SALT team hopes to add spice to athletics

Luisa De La Hoz, Staff Writer

The Student Athlete Leadership Team has gone into reboot mode, hoping to create a better interscholastic relationship between the different sports teams.

Club sponsor and school Athletic Director Tony Riopelle said he hopes to motivate the athletic department as a whole to foster better attitudes among athletes.

“Our main goal is to further our athletic program and create well-rounded leaders within each sport,” Riopelle said. “Our lack of leadership within each sport is hurting us because I believe that we have the talent necessary to win games. It’s just the lack of real and capable leaders.”

The creation of the club stems from the county-wide formation of a Student Leadership Summit that took place last February. The summit incorporated every public high school in Brevard County. From each school, four student athletes were nominated by a teacher or coach and then picked individually by the athletic director after submitting a short essay explaining why he or she should be chosen. The result was a pool of 64 students that traveled to Florida Institute of Technology to hear guest speakers and then venture to a ropes course where they participated in challenges while being grouped with students from other schools. Juniors Juan Rodriguez and Luisa De La Hoz, along with seniors John Hogan and Kaley Schaefer, represented West Shore.

Riopelle said he thought it would be a good idea to use the knowledge these individuals acquired to try and create a better atmosphere for the school’s student athletes.

“I’m excited for this school year,” he said. “I really think that this club is going to be beneficial to our athletic department. I even plan to have the students who attended the summit to lead our next meeting.” 

Club members are hopeful that this will bring a newfound sense of school spirit.

“It’s a great opportunity to really get involved with all of our athletic programs,” junior Sam Leighton said. “I hope that we can be able to coordinate different events that we could attend as a team, like getting the whole soccer team to go to a home volleyball game.”