LEHI — The Skyridge players call it the captain’s curse.

But their coach believes it might be one of the most valuable lessons his senior captains can take from their high school experience.

“We talk a lot about it,” said Skyridge head coach Jon Lehman of the injuries that changed the season that three of his six senior captains thought they’d experience. “Everybody has a role. Your job is to maximize your effectiveness in your role. From myself, to the other coaches on our staff, to our players and the captains, we each have to find a way to maximize that role. For Josh (Hadfield) and Moses (Niumatalolo), they had an initial role they thought they’d play, and then the question was, ‘Can they learn to adjust to a new role?’ It’s a great lesson for young men to learn, especially at this age.”

It might be one of the most difficult adjustments to make — regardless of age — to change an expectation, a goal or a desire because of something beyond their control.

But that’s exactly what senior captains Josh Hadfield, Moses Niumatalolo and Alex Palmer did.

For Hadfield, the disappointment came in the first game of the season. The running back and outside linebacker had been among the most committed in the offseason, hoping to help carry his team to the 5A championship. He and his teammates will realize that dream on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when they face their cross-town rivals, Lehi.

But, instead of leading the Falcons ground assault, Hadfield stands on the sideline, a sort of teenage coach offering insight and inspiration to players with whom he’s grown up playing.

“It was definitely hard for me at first,” Hadfield said. “But I worked with coach Lehman a lot and talked about my new role, sort of defining my role as a captain.”

Lehman said Hadfield’s biggest adjustment came in seeing value in something other than his physical abilities.

“He felt like his contribution to the team was production on the field, and, at the time, it was,” Lehman said. “He felt that was all he brought to the table. After he got injured, he felt like he didn’t bring anything to the table anymore.”

The conversations between the two were finding new ways to contribute to the team’s success.

“He’d worked really hard in the offseason, and he had his sights set on a good football season for himself and the team. It was almost …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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The ‘captain’s curse’ turns out to be a blessing for Skyridge football team

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