By Harrison Kirkland
As President Scott Miller is prepared to lead Virginia Wesleyan College, seniors Joshua Currier, Benjamin Fletcher and John Roth are prepared to lead the Virginia Wesleyan Men’s Lacrosse Team this upcoming season.
All three captains played key roles in last year’s squad. Currier, an attackman, led last year’s team with 37 goals and 22 assists. Fletcher, a defender, led the team with 19 caused turnovers and 22 ground balls. Roth, a midfielder, netted 19 goals with 19 assists and 31 ground balls.
Coming off a 10-6 record last season, the men’s lacrosse team seeks to improve that record. The Marlins were seeded number 5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) preseason poll. With the guidance of the captains, the team plans to better mentally prepare this upcoming season than last season.
“Were losing key components with our seniors from last year, so I think it’s going to be key for our seniors this year to step up and be really good leaders,” Currier said. “Approaching each game like it’s our most important game is key,” Currier continued.
With their first game coming up in less than three weeks on Feb 20, the team is preparing to start the season strong. The captains are already aware of their responsibilities.
“It’s a lot of on the field stuff but also a lot of behind the scenes stuff as well, to make sure all the guys are on the same page,” Fletcher said.
“It’s our job to motivate the team and keep everyone on the right track,” Currier said.
Keeping up with the responsibilities of being a college athlete are difficult enough, but the responsibilities of being the captain of a college team can be even more challenging. The added pressure can interfere with other roles of student life, but the captains of the lacrosse team said they have a good understanding of balancing academics and athletics.
“I think I have a pretty good grasp on the college thing now. I think being a strong leader goes hand and hand with my work ethic that I put forth with my academics,” Currier said.
When a college athlete becomes a senior, they become the captain of the team. A position like that can be difficult to manage, but the seniors seem to have been led well by last year’s seniors.
“You kind of take on a new role that you haven’t taken as a teammate for the last 3 years,” Fletcher said.
“If our seniors this year can lead as well as our seniors last year did, then we will improve on everything else,” Currier said.
After a loss, the captain’s job is to keep the team motivated to improve and win the next game.
“It starts the next day of practice. We have to make sure we think about the stuff we did wrong, but forget about the loss and move on so that we can win the next game,” Currier said.
“We take it as an opportunity to come back and perform better next game, to show that we actually can play,” Fletcher said.
Although a loss can take a huge toll on a team, injuries can also be devastating and season-changing. Currier and Fletcher said it is their job to be there for teammates who are injured.
“You have to make sure they know that you’re there supporting them, have fun and make them laugh,” Fletcher said.
“We adopt the next man mentality. We have players that work hard and that are ready to take over that role if need be,” Currier said.
Currier and Fletcher said they also have the support and guidance of Coach Stewart.
“I think the coach, me, Fletch, and Johnny are on the same page. So, anything we say, he agrees with. But if he doesn’t, he’ll definitely let us know,” Currier said.
“Most of our decisions are consulted by coach. He’s very good on supporting how we feel, he listens to us, his door is always open. You can always go in and talk to him about anything, whether it’s about personal life or lacrosse problems,” Fletcher said.