Captains’ Corner

Each week, the Phi will highlight two captains and learn a little about what drives them to be leaders, both in the game and in the locker room.

Caroline Blackmon

Mary Frances Hall (women’s golf):

When Mary Frances Hall, ’18, was 7 years old and her family finally put a club in her hand, she realized that she loved golf more than anything.

Hall started playing competitively when she was 12, and hasn’t stopped since. Now, she’s the captain of the Washington and Lee women’s golf team.

“Being able to play the sport almost every day, both before college and during college, is such a privilege,” she said.

In the beginning, Hall loved playing golf because her whole fam- ily plays golf, too.

“One of my favorite things about the sport is definitely the time that it allows me to spend with my family,” she said.

Hall now uses it as a break from life and school.

“It’s a very stressful and frustrating game,” she said. “But at the same time, it allows me to get my mind off of my schoolwork and relax.”

Hall says it’s easy to start doubting herself while playing golf. Because she’s felt this before, her biggest leadership strategies are making sure that everyone feels confident in their performances.

“I really try to stress, both to my teammates and myself, not to dwell on a bad practice, round, or hole, but to move forward with a fresh start,” she said.

She thinks this is one of her strengths as a captain, along with her ability to recognize their skills that contribute most to the team.

“[I have] confidence in the abilities of my teammates and strong respect for my teammates,” she said.

For Hall, overall, being a captain is one of the biggest honors dur- ing her W&L career because she said she’s going to enjoy leading the team and representing W&L.

Rhett Delk (football):

Rhett Delk, ’17, began his love for playing football in 7th grade, when he knew he wanted to stay active and play the same sport with his friends that he loved watching with his dad.

In college, Delk loves football for some of the same reasons.

“I love being active, having the opportunity to have fun with some of my closest friends, and having a structured day,” he said. “It helps me be more productive and efficient with other areas of my life.”

In his first season as captain, Delk realizes that he needs to be more vocal during games, even though he is on the defensive line.

“Being an encourager is one of my strengths,” he said. “I try to lead by example.”

Delk knows that he’s gotten several injuries because of football, but even the “bombs and bruises” are all worth it to him to be able to play here at W&L.

“Football is supposed to be a tough, but fun, game and I like to remind my teammates of that a lot,” he said.

Overall, being a captain has helped him improve on and off the field.

“It has helped me grow as an individual to be more vocal and pushes me to step out of my comfort zone,” he said. “It also has taught me to be very thoughtful with my words and actions.”