Heber Springs Coach Steve Janski and staff have implemented a new team captain system this season and they hope to keep it as a goal for years to come.
Rather than selecting four team captains each game, the Panthers named four by using an interesting process, which involved a 500-word essay, coat and tie interview and two letters of recommendation from people in the community.
Seniors Michael Kramer, Jason Hammons, Nate Hills and Cooper Lawrence were selected last week. “We will start doing this as a tradition from now on,” said Coach Steve Janski.
“We formed a committee of all the high school coaches … David Farr, Darren Gowen, Jay Bishop, BJ Greene, Caleb Shock and myself and then our principal Justin Johnston is on the committee and Mrs. Alicia Ducote.
“They had to submit a 500-word essay on why they would make a good captain and what it meant to them and they also had two reference letters from two individuals in the community outside their family.”
The interview process helped pick the best captains while preparing the kids for future job applications. “What was great is this was a two-part process,” said Janski. “No. 1 we got to really see who wanted to be a captain with how much time and energy they put into it and we also got them ready for the workforce one day by taking them through that interview process. We gave them feedback when they got done on where they did a good job and what they needed to do better when it comes to a job interview. So, it was awesome experience.”
“Jason Hammons and Michael Kramer interviewed so well,” Janski stressed. “They just came in and knocked it out of the park. All of them were sincere but they were just so in depth with their answers.”
Seniors Dylan Bly and Ian Lowe also tried out for a spot as team captain.
“They had to come in [dressed] in coat and tie and sit at the table with all the committee members and go through an interview process. It was phenomenal. Six seniors interviewed and all six did well. The committee unanimously selected two, Michael Kramer and Jason Hammons and then the team picked the other two. All of them did well in the interview process and we felt comfortable with all of them leading the team.”
When the Panthers take the field prior to each game this season, No. 14 [Kramer], No. 75 [Hammons], No. 70 [Nate Hills] and No. 3 [Cooper Lawrence] will be leading the way.