Mike Mapes, Josie Treadwell step into alpha roles


Mike Mapes ’16 celebrates a sack during the football team’s 44-23 victory against Jefferson High School Sept. 4. Credit: Harvard-Westlake Athletics Department, used with permission.

Rian Ratnavale

On the field or on the court, and in the locker room, both girls’ volleyball Captain Josie Treadwell ’16 and football captain Mike Mapes ’16 have been on both sides of their respective teams’ demanding level of commitment. Multiple factors contribute to their success as leaders, but one element, having role models to look up to when they were underclass-men, is clearly where their management stems from.

From the beginning of their athletic careers, both players have been exposed to effective leaders. As a sophomore just starting out on the varsity squad, Treadwell quickly learned from her team captains that in order to be successful, she would one day need to make the same sacrifices that they had made.

“I think that following in the footsteps of past captains was re-ally important for me,” Treadwell said. “I really looked up to Nicole, Jo, and Mariel my sophomore year, and then Rachel and Mila last year. They set a really good example of leadership and what it takes to be a captain, such as the sacrifices you have to make for your teammates.”

Josie Treadwell '16 prepares to serve during against FSHA Oct. 8. Credit: Harvard-Westlake Athletics Department. Used with permission.
Josie Treadwell ’16 prepares to serve during against FSHA Oct. 8. Credit: Harvard-Westlake Athletics Department. Used with permission.

After witnessing firsthand the benefits of supportive and inclusive leaders as a freshman, Mapes aims to bring the type of leadership he experienced to the new underclassmen. The senior linebacker recognizes that younger players will sometimes make mistakes, but that its better to use positivity in the huddle rather than negative reinforcement.

“As a freshman, seniors like Chad Kanoff and Alex Cadiff went out of there way to make sure that I felt included on a team with only two other freshmen,” Mapes said. “ I try to do the same thing for the young guys this year. I celebrate with them when they make a good play, and when they screw up, I try to calmly show them how to avoid the same mistake next time. Making sure the young guys feel included and confident is the biggest key to both their and our team’s success.”

Both leaders stressed the importance of not only being vocal captains, but also leading by example and keeping composure during tough times when describing the means of success in being an effective captain.

“The biggest adjustment I have had to make since freshmen year is learning how to lead by example,” Mapes said. “ It easy to be a vocal leader and just tell people what to do, but it is much harder to actually show people what is expected. This means doing everything from staying composed during adversity to not taking plays off in practice because the younger guys are watching you”.

Treadwell also echoed this sentiment when talking about her leadership style.

“I think that it’s really important to lead; to be a vocal leader, and to have medium between your teammates and your coaches,” Treadwell said. “It is also important to lead by example on and off the court, and set a really high standard for my teammates. Just by doing that, I know we will have a better chance to succeed, right off the bat.”

Both players were named Student Athletes of the Month for September by the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) for their contributions to their teams, further attesting to their leadership skills.

Mapes has recorded 53 tackles, two sacks and an interception in six games for the Wolverines, anchoring the defense while mentoring a record amount of freshmen.

Treadwell has led the girls’ volleyball team to a 13-5 start, and is one of four players on the team to commit to play in college.
As the teams keep progressing through their season, they will inevitable run into trials and tribulations on the path to success. However, both the football team and the volleyball team can go into the heart of their schedules knowing that they have two leaders with lots of experience, determination and most importantly, a willingness to mentor their peers.