It is often times difficult to overstate the importance of having not just leadership, but the right kind of leadership on the roster of a sport’s team-particularly at the high school level.
A dedicated, sincere leader can go a long way in building all important unity in high school athletics.
This season, the High Point High School swim program has not just one but indeed three senior captains who provide proper guidance and a fine example for their teammates-Mitch Bove, Hannah Panzarella and Madison Preste.
Jaclyn Bambara, the head coach for High Point knows and respects the qualities that each of the captains bring to the table for the Wildcats.
“These swimmers are not only talented leaders, who have been swimming throughout their high school careers, but they are also academic and athletic role models,’’ Bambara said.’’
Among the noteworthy achievements of the captains through Jan. 8 include: Bove (1:09 best time in the 100 breaststroke), Panzarella (1:03 best time in the 100 freestyle) and Preste (1:22 best time in the 100 breaststroke).
“Since the start of the season, these students have continued to show great initiative and work ethic in practice,’’ Bambara said.
Bove, Panzarella and Preste demonstrate leadership that extends beyond the realm of athletics.
“These student-athletes have served as role models on committees throughout the schools and maintained high grade point averages,’’ Bambara said.
In numerous ways, each of the seniors help the program strive toward improvement.
“The captains demonstrate drills for the newer members of our team,’’ Bambara said. “They organize team gatherings and they also encourage everyone throughout practices.’’
Coach Bambara mentioned junior Breanna Stigler as being another standout leader for High Point this winter.
“Breanna has also been an excellent role model for the newer team members this year,’’ Bambara said.
The Wildcats are scheduled to participate in the Sussex County Championships at the Kittatinny Pool on Feb. 1.
“It was crucial to have good student leaders for our team this year as we have many new members to the team, including students who are new to the sport,’’ Bambara said. “Our captains have played an important role with this transition in being supportive role models.’’