Team Captains Discuss Expectations, Injuries, Fun of Playing

Grace Tressler, Carl LaCount, Staff Writers

Reporters Grace Tressler and Carl LaCount  interviewed a few fall sports team captains to find out how the season has been going and what lies ahead. Blake Olejniczak and Matt Malcore represent the NDA football team, Maureen Schick the volleyball team, Caroline Schaupp the girls tennis team, Carolyn Tressler the girls golf team and Michael Linehan the boys soccer team.

Question: How does your team look this year?

Olejniczak: We have lots of talent this year, we are low on linemen but have plenty of numbers in the skill positions such as wide receiver and quarterback.

Malcore: We have a great group of guys this year. All I can see looking forward are positive things.

Schick: We have lots of potential this year, and even though we have a young team, we think this year is one of our best shots at making state.

Schaupp: The tennis team looks good. It has a lot of young talent.

Tressler: I am cnfident we will achieve our goals with this amount of talent.

Linehan: The team looks very good this year.


Question:  How different will it be to lose the seniors you had last year? How many new players?  Will incoming players be able to step up?

Olejniczak:  Losing good players is tough but they are great mentors to the team now. The coaching staff is great and the new players want to get better everyday.

Malcore: We had some really talented guys last year. They left a lot of big shoes to fill, especially on the line of scrimmage. However, all the new players and those returning are doing a great job at filling those shoes.

Schick:  It’s different because our seniors were really strong leaders, and a lot of us have to fill their roles. We have six new players who are really stepping up this year into bigger roles.

Schaupp: Our new young talent, four new freshmen, are filling the spots of the graduated seniors.

Tressler: They were a big aspect of our team last year, and they are missed. We have new varsity players who are doing well!

Linehan: We are organizing team bonding and taking on leadership. Team chemistry is crucial to win.


Question:  How important is team chemistry to a successful season? What are you as captains doing to bring the team together?

Olejniczak: Team chemistry is important because we want to play for each other. We plan team-oriented things such as the team car wash.

Malcore: Team chemistry is vital, and it was one of our team’s focal points this summer. This summer we were able to do things like go to movies or swimming or bonfires or a team car wash or sometimes something as easy as going to Starbuck’s after every lifting. This is the closest I’ve been (and I’m sure others would say the same) to a group of guys. Not many teams can say that, and I think that’s what makes our team special.  When it comes down to it, we’re just a group of friends playing the game we love.

Schick: Team chemistry can be the deciding factor between a season ending early or continuing to state. We really just try to have fun and that brings the team together a lot.

Schaupp: Chemistry is very important because to make it to state we must work as a team. We have pool parties and team dinners.


Question: What are your goals for the team this season?

Olejniczak: We want to be the best we can be and get better every week.

Malcore: I think what we need to do is just take it day by day, game by game. Obviously our first goal is to try and get the conference title and see what we can do from there.

Schick: Our goals are to win 4/6 tournaments, win conference and obviously get to state.

Schaupp: Our goal is to make it to state.

Linehan:  To win conference and to win a state championship.


Question: What special traditions or rituals does the team have?

Olejniczak: One awesome thing we do which not all teams have the opportunity to do is have a prayer service before games.

Malcore: Some things that the team does as a ritual is have a team dinner every Thursday before our games. Also, every game day we have a team prayer service.

Schick: We write “WIN” on our hands before every game, we slap a sign on the door of the locker room before we run out and a bunch of other weird little things.

Schaupp: We pray together before every match.

Linehan: We have spaghetti dinners and prayer.


Question:  How are injuries affecting your season so far? What are important steps that you as a team take to prevent injuries?

Olejniczak: We have a couple ACL tears, two key seniors, which definitely affects the team. The younger guys are stepping up to deal with the adversity. We are stretching, watching our nutrition and always staying hydrated.

Malcore: We’ve had some unfortunate injuries this year that have thinned out our depth chart, but besides a few guys, most are coming back at some point during the season. The best thing we can do at this point is just play it safe and smart so we don’t experience more bad luck with injuries.

Schick: We haven’t had too many major injuries so far this season which is always good. We are taking more time to stretch this year and icing after practice to try to limit any  minor injuries.

Schaupp: Unfortunately both captains are injured, which is a bummer, but we are constantly wrapping and icing injuries.                                               
Linehan: The team hasn’t had any injuries so far, but we always stretch to stay loose.