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Captains work to inspire team to new heights this season

Tom DiGrispino
The football team’s four captains pose with a Pop Warner player before Friday night’s victory over Portage.

With a team always needing leaders to step up, show leadership, and be resilient  for the team. MHS football has embraced four new captains to lead the Pirates to success. The selection of becoming captain is rigorous, having to show many skills on and off the field.

“Anytime that somebody is elected captain you want them to be good representatives of your football team,” Coach Brad Seiss said. “We’ve got about 90 kids on the team grades 10-12 so you know wanting those four guys to be leaders and to be the voice of the team and also be able to relay messages from coaching staff”

Junior Adam Camphor, the only captain in a lower grade level,  is taking on the challenge of being a leader while still continuing his athletic journey. 

“It felt good because of what grade I’m in, so me being captain was just a step forward in the right direction toward the right goals,” Camphor said. 

Each captain takes on their role differently, feeling grateful for the opportunity and hoping to serve their team. Senior Roshaun McGee is excited to aid his team.

“It’s a great feeling,” McGee said. “I feel honored to be a captain, to know that my teammates look up to me. (I) speak out about what I do and don’t like, being a great teammate, having the energy that we need every day.”

Each captain not only demonstrates leadership and team building on the field, but also off the field. Senior Terrelle Elmore believes that a family dynamic is essential to the success of a team.

“I go out with my teammates all the time after practice, it’s almost an everyday thing that  we are going to go to something,” Elmore said. “I feel like we are a very tightly knit team. I feel like our team is very close . . . Our team was close last year but I feel like this team is a lot more tightly knit and focused compared to last year.”

Each team while having positive moments also faces times of adversity. Captain Dontae Pope experienced adversity not being cleared to play after transferring from Westside High School last season. 

Although he was  not able to play, he took the opportunity to grow his talent.

“I feel like during the offseason it was more like having more of a target for me having to go be able to focus and have more time to work,” Pope said. “Honestly and with having that time to work, I was able to get stronger, get faster, and bond with my team more and learn them as a whole.”

McGee faced  an obstacle when he experienced an injury shortly before the season started.

“I tore my meniscus,” McGee said. “I didn’t let it impact me mentally. I knew it was going to take a lot to get back, but I’m here now. I’m ready and I’m good.”

Camphor expresses that times of facing adversity is difficult, but reflects on wisdom he’s received from coaches along the way.

“One of my coaches, he had said: ‘Always keep going. If you’re going to mess up, mess up at 100 miles per hour instead of messing up at 10,” Camphor said. 

Coach Seiss feels the way one handles adversity is the foundation of good leaders.

“It’s really easy for them to be leaders when things go well,” the coach said. “When you win or play well obviously life is good. The bigger test is when things don’t go so well, or we have issues. They have to be the people that help get us in the right direction.”

Elmore gives his own pieces of advice to athletes hoping to inspire them.

“It gets hard. There are days where you are going to want to quit,” Elmore said. “There are days where you feel like you’re not good enough. There are days where you feel like you are not doing the right thing. There are days where you feel like you’re messing up. Ultimately, it’s really a ‘not give-up mindset’ that’s going to get you to where you want to be. Even if you don’t start until your senior year, it’ll be worth it.”

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Destiny Givens
Destiny Givens, Editor
My name is Destiny Givens and I am currently a senior here at Merrillville High School. I love being able to share a variety of stories that I feel are important for people to read about. I am currently involved in a variety of clubs and extracurriculars and highly involved in the school being an officer in many of my clubs. I hope that throughout the year I am able to write articles I truly care about that you are loving to read.

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