It’s fo free??

For every star athlete and sports captain, there is a timid freshman carefully watching a senior player’s every move, hoping to one day be able to dribble a basketball just as skillfully or run five miles just as gracefully.

Captains of sports teams from football to cheerleading, “dedicate a lot of time to their sport,” says Kelly Murray, a sophomore on the Cross Country team.  Combining the burden of school work to the demands that being a captain entail can be very stressful she presumes.

Like Kelly, Sophie Capobianco, also a sophomore on the Cross Country team, believes “it is a lot of work to be a captain.”  Not only do captains need to maintain high grades in order to remain on the team, but many also balance AP courses with organizing team events, such as captain’s practices and pasta parties. However, the biggest challenge captains face is trying to keep everyone on the team positive.

While coaches mainly focus on the quality of the team’s performance, captains provide an outlet for everyone on the team to express his or her concerns in a trusted environment.  Captains are responsible for cheering on teammates and ensuring that every member on the team feels welcome.  To be chosen as a captain for any sport, one must display these qualities at all times to provide a positive example to the younger students on the team.

For all their hard work and dedication, sports captains are not only rewarded with a prestigious title, but also receive other benefits such as being able to attend most Pentucket sporting events free of charge with the presentation of their ID.

Some students, such as Sophie and Kelly, fully support this privilege.  “I think that is a great way to reward [captains] for their hard work!” says Sophie, who believes such privileges do not affect students who are not captains because they do not display as much commitment and dedication to their sport.

However, Mr. Thornton, the athletic director for Pentucket sports, questions whether students agree with this policy or not.

Although this policy has been an agreement between the river rival teams (Amesbury, Newburyport, Pentucket, and Triton) since before Mr. Thornton joined the Pentucket staff, he wonders if students feel it should be changed.

Imagine arriving at a varsity football game at Newburyport with your friend who is the captain of the soccer team.  You must pay the student rate for the ticket while your friend only has to show their captain’s ID.  Some students might feel embarrassed about this while others may not care.

On the other hand, imagine being the captain of the basketball team and going to a soccer game at Amesbury with a friend who doesn’t play sports.  In this situation, one may feel embarrassed for his friend and decide not to show his ID so that they can both pay the same rate.

Mr. Thornton admits that in both situations, he would “feel a little strange.”  However, many students don’t mind this policy and believe captains deserve such privileges.

Since most students seem to fully support this policy, the real question may be whether or not captains of sports teams should receive more privileges.

In addition to receiving free admission to sports events, Kelly believes captains should “get a reserved parking spot” at least for the duration of their sport’s season.

In the end however, captainship is not about the privileges received but the honor of displaying dedication and commitment to a particular sport.