By: Alex Reiner ’18

The Staples Wreckers baseball team dog piled in front of the mound, yelling and screaming. They had just won the Class LL State Championship, the first in school history. While the team had worked and trained every day of the season, the Wreckers began unofficial captain’s practice months before.

“It gave us extra time to work on the mechanical things before the season so we would not have to focus on them during the season,” captain Chris Drbal ’18 said. “It also built a proper mentality going into the season, one of dedication, hard work, and serious work ethic.”

This year the baseball team has begun workouts after school Tuesdays and Thursdays, according to Harry Azadian ’19. “They’re a great way for us to get stronger,” he said.

Having a captain’s practice is not unique to baseball. Other state champions, such as field hockey, have such practices too.

“We get drills from our coach that everyone should be able to do before the season,” captain Liv Ekholdt ’18 said. “It makes practices at the beginning of the season much more productive.”

According to Ekholdt, the team also does a lot of running so they don’t have to worry about conditioning during the season.

These practices are not mandatory and not all teams have them but players on the teams believe they are useful. “It gets us in shape and ready to hit the ground running once official practices begin,” Azadian said.

However, not all sports choose to have these practices, like the newly-formed squash team chooses. It is difficult for the team to book courts to have a weekly practice since they use the courts at Intensity Fitness Center, according to captain Julia Pines ’18. She said the practices would have been useful so players “could get a racket in their hand before the season.”

The team does, however, have courts reserved most weekends leading up to the season but are primarily used for tryouts, according to captain Alex Gold ’18.

In addition to using the practices to hone in on specific skills, they are also a way for the teams to bond.

“It creates a great sense of comradery, especially between the upperclassmen and the underclassmen,” Azadian said.

Lacrosse also uses captains practices as team bonding. “We include a lot of activities that let the freshman and new players know each other and form bonds for the season,” girls’ lacrosse captain Alexa Moro ’18 said.

“The goal of the season is to win a championship,” Ekholdt said. “Captains practices help us begin the season well and any amount of work we put in helps us.”

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