What does it mean to be a team captain for DSU athletics?

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Every team has captains who score goals, make passes and plays. But that’s not all that captains do; they put in a lot of hard work that doesn’t even involve playing the sport.

Team captains are selected for their positions for a specific reason whether it be because they exhibit leadership skills that helps teammates in every aspect of the game.

Dixie State University athletic teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, each contain a team captain.

“When the team is playing at time of adversity, we as captains have to remember [that] we as a team worked hard to be in these situations and that we put in the work to be here,” said women’s forward Kristin Baldwin,  a senior exercise science major from Thatcher, Arizona. 

The amount of work put into being a student athlete is a task itself, and on top of that, being a teammate who leads by example sets the bar rather high for the Trailblazers.

“Being a captain means being an example for the team and paving the way for the foundation of the program,” said women’s guard Matti Ventling, a senior criminal justice major from Las Vegas. “Its a great honor to be a captain because you are the example and the foundation.”

A captain’s actions not only reflect themselves but the team as well.  A team needs someone who is approachable on and off the court, someone who the team can trust.

“As captains we are looked upon by other players who believe in us, and even if we feel pressure, it makes us play better,” said center Ashlee Burge, a senior Business administration major from Riverton.

Although lessons can be learned while on the court, some of those lessons can be applicable to the players lives off the court and out in the world.

“Being a captain has prepared myself not only on the court but off,” said men’s guard Brandon Simister, a senior biology major from St. George. “Coordinate everyone’s efforts for a common goal has helped on the basketball court and something I can transfer to my career.”

Captains also bring energy to the team. If spirits are down during practice or game time, captains are there to bring them back up.

“As captain we have to keep our composer and keep us together as a team,” said men’s guard Kyler Nielson, a senior criminal justice major from Ceder City. “We lead by example not only in the classroom and our academics and knowing what we are doing is benefiting us in the long run.” 

Teammates may also look to captains as someone to console with when they are struggling.

“You always have to take the positive with the negatives,” said men’s guard Trevor Hill a senior business administration major from Sandy.

By the end of an athletic career, captains learn to adapt to their roles as leaders. Along with leading an active life on the court, athletic captains play an important role in learning to be responsible for their teams. 

Be sure to look out for basketball team captains as they take to the court Dec. 9 in the Burns Arena against Azusa Pacific, with the women’s game starting at 1:30p.m. then the men’s at 3:30 p.m.