The Ring-tum Phi

Captains’ corner

Each week, the Phi will highlight two captains and learn a little about what drives them to be leaders, both in the game and in the locker room.

Ben Soullier

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Hollis Tardy, women’s soccer

Hollis Tardy, ’17, started playing soccer when she was in Kindergarten. From this young age, Tardy’s love for the sport grew each year.

“I’m not sure what sparked my interest at that age, except that I liked running around,” said Tardy.

Today, Tardy enjoys more than just running around. “I love the feeling when our team scores a big goal,” she said.

Tardy gains the most joy from the team’s success, but she also recognizes the work it takes to achieve that success. In terms of her role as a captain, Tardy says, “that the hardest part, especially as an upperclass- man, is finding a balance between improving yourself and helping your teammates improve.”

With two conference games left, the team is trying to win the ODAC championship and make a run in the NCAA tournament. Tardy believe they can get there.

“If we continue to play our game, we’re going to be in a great position to potentially host the semis and finals of the ODAC tournament,” she said.

In game success aside, Tardy said she realizes the tremendous position she is in and remains humble to it.

“It’s an honor to be one of our team’s captains this year,” she said. “The entire senior class deserves credit though— Our collective involvement on and off the field has been an important piece in the success of our team so far this season.”

Mac Strehler, men’s cross country

For Don ‘Mac’ Strehler ’17, the love for the sport of running has been a part of his life from a very young age. From going on short runs with his parents, Strehler says, “I learned to love running before I even thought of it as a competition.”

It was not until the seventh grade until Strehler started running competitively. Being a General means a lot to him, he said, and so do his teammates. “I never expected to belong to a team as awesome as the one I’m on now,” he said. “So what’s most excited me about being a collegiate athlete is having such a great group of guys to run with every day.”

However, running cross country isn’t easy. “Runners often face what we call ‘the wall’ – it’s sort of the point when your body is screaming at you to quit – and making it through usually takes guts,” he said. “But it’s really rewarding to overcome my limits and to see myself improve day- to-day, so I’ve come to love the struggle.”

Leading by example (Strehler has been First Team All-ODAC in every season as a General), Strehler is constantly helping push through “the wall” and exceed their potential.

“Being a captain hasn’t really changed anything about my perspective as a General,” he said. “The team is already a group of guys with positive attitudes and plenty of determination, so in a lot of ways my leadership is redundant. I guess it’s already a team full of leaders.”

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The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University
Captains’ corner