they say, but more importantly their actions.

“[My teammates] saw the effort I put in the sport,” senior captain Sam Whitlock said. “They also saw that I cared about them.”

A special aspect of being a team captain is that they are able to talk with the officials of the game if there is a dispute. Even though this seems like a simple task, it can actually be a way to turn the tide of a game. When talking to officials the captain has to not show any sign of disapproval because that can cause the officials to be biased towards the other team.

“It can be challenging at times when you don’t agree with the call,” senior captain Toran Graham said. “It’s always better to just say thank you and walk away rather than argue.”

As well as being a leader on the field, it is just as important to be one off the field. When a team captain is around school and the community, they must leave a good impression on people. This is very important because the way they act toward people will be what they think about the whole team. This isn’t always a bad thing because the team captain can always draw more people to the program through their actions. 

“Being connected in the community makes people want to come to games,” senior captain Sheldon Shoopman said. “The more people supporting us, the better we play.”

Being connected in the community makes people want to come to games. The more people supporting us, the better we play.”

— Sheldon Shoopman

Respect is very important in sports; for some people, that is their driving force for playing the game. When other people, as well as the other team, see the group of captains, they already have a level of respect for them. This is part of being a captain that often goes unnoticed. As a captain, you can use this to your advantage during the game.

“It’s really nice to step onto the field and know that you already have the other team’s respect,” senior captain Lane Shramek said. “The officials also have more respect for you and listen to you more.”

Being voted the captain of a team is a privilege an athlete will remember for a lifetime, and the skills they learn as a captain will help a person all the way through adulthood.

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