by Delaney Stekr
When visitors enter Marian’s East Gym, they are met with a blue sign displaying the number 63 under State Championships. With such a reputation to uphold, it is important that the athletes and coaches are not only knowledgeable about the sport, but that they understand the importance of leadership.
This year, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Ms. Rochelle Rohlfs decided that it was not enough to have the leadership come from each individual sport. She wanted to create an environment of learning and growth for the leaders of each sport.
“I wanted to create it because I have a passion for student-athlete leadership and have seen the difference it can make for the experiences of our high school teams,” Rohlfs said.
The members of this new group, Crusaders Elevating Others (CEO), includes girls from the sophomore, junior and senior classes. Rohlfs emphasizes that being a leader does not mean being a captain.
There is room for leadership from all of the players on a team, regardless of age or title.
“I think it has helped me already because it teaches us so many different ways to think about leading that I have never thought about,” sophomore tennis player Emma McClellan said.
Some sports are more individually-oriented. Golf is more about individual performance, but the team morale is still important.
“It is different because we don’t play tournaments together, we only see each other in passing, but it is more in practice trying to push people to be more disciplined. Before rounds, we try to make personal goals to match during the day and wishing them good luck,” junior golfer Jalea Culliver said.
“I joined the group because I thought it would be cool to be a part of a group of athletes that come together to try to better our teams through our leadership,” Culliver said.
Members filled out applications at the beginning of the year to join this group. The group, which is not a club, discusses different topics at meetings twice a month, such as bettering their own skills and collaborating with other leaders within their own sport to ensure that they create a positive, competitive environment.
“The meetings are very interactive. I really enjoy meeting with different girls because it is neat being able to see how other people try to approach their own sports struggles and how they have been able to succeed in their own sport,” senior softball player Avery Ost said.
This group hopes to help make the leadership in Marian sports even stronger and contribute to many more state championships.