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By Henry Lively

The fall season is upon us, and the teams are hard at work on the fields. But
training has been going on much longer according to several captains.

Senior Molly Blake is a first time captain for her varsity field hockey team, and stated
that to prepare for the fall season, “We go to camp, and run and condition all
summer long.”

Senior captain Michelle Schefter of the varsity soccer team and captain Jackie
Sostilio of the varsity volleyball team both have similar ways of preparing for
the fall season as Blake does. Sostilio stated that, “in the summer we have
workouts every Saturday from nine to ten, which helps us get into shape. We
also attend an optional four day camp. This year and for the past few years it
has been at Stonehill College.”

Schefter also does work with her team over the summer by going to the local training
center, ABT, and doing a summer soccer league.

Cross country Captain Henry Lively held practices multiple times a week over the
summer to get his team in shape. He says “we got in a lot of miles this summer,
and really improved as a team. Some of our young runners got a lot of running
in, and our varsity guys really upped the mileage as well. That’s what summer
training is all about.”

Another similarity all four captains share is their determination to lead their teams
to states this year. According to Lively, “our team lost a lot of good runners,
but we still have the talent and depth to compete in the tri-valley league and
beyond.”

One key thing to make it to states is a team that works well together. Again, all four
captains agree that team bonding is an important aspect of bringing the team
closer. Blake explains, “it’s a tradition that our team goes to camp every
year. We also have pasta dinners before every game, and frequent team sleepovers.”
Along with pasta dinners and team sleepovers, Sostilio adds, “We listen to
music during practices to lighten the mood, and help us all connect more.”
Schefter also touched upon the importance of team bonding as well, partaking in
team dinners and summer league.  Lively says that the team bonds on long runs, and through running hard in races.

Before focusing on the teamwork, Blake said, “to lead my team to a successful season,
I am going to work on my leadership skills first. I have to try to be as
friendly and trustworthy as I can in order to be the best captain I am capable
of being for my team.”

As the leaders of the team, the captains are also in charge of making sure the
other seniors, and upperclassmen on the team make the new freshmen feel as
welcomed as possible. Schefter said, “Being a freshman is tough, especially if
you’re on a team with mostly juniors and seniors. We plan on talking to the
freshmen a lot, and making sure they know we are here if they have any questions.”

On a final note, the captains were asked how their previous captains will affect
their leadership rolls in the upcoming season. Schefter commented, “The team
had great captains last year, and they taught me a lot about how to lead the
team.” Blake answered with a smile, “They taught us how to fight even when
we’re down. I just plan on bringing the team even closer, and building off of
last season.” Sostilio pointed out that they taught her it’s okay to be stern as
long as the team has a common goal and is ready to work. Lively stated that the
past few captains had been real role models to him, and people he aspires to
take after. Since according to captain everyone is ready for this, there should
be no problem having a successful season in her eyes.

It’s clear that all four of these captains have the same goals for their teams, just
different ways of reaching them. Teamwork and self-motivation will be key to
success for their teams this year.

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