Captains’ Council established, holds first meeting


Eric Fang

Varsity boys water polo captain Matthew Hajjar (12) reaches for the ball during a game against Monta Vista. The council includes both junior varsity and varsity team leaders from all Harker sports.

by Aditya Singhvi, Sports Editor

The captain’s council, a group of about 50 athletic captains and other emerging team leaders, met for the first time on Sept. 18.

The council, led by athletic director Dan Molin, volleyball coach and middle school athletic director Theresa “Smitty” Smith, water polo coach Ted Ujifusa and football head coach Mike Tirabassi, was established this year to foster leadership qualities within sport captains and other team leaders. Through eight seminar-style workshops throughout the year, the coaches hope to enable team captains and leaders to take charge and guide their teams more effectively.

“We want to start them young, and hopefully also what they all will learn will trickle into the student body as a whole. We view the athletes as leaders, and that can really translate well. Not immediately, and not so tangibly right away, but over a year or so, we will be able to see a good representation of our leaders in the Harker community,” Dan Molin, the Upper School athletic director, said. 

The group includes both junior varsity and varsity captains as well as younger team leaders from all Harker sports, including those from the winter and spring seasons. As the year progresses, the athletic department will continually be adding new leaders to the council.

In their first meeting, the council discussed various aspects of leadership and broke up into small groups to talk about leaders they admired and their characteristics.  

“We discussed the qualities sports leaders have and how they’re able to lead their teams well,” Olivia Guo (10), who attended the first meeting as an emerging leader on the girls golf team, said. “I think it went really well.”

Coaches were asked to identify members of their team, including freshmen, who exhibited an interest in leadership. These athletes were then asked to fill out an application which consisted of six questions regarding leadership in athletics.

“It was time to get this thing going. I’ve seen this done at other schools and the success they’ve had,” Molin said. “[The results are] nothing tangible that you can see, but it’s more like what you’ll be able to feel and sense a couple years away.”

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on Oct. 17, 2018.