Parkersburg South football selects captains

Parkersburg South football hopefuls for captaincy of the gridiron squad in 2017 faced a much harder route to their goal than a vote from their peers Sunday inside the Parkersburg South main office conference room.

Instead of a peer election, each of the seven applicants attended a job interview led by head coach Mike Eddy and featuring the other eight assistant coaches on the Patriots’ staff for the four leadership spots available this season.

“This started when I was at Gallia Academy,” shared Eddy. “Me and one of the wrestling coaches were talking about the concept of interviewing players and kind of getting to know them a little better and give them an opportunity to know the coaches a little better in a different setting.

“I guess I just have a little bit of a different philosophy when it comes to selecting guys that represent our team. The most common approach is usually players vote on who they want to represent them. The problem with that is it becomes a popularity contest, so the most popular guys get to be captain. Quite frankly your best leaders aren’t very popular because they have got to make tough decisions and make people uncomfortable. Just because your teammates look up to them doesn’t make for a good captain.”

No aspect of a real world interview was spared.

Job applications were filled out and letters of interest for the position were required from each candidate and reviewed by all coaches before each interview.

A formal dress code was set as was a fairly strict interview schedule.

There was some friendly banter among coaches and each player before an interview, but after the beginning no one wasted any time getting down to brass tacks.

Each player received constructive critiques from Eddy upon completion of the interview on their application, letter of interest, and overall presentation of self during their time in front of the panel.

Assistant coaches Cody Nutter and Matt Kimes alternated starting and ending questioning segments as they were closest to Eddy.

Players were quizzed about not just how their captaincy duties would be required on the football field, but also off the field. Each potential representative was expected to project their leadership role when out to eat with teammates, or any time out in public, while in the classroom, and after football season ended.

Seven applicants for four spots came up as a question for each hopeful leader as well. Coaches were curious how players would react if they didn’t achieve their stated goal and all replied they would continue to lead without the title.

A surely comforting and encouraging fact to all present.

Asking players what animal they would be and why was one of the more popular questions of the afternoon.

This question provided some of the most insightful answers of the day with bear, lion, horse, dog, and tiger being among the responses among the applicants.

It was interesting hearing each player’s reasoning and then watching some of the coaches start thinking about each applicant and their chosen animal.

Oh … Whoops!

I forgot to mention being present for every interview.

Eddy invited me to sit in on the process as I am of an inquiring mind.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

I walked away thoroughly impressed with the courage each young man had to sit down and take constructive criticism and answer tough questions for their potential captainship from arguably their toughest critics.

Comfortable speaking for me comes in the form of writing my words down and having them published in the newspaper. Though I am no longer fearful of sitting in a room full of people as I once was, having time to collect my thoughts and deliver concise words is something I cherish.

The fifteen to twenty minutes I sometimes need to form a column idea and then attack weren’t afforded to any applicant.

Some of my readers are wondering if I found out who the captains were for this year I bet …. I did.

But, I am not sharing.

Luckily for those who need to know, the News and Sentinel’s Pigskin Preview publishes later this month.

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com

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