Throughout your time on the team, how have you seen seniors lead and support freshmen?
[As a freshman] I was really nervous. You watch the TV shows and you’re like, “They’re going to throw me in the toilet.” I met the captains and thought, “You guys are really nice to me! Why?” There’s a culture especially in sports where the seniors really watch out for the freshmen because they’re like, “You like soccer, I like soccer, let’s be friends.” There isn’t the age division where a lot of my friends have found in public school where you’re only friends with people in your grade. Our goalie, who is the only freshman, has definitely become part of the team. We listen to them as much as they listen to us.
What is it like to have your teammates relying on you?
The Bay sports program is really serious in some ways but not in others. It’s not like we expect all our athletes to go play D1 sports after high school, but it’s serious enough that the whole team expects you to show up to every single practice. You’re expected to put in 100 percent at every practice. You’re expected control your schedule so that you can get enough sleep or food or whatever so that you can come to practice and put in 100 percent for the two hours that you’re there.
You learn to get stuff done on the weekends and pace yourself through the week so you’re still sleeping enough that you can be there mentally on the soccer field. You kind of just learn how to balance your life. I think that was a really helpful skill because there might be a lot on your plate, but it’s all manageable if you just sit down and think it through.
Why is your job as a captain important to your teammates, coaches and the Bay community?
Our whole job really is to help the team be more cohesive. If there are disagreements or people are just down about something, we’re there to sort it out. It’s been a learning experience. The coaches for soccer don’t teach at the school, so they don’t necessarily understand the stress that we’re under – especially seniors with college apps and junior year. We know when everyone else is tired or stressed or there’s a huge paper due tomorrow, and that’s definitely our job to help monitor that and help keep the coaches informed.
The captain’s whole point, even in professional soccer, is you’re the coach on the field. The coach can’t come out onto the field and say, “You go over here, you get over there.” You’re kind of the connection between the coach and the players, specifically on the field. Since we have school and we’re at school together, we’re kind of the connection between the coaches and the players on and off the field.