The importance of the captain on sports teams is unparalleled, with responsibilities that come on and off the court, the presence is even felt when the individual is not speaking. Sometimes the captain is the team's ultimate cheerleader, or that stoic individual who everyone respects. Examples of different leadership styles can be found all across professional sports, whether it be Jason Varitek, who as a member and team leader of the Boston Red Sox, led a nutty, zany crew to the 2004 Major League World Series. He always seemed to bring a level of seriousness and intensity to a team that just wanted to have fun. Another example might be Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who, despite an unparalleled professionalism, always seems to have a smile on his face and must be the poster boy for loving life. His effect on the Flames, might come in the department of keeping those multi-millionaires grounded in the reality that it all, still, is just a game.
The Dinos have had some important captains as well. Despite Richard Bohne's Canada West scoring record being broken over the weekend, Bohne will always be remembered for his intense style of play and the leadership he exuded on the court.
Another born leader is Julie Young, captain of the women's volleyball team. Whether it be through her confidence on and off the court or her cheerful demeanor that seems to have an edge of intensity always riding underneath, Young was molded in just the right fashion to lead a perennially deep and talented team.
After returning from injury early in the season, it seemed Julie Young was a bit slowed for the first half. However, her stabilizing force was always present with the team, and in the second half Young has turned up her game, as have the rest of the Dinos. On a team that coach Kevin Boyles has termed as inconsistent, Young has provided stability with the team moving towards the playoffs.
Born in Red Deer, Young was a highly sought-after athlete after completing high school, both in volleyball and basketball. However, she says that the decision to come to Calgary was an easy one after meeting coach Boyles and the rest of the team at the time. The squad, who had just completed a national title, offered a winning atmosphere and a sense of family that Young felt was of great importance to her. Now, in her fourth year, Young has spent time as both a libero and an outside hitter and can be utilized in a number of different fashions on the court.
Off the court, Young is enrolled in the faculty of communication and culture, with her goal to become an elementary teacher. In the off-season, Young spends a lot of time playing her second-favourite sport, tennis. Obviously, her favourite tennis player right now is another born winner Roger Federer.
Asked about her interests outside of sports, Julie mentioned she loves to find and listen to little-known indie bands, with her favourite at the moment being Angus and Julia Stone, from Australia. As for Canadian music, Young still holds a place in her heart for canuck Alanis Morrisette. She still uses "You Oughtta Know" as her warmup song before games. Her favourite live band is The Killers, her favourite TV show is Scrubs and her all time favouritemovie is The Sound of Music.
Back on the court, Young mentions that one of the hardest things about being involved in university sports is learning to balance sports, schoolwork and social life.
"It takes about two years [to get used to it]," estimated Young.
Outside of the university, Julie has been involved with the Canadian National Team and spent two and a half weeks training with them over the summer. Asked whether she had aspirations of going to the Olympics, Julie was non-committal.
"Team Canada did not qualify for the Olympics this summer," said Young. "I think I will be done playing volleyball before the next Olympics rolls around. I enjoy being with the national team [and] I enjoy the intensity and high level the girls play at."
Whether or not she chooses to continue playing volleyball after university, the fact is that Young has provided another example of how important the captain is on a sports team. They are always the individual who leads others on and off the court, setting examples and shining when the spotlight is focused squarely on them.