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Leadership academy: How Little Chute's senior QB is using his voice to better the team

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Sep 21, 2023
  • Little Chute's senior quarterback Charlie VandenBurgt is hoping to use the leadership skills he's learning to make the team more successful and cohesive
  • VandenBurgt is part of Little Chute Area School District's leadership academy
  • The video above explains what VandenBurgt's head coach and instructor say about the quarterback's leadership style

LITTLE CHUTE (NBC 26) — This week's Sports Showdown Game of the Week features the Fox Valley Lutheran Foxes traveling to Little Chute to take on the Mustangs.

Little Chute's senior quarterback Charlie VandenBurgt is hoping to use the leadership skills he's learning in a school program to make the team more successful and cohesive.

"It kind of like, I guess, adds to camaraderie a little bit," VandenBurgt said.

Head coach Ted Evers said VandenBurgt has always led by example.

"But now, he is becoming that vocal leader," Evers said. "And vocal leaders are hard to find."

VandenBurgt said he took it upon himself to become a better leader for his squad.

"Trying to push your teammates to be better for the team," VandenBurgt said. "And making sure we're going on a more positive side of things rather than the negative side of things that can push people away."

VandenBurgt is part of Little Chute Area School District's leadership academy. To be in the program, he said students have to be nominated by a coach who thinks they have leadership qualities.

"Some of my coaches talked to me and said they think I'd fit good," VandenBurgt said. "So, I decided to go with it."

"You know, he's one of those kids that when we started this program, kids like Charlie we envisioned," leadership academy instructor Jake VanRoy said.

VanRoy said the curriculum is a two-part program that currently has 30 students. He said the first year, called Emerging Leaders, focuses on composure, commitment, communication, and confidence. The second year, Veteran Leaders, is about being a vocal leader.

VandenBurgt is among the veteran group.

"He's not afraid to hold kids accountable and let them know when, you know, 'hey, maybe you can give a little more right now, and we got to have that,'" VanRoy said.

"He (VandenBurgt) is the vocal leader," Evers said. "And, the more people that we can have leading in a positive way, the better."

And VandenBurgt said he thinks his leadership through his voice is going to help get his squad to where they want to go.

"Like I said before, picking people up instead of letting them down," VandenBurgt said.

Evers said three football players — including VandenBurgt — are currently enrolled in the student-athlete leadership academy.