Junior Captains: A Role Marked by Hard Work and Dedication

For any athlete, being named a team captain is a great honor marking hard work and dedication to the sport and team. This honor is even greater when an athlete is named as a captain as a high school junior. Most Woodland sports only name seniors as captains, but this year, three Woodland athletes made captain for their team their junior year.

Girls Soccer named junior Eliza Smith as a captain for their team. Smith feels that she brings passion and drive to her team much like her fellow captains. Together, the four, Sam Plasky, Jenna Pannone, Gillian Hotchkiss, and Smith work together to push the team to work hard to achieve their goals. After winning NVLS last season, the team has a lot to work towards to continue winning and captains provide foundation for the team to find success. Smith sees being a captain this year a chance to learn from the others and is excited to represent alongside Plasky, Pannone, and Hotchkiss.


“We had just come off such a successful season and I was ecstatic to have been chosen to help replicate that this year,” Smith said.

Junior, Sarah Rioux was named co-captain of the Dance Team along with senior Vanessa Adams. Unlike some other teams, the team chooses captains rather than the coach. Rioux was proud to be chosen by her teammates. Like Smith, Rioux sees her fellow captain as a role model and a teach with more experience.


She believes, “Together we can do great things. I am excited to assist the team in reaching our goals.

Last season, the dance team reached second  in NVLS and are just beginning a long season that will continue through February. Rioux hopes to work to keep the team motivated through this long season. Rioux has thirteen years of dancing experience as a foundation to lead her team throughout the season to continue their passion and have success.

Finally, Emilie Noreika was named as captain for the Girls’ Cross Country team. For Cross Country, the captains are chosen by coach Jeff Lownds, so Noreika takes it as an honor as her coach feels she is prepared to lead a strong team. As a captain, she will push her teammates through the season to achieve team goals. Noreika will bring motivation, encouragement, and lead to the girls to be better runners. With senior Meredith Dyckman, Noreika works with the captains of Boys’ Cross Country to motivate the team. Like the other junior captains, she sees being a captain earlier is different in comparison to their senior counterparts.


“I do feel that being a junior captain is different from the other senior captains because they have seniority, but I also feel that is a learning experience because it will help me be a better leader in the future,” believes Noreika.