The Lives of the Leaders


Given permission to use picture by Audrey Parpart

Olivia Tirrel, Reporter

Our local athletes work hard on and off the court and field; there are some who have risen to the task of team captain. These individuals support the team and lead by example. Being a team captain is a big leadership role and should be recognized. The captains of our volleyball, tennis, boys soccer, and cross country teams shared their thoughts on having a leadership role and how the season is going so far. We asked Nick Hoffman, captain of boys soccer, how he became captain of the soccer team and if this was new for him. “This isn’t very new for me. I’ve been known as a leader in my grade and throughout my life. I like to be a leader on the field,” he said. Brooklyn Endres, captain of girls cross country, says, “I became team captain this year since I have been around the longest on varsity team for girls.”

Being a team captain can be a new experience for some, and after being committed to a sport for such a long time, we asked some of our team captains what is something they have taken away from it. Rachel Winters, captain of the Lodi Tennis team, shared, “I love the group of girls that play for the team, and it is great to have a group of girls to have and to fall back on for the rest of the year.”

Olivia Heyroth, one of the captains of our volleyball team, replied, “Have fun with your team and enjoy it while it lasts.”

Paul Lins, co-captain of our boys cross country team, said, “Becoming a captain has given me a new sense of responsibility for the team and given me extra motivation to try to lead the team to success.”

As athletes, it is important to set goals for yourself and your team to continue growing and improving. Our team captains shared some of their goals for the season. Brooklyn Endres stated, “Our goal as a team for the rest of the season is for us all to make more PRs and keep improving each race.” Nick Hoffman added, “We want to win regionals for the WIAA and have fun for the rest of the season, and to help the following years rise up and be a step above us.” Rachel Winters said, “To perform well individually and as a team in our subsectionals and see how far we can make it in the postseason.”

Transitioning to the role of team captain can be a new feeling, so we wondered how our captains felt when they made that change. Hope Hesselberg, one of the captains of our volleyball team, shared, “It felt good, from our coach’s point of view, to see that we are leaders. It makes me more confident being a leader on the court.” Rachel Winters told us she loves being a team captain as it gives her a chance to help be a team manager and organizer and to see the team grow.

Walter Beld, co-captain of our boys cross country team, said, “I feel a responsibility to coach the team up and support my fellow runners during the season and in the meets. Words of encouragement from upperclassmen go a long way, I know that from experience.”

Our local sports teams have made great strides in their seasons this year, and they shared what they thought their greatest accomplishments were. Hope and Olivia from the volleyball team said, “Beating Poynette and being able to fully connect with each other and have that ah-ha moment. We also took it to fourth place in the Richland center tournament.” Nick from boys soccer mentioned, “About every single game we’ve been in, we’ve come back and we’ve stayed positive, we don’t get down even when they score.” For girls cross country, their team won at the Rio conference, and at a meet in Fenimore, most of the girls were able to get a new PR. Tennis also performed very well at the Capitol conference, going in as 3rd and coming out as 2nd.

Being able to look back and learn life lessons from the events in our lives is key to success. Doing so can be easy but also very hard, so it is important not to lose sight of this. Walter Beld shared, “If I could take one thing away from cross country, it is that hard work pays off, and the only way to get better is to believe in yourself and your team.”

Our fall sports team captains have shown amazing leadership throughout the season, and they have done a great job. We got to see an insight into their daily lives on the field and on the court. They have seen the team at its best and motivated them through its worst. Being a team captain in a sport is a big leadership role, and we give our support and thanks to our local leaders.