You Don’t Have to Be a Starter to Be Captain

Posted: June 4, 2013 by rbolling3 in Announcement

When you think of team captains, a few names may come to mind: Michael Jordan, Ray Lewis and Peyton Manning. One thing that these three great athletes all have in common is they are all starters, and have been at the top of their game for a while. As a high school or varsity college athlete, it is often believed that the captain is the stud of the team; the one who can put the team on their back and win the game. While this is often true not all captains are starters.

When I was a freshman in high school and we were preparing to choose our lacrosse captains, our head coach handed everyone an article (link below) and told us to take 5 minutes to read it. John Fernandez, a West Point lacrosse graduate, lost both of his legs in the Iraq War. While this may have kept most people off the lacrosse field, it did not hinder him. Five years later Fernandez took the field in the Heroes Cup lacrosse game. This remarkable feat did not surprise his teammates and former coach. As a senior captain for the Black Knights, Fernandez was never a starter. What earned him his captaincy was his undeniable love for the game. He was never the quickest player or best athlete but his teammates knew his passion could inspire them even if he wasn’t on the field for the opening whistle.

Very often when high school athletes choose their captains, it’s the best player. This being said, a captain has heart, leadership, and cares about the team more than him/herself. Next time you are picking your team captains be sure keep John Fernandez in mind!


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