Napoleon announced its football team captains for the season, and two of the three were captains a year ago.
Wildcats coach Tory Strock said, in a vote of players in the top three grades and coaches, seniors Andrew Warncke and Donovan Malone and junior Jarrett Gerdeman were chosen as team captains for the 2019 season.
Warncke and Gerdeman were captains last year as well.
“Every player in grades 10 through 12 got a vote and each of the coaches had a vote,” said Strock. “They could vote for up to four (players). Those with the top votes would be captains.”
Strock said there were nine candidates and there was a significant gap between the top three and the rest of the field.
“But all nine got a significant amount of votes,” added Strock.
All three newly elected captains said anyone of the candidates and really any senior would have made a good captain.
“This means a lot to me,” said Gerdeman. “It’s my second year being a captain. I am still one of the younger guys so I still look to all of the seniors as leaders. Knowing they chose me to be a captain means a lot.”
“It means a lot to me that my teammates last year and this year wanted me to lead them,” said Warncke. “I think I am cool, calm and collected, especially with the experience from last year. Everything is just a little bit easier now.”
“I like everyone of the guys,” said Malone. “Their decision to make me a captain means they thought I was ready.”
The three captains all see their leadership roles expanding this season.
“I want to be the leader that keeps the guys heads up when things start going south,” said Warncke, who pointed to the Wildcats’ second-half comeback against Springfield last year. “I was able to keep the guys up during that game. I took a lesson from that.”
“Last year I wanted to be the guy to keep the energy up when things were not going well,” said Gerdeman. “This year I want to be more vocal. Last year we had a good season, but going 6-4 and missing the playoffs is not going to be acceptable this year.”
“I like to be the high energy guy,” said Malone. “I want to get the guys hyped up. Sometimes I will start dancing or get the guys to start singing songs. Whatever I have to do to get the energy up.”
Three is the fewest number of captains for the Wildcats under Strock, who said he thinks it is a good representation of this year’s team.
“Based on our size, 50 players, I think three is a good number,” said Strock. “This is a unique group. Andrew is a verbal guy, Dononvan is a positive leader and Gerdy is the ultimate lead-by-example guy. That is a good mix as far as personalities.
“How they are all similar is all three come to practice every day and give great effort,” added Strock.