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'I can still leave an impact': Southwest football players leading next generation

Three players serve as captains of the leadership council within the football team
Posted at 9:51 AM, Oct 05, 2023
  • Southwest High Fighting Trojans created a leadership council within the football team to build team chemistry and learn leadership skills.
  • Three players make up the captains of the council. There are about 10 players involved overall.
  • Southwest's Braxton Murphy, Caleb Sprutles and Nolan Rauscher explain how the group came to be and their motives behind it.

At Green Bay Southwest High School, leadership is proven to be just as important off the field as it is on the field.
"I think we all have a different style of doing things but we all have the same goal," said junior safety Braxton Murphy.

Murphy, Caleb Sprutles and Nolan Rauscher are three student-athletes leading the Southwest High School Fighting Trojans to new heights now and for the future.

"Building a championship culture and just coming back from the past few disappointing seasons and bringing it back to what it was in 2015-16, whether that's winning in school or life in general," Murphy said.

The team has struggled this year with a record of 0-7. Last year the Trojans finished with 1-8.

In January 2023, the players believed creating the leadership council could ignite a turn toward success.

"One of my big things about it was building and enhancing the brotherhood that we have here, laying the foundation on something we can work on," Sprutles said. "So the brotherhood and the teamwork on and off the field is something very important to us."

After last season's finish, the leadership council hosted a lock-in event at the high school for the team — a day filled with several team-building activities.

Rauscher and Sprutles are seniors. They say they're looking for ways to help the next generation of leaders.

"We have to train more leaders because obviously this is my senior season and it's not going the way we wanted to but I can still leave a big impact on this team that's going to last for many more seasons," Rauscher said.

The three lead the council made up of 10 players and meet every Sunday to plan future events and build leadership skills.

Co-head coach Aaron Vaneperen says everything the team is learning prepares them for life outside of football too.

"It's obvious I think it's important what we're doing on the football field but then also like we want to give them the skills to be able to go and be good husbands good fathers good employees, all of that," he said.

As for the next generation of leaders, Rauscher said leadership isn’t always the most easy thing to do, but it is most important in creating success.