On the Prowl for the Truth




What Makes a Great Leader?

IHS student-athletes describe what it means to take the lead and how the experience reshaped their view of compeition

Leadership provides someone with a position in order to take challenges head on. Leadership plays a significant role in sports where not every leader is a captain but every captain is a leader. Recently, Independence High School’s leaders spoke to The Prowl to discuss the impact of stepping up and guiding their team to success.

Everyone has their own strategy in order to set their mind up for being able to bring their best in order to lead their team to success  Being able to do this leads by example, showing that a person can show up for their team and give their best.

Senior captain of the Indy volleyball team, Mackenzie Gibson, who gave her experience with preparing after a bad day by explaining, “I get food most of the time, and I just try to get in a better mindset for practice or games. Usually I’ll kind of keep to myself and then I’ll get my mind ready for it.”

When someone is appointed to lead, their mindset shifts in order to compensate for their new role. Lots of the players that spoke with The Prowl mentioned that when taking on the new responsibility of leading a team, they never truly settled into it until much later in the season.

Story continues below advertisement

“[The importance of being a captain hit me] more towards postseason. I’m always trying to do my best as captain throughout the season but naturally, things get more stressful during the postseason,said Quin Demcsak, goalie of the state champion Independence field hockey team.

All of the players that were interviewed said that they viewed their sports differently after being given the responsibility to lead. Later on, Demcsak said, “Being appointed captain forced me further into that role of being a leader on the team and making sure that everything stays in line and everybody’s doing their job, and I’m doing my job the best I can.”

The important aspect of leadership is the overall impact left on the group in which they lead. Wins and losses are often determined by the general feel and function of the team, therefore any amount of change can make a world of difference. Appointed leaders are often put in positions to make a difference not only in the outcome of the games, but in developing a culture that furthers a winning mentality on and off the field.

“If there’s one thing I want the team to remember is just how relevant our hard work was. I think all of us captains put in effort to prioritize a culture that was welcoming. At the same time though, we’re here to work,” said Independence football senior runningback Mickey Keller. “Making that relationship with every single player, no matter where they started, and creating that good culture that you can pass on for future teams in the program.”

Everyone has a different perspective as to what a leader should look and act like.

It’s not someone who always wants to win or always wants to be on top. I think it’s just being there for people when they need it,” said Mackenzie Gibson, IHS volleyball captain. 

To be a leader is to set an example and want to have the best outcome for yourself and your team,” added Demcsak.



More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kieran Rhoton
Kieran Rhoton, Junior Staff Writer
Kieran Rhoton is a freshman at Independence High School. She is from Virginia but has lived in many countries overseas throughout her life. During her time outside of school, most of her time is spent playing volleyball for the varsity team at Independence. Along with the school team, Kieran plays volleyball in a club called Metro. Besides sports, Kieran has a lot of artistic talent. She enjoys many forms of makeup, but the one that stands out is her love for special effects makeup. She enjoys making realistic cuts and holes on her hand to create an illusion. A type of writing that interests her is poetry, but wants to branch out. When writing articles, Kieran wants to focus mainly on sports and potentially features. Her goal in this class is to learn and explore more of the Independence spirit.