For young athletes, positive role models can have a lasting influence on their development as they progress to higher levels in their sport.
In Menomonee Falls, students need look no further than to find exemplary athletes whose conduct on and off the field or court is worth modeling.
On Wednesday, North teacher Ryan Anderson organized the first sportsmanship seminar at the school and roughly 40 students attended. Anderson invited MFHS athletes Cole Morris, JP Tokoto, Jamie Ertl, and Jackie Noshay to speak about examples of sportsmanship in their competitions.
“We had great turnout for the event, but I think most of the kids came because of these high school captains who the kids already idolize,” Anderson said.
The students also watched footage from ESPN of good and bad examples of athletes’ behavior. Then, each of the high school athletes spoke from experience, and what it means to be a role model.
“Coaches want you to be a role model for the team, the community and the younger kids that are coming up in the program that look up to you,” Tokoto said.
When Morris, Tokoto, Ertl, and Noshay aren’t in their uniforms, they continue to set an example in school and their daily lives as well. All four of the MFHS athletes were involved in volunteer projects, athletic clinics, and school clubs.
“I role model and leader is someone who does the right thing when people aren’t watching,” Ertl said.
Anderson said the purpose of the seminar was to introduce the next generation of varsity athletes to students who are doing things the right way. The hope is to run the seminar each year moving forward.