Not many high school athletes receive the honor of being a team captain. Even fewer get named captain at the varsity level. Fewer still earn a captaincy role for multiple sports. And far fewer, hardly any in fact, get named a varsity captain as a freshman.
But that’s exactly what Wilcox senior Elise Corwin has done. This past volleyball season was her second as a captain. Corwin helped lead the volleyball program to arguably it’s best season in school history. With the calendar flipped to December, the senior is now tasked with helping lead her basketball squad for one last season, her fourth as a captain.
Wilcox basketball Head Coach Justin Fujihara says he saw something in Corwin the very first day she stepped on the court for tryouts.
“Her freshman year we had an interesting first day,” noted coach Fujihara. “She was in a position where she could either be influenced by the upperclassmen from the previous season or look towards her own values from what she viewed to be right and wrong, and rather than allow those outside influences to impact her own set of values, she made the decision to choose the team. So, she showed tremendous character on the very first day of our season. That solidified the trust and loyalty. We said ‘hey, that’s someone who stands up for what she believes in.’”
Coach Fujihara would announce just a few weeks later that Corwin would be one of his captains for the 2016-17 season.
Playing as a setter in volleyball and a point guard in basketball — two positions where passing is the primary role — perhaps then Corwin, to use a cliche, is just a natural born leader?
“I was worried whether or not the girls would respect me, ‘was I really worthy of this?’,” recalled Corwin on being named a captain as a freshman. “To be a captain, you have to earn the respect of your teammates and be a good example to follow. I learned a lot through the years, especially sitting out a lot of that first season due to illnesses and stuff. I wanted to be a positive difference when I came back. I did my best to be a positive leader. Positivity, strong work ethic and never complaining.”
When asked about Corwin as a leader, one of the first things that comes to mind for volleyball and basketball teammate Amanda McDowell is her patience.
“She’s always the first in the gym, the last to stay and she definitely has the most patience out of everyone I’ve ever met,” said McDowell. “She’s really welcoming and wants everyone to be on the same page. Makes everything easier when everyone is on the same page. She does it so respectfully though, you could never get mad at her.”
Corwin’s parents never seem to have a reason to get mad at her either. According to her folks, Corwin gets mostly straight-As in the classroom and is competitive with her academics to the point that she hates it when she gets a B grade. While she hasn’t committed to a particular school, Corwin is hoping to major in cognitive science in addition to playing basketball at the next level.