Captains my Captains

Sam Chambers
Former St. John's standout captains continue to hone their leadership skills that once lead St. John's teams to glory and now have their NCAA teams in contention.  The Maverick Athletic Department, under the guidance of Rachel Skinner, is making sure we continue to foster the qualities that characterize good leadership which have served these captains of the past so well.
Former SJS lacrosse teammates Kate Donnelly (’07) and Allison Bland (’07) share a field again, and both are back in the leadership role.  Standout captains for the Mavericks, they are now senior captains at the NCAA level.  The difference now: they are on opposing teams.  Kate is captain of Washington & Lee, while Allison is captain of Sewanee.  
On February 24th the visiting W&L Generals prevailed over the Sewanee Tigers 21-13, with Kate notching 1 goal and 1 assist and Allison tallying 2 goals.  Both players were 3-sport athletes at St. John’s. 
Each team is looking for a bid to the NCAA tournament.  The Generals are ranked #8 in the nation, while the Tigers are looking to make some noise in their 4th year in the SCAC.  

Donnelly also captained the Generals' Field Hockey team this fall, and was just selected to the National Field Hockey Association's D3 All-Academic squad.

Many Maverick leaders from the class of 2006 climbed to the captain's role while playing in the NCAA’s.  Chris Root and Andy Gagel, 2 time lacrosse captains at St. John’s, went on to lead the Big Green of Dartmouth College in their senior year.  Sallie Armstrong was both field hockey and track and field captain for the W&L Generals.  Julia Weiser won several awards in the captain role as defender for the Yale Bulldogs Field Hockey team.  Greg Cook went on to lead the Lynx of Rhodes College track and field program and is now back at St. John’s where it all started.  David Lawrence never received the status of captain while at St. John’s.  The former lacrosse player ran for captain his senior year, but the team was in the capable hands of Root and Gagel.  Not to be denied, “D-Law” took the initiative to earn the captain status in his senior year at Haverford.  Alongside former Maverick teammate and new Maverick coach Matt Starke, David led the Black Squirrels to their first ever Centennial Conference championship in 2010.

"I was fortunate enough to be elected captain," said Lawrence.  I'll never forget Coach Chambers encouraging me back in high school to run for captain. A vote of confidence then meant a lot."

The newest Maverick captains in the NCAA are stepping in where Lawrence and others left off. From the class of 2010 are: Reed Daniel (Sewanee Lacrosse), Zach Gaitz (Wesleyan Lacrosse), John Cialone (Villanova Baseball), Robbie Bland  (Sewanee Tennis), Meredith Gamble  (Rice Cross Country/Track & Field), M.A. Boles (W&L Volleyball), Jett Williams (Millsaps College Football), Catherine Franklin (Northwestern Field Hockey), Paige Hawley (Colgate Field Hockey), Sara Patterson (Dickinson College Cross Country), Mackenzie Hicks (Davidson Track & Field) and William Young (Arizona State Basketball).

"My first collegiate game/win was an exciting experience and I'm looking forward to playing out the rest of the season," said Daniel, who helped Sewanee post their first win of the season.

Gaitz is on the 3rd midfield line for the Cardinals, while Cialone is getting some play behind the plate for the Wildcats.  John recently hit a grand slam accounting for the only 4 runs of the game against Cincinnati. Bland, playing #3 doubles, helped the Tigers get their 3rd win of the season over Berry.  Gamble, Conference USA freshman of the year is back on the track for the Owls.  While most of the ODAC could not touch a W&L Bole’s volleyball kill, Jettboy was able to block a few punts for the Majors. Franklin’s Wildcats out-dueled Hawley’s Patriots on a Monday night skirmish and they are still best of friends.  Hicks runs sprints and hurdles for the Wildcat Track & Field team.  Patterson ran well in cross-country for the Dickinson Red Devils. Young not only made the Sun Devil squad, but was seen on ESPN from time to time. 

Spring is still king for some of the veteran Maverick captains.  Adam Hines ('07) (Williams Lacrosse) in his senior year for Williams, will shore up the Eph's lacrosse close-defense.  Tim Root ('08), (Dartmouth Lacrosse) missed his first 2 seasons to injury, and is finally starting to play for the Big Green in his junior year at Dartmouth.  Virginia Waldrop ('08) (Yale Softball) is doing great things for the Bulldogs, and Hannah Clarke ('09) (William & Mary Lacrosse) is a red-shirt sophomore for the Tribe, one of the featured teams going to Jerry’s World on March 19th.  Candace Bailey (’08) (USC Track & Field) and Catie Reynolds (’08) (Washington University) are making strides on the ground, while Bryce Hollingsworth ('09) (Wesleyan Crew) is cruising on water. 

Other former St. John's captains playing in the NCAA in the 2010-2011 fall and winter seasons are: Derry Herlihy ('07) (Notre Dame Football,)  David Sklar ('07) (Harvard Football), Blair Bashen ('07) (Purdue Volleyball), Clayton Holz ('08) (Stanford Soccer), Eric Elliot (’08) (Trinity Cross-country), Julia Gibbs ('09) (Middlebury Volleyball), Alexas Carrasco (NYU Volleyball) and Kelley Harrison (’09) (Brown Field Hockey).  

At this time Caroline Hussey ('05) played field hockey at Stanford.

"The athletic department is in the process of creating a program which will help our captains serve as leaders on our teams and beyond St. John's," said Head Girls' Cross-country and Head Girls' Soccer Coach, Rachel Skinner.  "It is an exciting prospect to see what these student-athletes are capable of."

In order to accurately tell our athletic story, the sports communication department is archiving NCAA athletes beyond the class of 2006.  William Warren ('04) was a soccer captain and went on to play at Amherst.  Caroline Hussey ('05), captain of the field hockey team, went on to play for Stanford.  What is your story and what did it mean to you to be a captain?