Inspiring SHS Pride: Inside the first “Captains’ Council” Meeting

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Lauren Chiasson and Maeve Lawler

“You’re all wearing that ‘S.’ I want you to wear it with pride,” says SHS athletic director Peter Umbrianna. Throughout the first Captain’s Council meeting, Umbrianna focused on the qualities a captain should embody. He repeatedly emphasized how their actions have an impact on not only their teammates but the whole school community.

Wednesday, September 25th, marked the first of these new meetings, where all fall captains were welcomed to the lobby of the PAC with coffee, donuts, and words of inspiration.

Umbrianna makes it a point to explain that the skills you need as a captain will help you throughout life, particularly in future careers. However, he recognizes that there is room for every captain to improve. He asked the students to rate themselves as a captain on a scale of one to ten. The majority ranked themselves between six and seven, illustrating their willingness to improve as leaders. 

“How many people in this room can name every freshman in their program?” asked Umbrianna. Approximately half of the captains raised their hands. Umbrianna aims to tackle issues like this through the implementation of these mandatory meetings, along with decreasing the current hierarchy he sees between the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen within teams. The room went silent as Umbrianna explained how some seniors were assigning team jobs, such as cleaning up and putting equipment away, to the lowerclassmen teammates while they hadn’t bothered to grab anything. “Nobody in the room is more important than anybody else in the room,” he said, encouraging senior captains to strive for equality within their teams. 

As the meeting progressed, captains broke off into groups of five, creating a poster of the qualities a leader should have. Umbrianna encouraged the students to think outside of the box while doing this activity. Each group then shared the things they listed while explaining why they thought this was an outstanding quality to have. Most talked about how it was important to be vocal in a positive way, inclusive, and encouraging. 

Umbrianna is pleased by the outcome of the first council, citing it as “productive.” Hoping to build the program, Umbrianna said, “I have a bunch of ideas for this Captain’s Council next year, but I’m looking forward to building a solid foundation this year.” Future meetings will cover current topics such as the vaping epidemic and more school-related issues such as attracting more students to games. 

As additional Captain’s Council meetings are held, Umbrianna would like to see the topics he highlights put into action, eventually impacting everyone on the team.