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Varsity Football Captains ‘Give it Their All Every Play’

T. WEI/The Phillipian

From left to right: Jake Jordan ’20, Michael Thompson ’21, and Erik Fotta ’20.

After playing together for three seasons, Captains Erik Fotta ’20, Michael Thompson ’21, and Jake Jordan ’20 inspire their teammates through their efficient leadership, according to Head Coach Trey Brown ’12.

Brown said, “These three guys [were] very vocal when [they] were chosen by our players last year, and I think they all bring something different, whether that’s leading through the way they play or what they say on the field or what they do off the field … I think a lot of the kids look up to [them] and respect [them] and they know that … this is not just some role that they have based on popularity, it is something that they earned and I think they really take advantage of it.”

What are your goals for the season?

Jordan: So far, some goals that I’ve had are just to try to make sure that everyone is bonding and doing everything that they can to make sure that they’re contributing to the team. A big thing that’s important to me is making sure that everybody is playing their roles and doing their part to make the team better. Ultimately, I believe that if one person doesn’t fully buy in then that just brings the team down, so I think a big role of mine is to help motivate people to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Thompson: [My goal is] just being a leader on the team. With the new coaching staff and the new head coach, just getting the team worked in. We had some younger guys too, and just trying to be a leader as much as possible and showing the younger guys how it’s done.

What are you learning from past seasons?

Fotta: I think one of the most important things that we can take from past seasons is how crucial developing younger players is to the team. This season especially, we have had some younger players step up and make a great impact. Most of these players spent the majority of last season focusing on development, and that dedication is evident in their ability.

Thompson: Having the right mentality, I feel, as a captain is always good. Knowing what you want to do every day before practice before it starts and before every game, what you want to accomplish.

Jordan: I think in past years, previous Captains like Larson Tolo from ’18 and [Will] Litton from ’19; I personally look up to them and I try and use what they did as a reference for my leadership methods. I try and [have] the voice that Larson had, the energy that Will brought, the high standards he held himself to and the poise he had. I think the combination of those two types of leaders can really help shape the type of leader I am.

How has the season gone so far?

Thompson: This is our coach’s first year, so I think we’re getting the kinks out and we’re working through it. We’re not off to a great start, but that being said, I think we can win these last two games for sure.

Jordan: Obviously, winning is the goal, but aside from winning, I’m very happy with the effort a lot of other players have put on the field. I’m very happy with the underclassmen. I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part and I’ve been able to show the underclassmen what their roles are and to help them hone in on their personal skills as a player.

What was the team’s best game and what did you learn from it?

Fotta: In terms of outcome, our best game was undoubtedly against Worcester. We played well and with confidence the entire game, and it was a strong reminder of how our team really can perform. Ultimately, we look forward to a competitive game this weekend and plan on coming into the game with even more intensity and drive to win than we had at our last meeting with Worcester.

Jordan: Worcester was definitely our best game. Defensively, we shut them down, and then offensively, we came out with two big plays scoring on the first try, and blocking a punt to put us up 14-0 really set the tone of that game and propelled us into a victory. The unity we got from that one win was more than anything I could have asked for because it felt so good to get a taste of victory. Speaking for the rest of the team, I know it felt really good as well.

How do you guys work together as captains to lead the team?

Jordan: I would say that we each have different roles to fill. I personally am more of a voice on the team, whereas Thompson leads more by example through bigger plays. I try to put my best effort on the field every time I am out there, but I think just being loud and having a verbal presence on the field is important for a lot of the guys to see and also here as well if a practice is quiet there is usually a lack of energy. Even though people are making plays, a loud voice always makes a difference in making a practice efficient.

Thompson: I try to lead by example through stretches, breaking the huddle down, talking to the guys, befriending them, sitting by them, having a conversation, keeping it light in the locker room after practice, and just being a buddy and everyone’s friend.

Editor’s Note: Jake Jordan is a Live Editor for The Phillipian.