Through good times and bad, in the world of athletics, much as in the larger game of life itself, having strong, caring and knowledgeable leadership is quite important.
This spring season, the Pope John High School girl’s lacrosse program is fortunate to feature four captains on the roster who are there to be of assistance to their teammates through big victories or even tough losses: Mallory Morelli, Madison Maguire, Caitlin Carothers and Mia Lauzon. All four captains are members of the graduating class of 2022.
“All four of the seniors have different characteristics of being a leader,’’ Pope John head coach Kyla Kelly said. “The seniors this year are a special group. They not only started as freshman together, but they also went through COVID together. Skipping a season, then coming out the following season with only 14 athletes takes heart.
“They led the team as juniors and wanted nothing more but to be successful this season. They have taken the freshmen and sophomores under their wings and have been patient teaching them the game.’’
Each of the senior captains are getting the job done not only on the field but most critically in the class room as well.
“Madison just achieved statistics in the last few games,100 points, goals, draw wins and ground balls,’’ Kelly said. “It’s an impressive feat for missing a season. [They] have been crushing the academics as they have been hard at work with AP testing.’’
Coach Kelly definitely made the right call in having Carothers, Lauzon, Maguire and Morelli as the captains this year.
“The four senior captains have come out on day one with leadership skills,’’ Kelly said. “They made all of the new girls feel welcomed and helped those that were just starting out. As student athletes, their confidence and skill has improved so much. Taking a stand on the field with confidence is huge.’’
“Giving suggestions, showing by doing and being patient are just a few ways the girls have helped lead the team. It takes one unit to be successful, discipline and structure equal hard work.’’
Through 16 games, Pope John had an overall record of 7-9 and they were 3-3 in the NJIGLL Colonial North Division.
“A huge shout out to the underclassmen who have stepped up to play at the varsity level,’’ Kelly said. “It is not easy coming in as a freshman or first year sophomore and playing a higher level of lacrosse. They have stepped up to the challenge.
“We have a young team this year that has really come together and worked for a common goal, building the program, looking forward to seeing them develop over the next few seasons.’’