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To a student athlete, high school sports mean the world.

They find themselves center stage playing the games they learned as children while their parents, teachers, friends and community cheer them on from the sidelines.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieIn a sense, they are local celebrities whose pictures appear in the The Camp Verde Journal on a regular basis making them recognizable to their peers and community members.

They work hard on- and offseason for their positions on any given team showing dedication and commitment at a young age.

One step beyond an athlete is a team captain.

These individuals not only possess qualities that make them stand-out athletes, but their character lends itself to leadership.

A coach is an important guide and trainer for a team, but where a coach may struggle to connect with his or her athletes, team captains bridge the gap.

They set an example by working hard, putting in the extra time and maintaining a positive attitude despite winning or losing.

The captain isn’t the hothead on the field or court who blows when a play doesn’t go his or her way.

A captain sometimes isn’t even the best athlete on the team.

Instead, a captain is someone who other teammates can look to for support, advice and camaraderie.

Serving as a captain is a big job.

Even if the athlete feels slighted by a coach, teammate or official, isn’t in the mood to practice or simply had a bad day, he or she must demonstrate the strength to not let it interfere with performance and the grace to stay positive.

Not every teen athlete is ready to be a captain.

Some lack maturity. Some lack control. Some lack desire to be a leader.

Camp Verde High School coaches know how to spot leaders and recently named fall sports captains.

Good luck to the captains and their teammates. May the captains lead their squads to state titles.

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