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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Captains Rishi Bhargava and Evy Sachs lead from the heart

TROJAN.+Senior+Rishi+Bhargava+prepares+to+dive+in+a+race+from+last+season.+For+the+first+time+this+year%2C+Bhargava+became+a+captain+of+the+Trojan+swim+team.+I+really+want+to+share+my+passion+for+swimming+with+the+rest+of+the+team+and+help+out+by+being+a+leader+and+doing+my+part%2C+he+said.
Submitted Photo: Eliot Aust
TROJAN. Senior Rishi Bhargava prepares to dive in a race from last season. For the first time this year, Bhargava became a captain of the Trojan swim team. “I really want to share my passion for swimming with the rest of the team and help out by being a leader and doing my part,” he said.

At the high school level and beyond, almost all sports teams have captains… But why are they important? How can their individual leadership styles and decisions impact their teams? Captains themselves are the only ones truly suited to answer.

Senior Rishi Bhargava is a co-captain of the Trojan swim team, a co-op with SPA and Highland Park. He has been on the team since seventh grade but this is his first year as a captain. “I really want to share my passion for swimming with the rest of the team and help out by being a leader and doing my part,” he said.

Captains of previous years helped shape Bhargava’s desire to take on this important leadership role. The Trojans have had a new coach every year for the last four years and the only stable leadership for him has been captains. He hopes to be able to act as a resource for his teammates the same way the captains of the past have done so for him.

One of the most important things Bhargava hopes to incorporate into his leadership style is approachability. He recognizes that it can be more difficult to approach coaches and wants to be able to act as an intermediate between them and athletes. “I want to make everyone comfortable with coming to me if they have anything they want to talk about,” Bhargava said. “If there’s any way I can help them with technique or managing student workload and balancing athletics […] I want to make myself open.”

Coaches have a pretty formal role, so captains can unite the team in more casual ways.

— Evy Sachs

In the very first practice, Bhargava and his co-captains already had to practice this responsibility. After hearing feedback from many of the athletes, they decided to talk to their coach about shortening practices. Many athletes were worried about keeping up with their school workloads, especially when they had already been staying up late. The captains were successfully able to shorten practices by 30 minutes.

Bhargava also appreciates the importance of multiple captains, especially in a sport as technical as swimming, where there are many different areas of expertise. For example, Bhargava specializes in breaststroke whereas co-captain Connor Overgaard specializes in backstroke.

Though he hopes for competitive success, Bhargava’s main goal as a captain is to build a strong team and community. “If seventh and eighth graders are showing up to practice and I can make that a fun experience for them, they’ll stick around and they’ll be the future of our team,” he said.

Another captain, sophomore Evy Sachs, is one of five captains on the alpine skiing team. Sachs has been skiing for a long time and is passionate about her sport. However, one of the biggest reasons she decided to become captain was because of her positive experiences with captains in the past, especially considering her older sister was one last year. “Last year the captains were really fun and nice and inclusive which made me want to be a captain. I feel like I just try and do what they’ve been doing,” she said.

TRUE PASSION. Evy Sachs and co-captain Jane Higgins at a meet from last year. Evy Sachs is the only sophomore captain of a winter sport. “Last year the captains were really fun and nice and inclusive which made me want to be a captain,” she said. (Submitted Photo: Evy Sachs)

Sachs thinks that one of the most important roles of captains is to foster an inclusive and positive environment from the inside. As Bhargava expressed, Sachs also believes approachability is key. “Coaches have a pretty formal role, so captains can unite the team in more casual ways,” she said.

So far, Sachs has been proud of her ability to step into this important leadership role. She considers her social skills and ability to communicate as some of the strengths that make her a good fit as captain. These abilities have allowed her to contribute to a positive culture in the captains’ practices and team dinners that have occurred so far.

Plus, the privilege of being a captain is something she is grateful for. “Being able to talk with different people in a range of grades [is something I appreciate],” Sachs said. “Also being able to get more experience in a leadership role is definitely helpful for me.”

For all captains, the many responsibilities can be difficult. However, like Bhargava and Sachs, they are passionate about their roles and recognize the weight their leadership holds. They understand that captains are crucial for maintaining a positive team culture and they do their absolute best to lead their teams toward success.

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About the Contributor
Greyson Sale, News editor
Hi, I’m Greyson Sale (he/him). I work as a News Editor for the Rubicon Online. At school, I play soccer and run track, am a member of SoCLC, and am a member of the People for Environmental Protection Club. Outside of school, I love rock climbing and get to compete all over the country. I can be reached at [email protected].

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