Student Leadership Celebrated at APW Captains’ Brunch

The Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District honored role model student-athletes at a recent captains’ brunch for their skills and achievements both on and off their respective playing fields.

A three-year tradition within the district, the seasonal brunches are coordinated by APW Athletic Director Bert Conklin as a way for varsity team captains to collectively examine, develop and strengthen their overall leadership abilities.

Captains for the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown fall sports season were invited to a leadership brunch at the APW District Office where the role of team leader and the responsibilities associated with that role both on and off the sports fields were discussed. Pictured in the front row, left to right, are varsity team captains: Ty Christian (football), Tylor Skellington (football), Joe Carusone (football), Jon Phoenix (football), and Jarid Paninski (football). Middle row, left to right: Chelsea Cooper (cross country), Emily Radley (soccer), Rachael Thormann (soccer), Courtney Cefaratti (soccer), and McKenna Trumble (cheerleading). Back row, left to right: APW High School Principal Jamie Coppola, Kylee Bartlett (soccer), Zack Mosher (cross country), and APW Athletic Director Bert Conklin. Absent at time of photo was LJ Phoenix, varsity football co-captain.

Team captains from the fall football, soccer, cheerleading and cross country sports teams were represented at the recent brunch and participated in a self-evaluation exercise where they were asked to reflect upon their commitment to the team, their confidence, their composure and their character.

Conklin then asked the captains to think about how their teammates would evaluate them on the same four criteria (commitment, confidence, composure, and character) and also the legacy that they would be leaving at the end of the season and after they graduate high school.

Conklin played for the captains an emotional scene from the 2006 movie Facing the Giants that spoke to the importance of effort, heart, and commitment within an athletic team.

In the clip a less than motivated team captain was put to the test when the football coach asked him to crawl from the end zone to the 50 yard line while carrying a teammate on his back and blindfolded. At the end of the scene, with the team captain making his way past the 50 yard line and into the other end zone, the coach spoke about giving the best effort, never giving up and said, “You are the most influential person on this team. If you act defeated so will everyone else.”

Future captains’ brunches will be held at the start of each season’s sports schedules throughout the school year.

For more information about the brunches or other aspects of athletics in the APW District, contact Conklin at the APW High School, (315) 625-5232.