Highlanders have strong leadership through season

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  • Tom Murphy takes his licks during this past Highlander baseball season.

By Josh Lashley

Being named as a team captain of a high school sports team should, with good reason, give a young student-athlete a sense of pride. But, with that sense of pride also comes considerable responsibility, sometimes far greater than they student-athlete knew at the moment at which they were chosen for the leadership role.

West Milford High School head baseball coach has a great deal of confidence in the three senior players who were selected as captains this spring-Chris Boes, Liam Stewart and L.J. Tierney.

“There are a lot of reasons our coaching staff collectively chose Liam, Chris and L.J. as captains,” Jordan said. “These three players have all played on the varsity since their sophomore year. They have the experience of being part of a championship team in and have also experienced a down year last year. The three have played together for a long time. They've been through the two most extreme points you can go through as a team. Above all, they are also well respected by the student athletes on our team.

“All three players know they play a big part in our team success and they have improved not only as players but leaders on our team since practice started. Baseball is a sport full of failure so it's not always going to be the case where three important players like them perform at such a high level all the time. I think they find a way to battle through any struggles and support each other. They really have helped foster the chemistry of our team so far.”

Each of the captains are having quite solid seasons statistically and Jordan is also impressed with the way in which they interact with their teammates.

“Our captains especially help our newcomers feel part of the team,” Jordan said. “I think each has their own way of helping their teammates through certain situations. It's always mentioned that captains are an extension of your coaching staff and although they are three different student athletes with different personalities, they all have qualities that make them valuable to our team on and off the field. They are three seniors among a group of nine who are all leaders in their own way regardless if they have the title of captain. They all find a way to pull together and be leaders of our team.”

What is to be admired about the trio of captains for the Highlanders squad is their ability to perform well not only on the field, but in the classroom as well.

“All three student athletes plan to attend college,” Jordan said. “Chris Boes plans to attend Lycoming College and plans to play football. L.J. Tierney plans on attending Centenary College where he will play baseball and Liam Stewart is a National Honor Society student who will attend Rutgers this fall.”

The Highlanders advanced to the NJSIAA North I Group III Sectional Tournament where they were defeated by Paramus. They finished the season with a record of 11-10.

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West Milford, NJ