Captains are designated leaders of school sports teams

Nik Fair, finishing in 29 minutes in the Dam Mill 5K, has lost 90 pounds over the last year. BY DAVE FREDERICK
August 5, 2014

Designated leaders - The human is the only aggressive animal that can take control of a group without beating someone up or at least growling or perhaps flashing a menacing stare. Leaders emerge in education, beginning with a certification process that some think should be an automatic disqualifier.  Leadership is a talent and art that takes charisma and intelligence. I have been a subordinate to many leaders without perceivable skills. Girl, you know it’s true. But my thoughts are on captainships of athletic teams. After the on-field meeting with officials before games, what are the captains being taught about leadership and empathy? There used to be one captain. That system became co-captains then tri-captains then all senior captains. Then came the rotating captains who must be taught, “Yell heads or tails, not quarter or half dollar." I want my athletes to look out for their teammates both inside the team system and inside the school. I want my captains to tell the coach, “We won convincingly today, and you didn’t play everyone. We feel that’s not right.” And captains of teams should encourage their mates to reach out to all students in the school to engage them and also look out for kids who seem isolated. There are so many great things captains can be taught about leadership. And realize that the leaders are not always the people we wish were the leaders. Like I said, it’s an inborn talent and not for everyone.

Gifted and talented - The problem with offering classes or programs for gifted and talented students is 40 percent of non-gifted parents believe their child is gifted, but using 130 IQ as a criteria, it's less than 5 percent. Here’s a gifted child characteristic: “verbally proficient, exhibits advanced vocabulary for age and grade level, and reads with comprehension at an early age.” The thundering herd has mostly vacated concern with inclusion into gifted programs, spending more time playing on club teams because “they love it so much” while earning all-American honors for various sports including cheerleading. As my mill and cabinet teacher friend Bruce Hefke so eloquently stated, "You can hardly swing a dead cat without hitting a couple all-Americans in the head," and it seems everyone including beach lifeguards and Sunfish sailors are off to some national competition. I find it to be insane; I just want to go take photos of the first day of high school practices for fall sports, which begin Aug. 15.

Nik and Nut - Young Nik Fair graduated from Sussex Central in 1999 and later Wesley College and is now the AVID teacher at his old high school and helps Dave “Nut“ Marvel with the defense. Described by friends as a Long Neck/Oak Orchard boy, Nik worked his way up from hall monitor to classroom paraprofessional and is now a teacher. I sneaked a snap of him touching down at the finish chute at the Dam Mill 5K Saturday and included him in a Facebook album of the race and got lots of responses from his friends, who just love the guy. Nik has lost 90 pounds in the last year. I recognized him as a member of my Linemen for Life tribe. Nik, 33, ran 29 minutes, placing fourth in the Clydesdale division.

Snippets - The Cape Senior League baseball All-Stars were eliminated from the Eastern Regionals with a 5-1 loss to host team West Deptford Township in a game that started at 10 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3. The tournament was plagued by bad weather, forcing postponements and late starts. Cape won the opener Aug. 1 9-8 in 9 innings, a game that ended at midnight. Cape lost to Great Valley of Pennsylvania Aug. 2 8-3.

Division I college field hockey players go back to school the end of this week to begin practice. University of Delaware opens the season Friday, Aug. 29, at Stanford. Rebecca Pepper, Jacki Coveleski and freshman Maggie Delp make up three of four Delawareans on the team. There are six European players on the team including five from the Netherlands including coach Rolf van de Kerkof. Associate head coach Lynn Farquha, a Delaware assistant, was just named head coach at Saint Joseph's in Philly. The Hawks open the season Aug. 29 at Lehigh, where Cape’s Erin Ricker is a player. They don’t call me Mr. Field Hockey for nothing.

Max Euler, a Cape graduate, was a first team all-state soccer selection last season. Max is listed as a freshman for the Division I Marist Red Foxes. "What does the fox say?” Brandon Lewis, who played at Cape, Sussex Tech and Sussex Central, is a sophomore linebacker for the Delaware State Hornets.

Go on now, git!