New Trier Trevians name team captains

chi-new-trier-trevians-20140312Last year as juniors, Dylan Horvitz and Joe Akason were members of the varsity’s scout team for New Trier. They spent most of the beginning of the season on the bench, learning their opponents’ offenses and challenging their starters in practice.

“I learned a lot,” Akason said. “It was hard not playing, for sure, but it taught me how to be a leader.”

Now seniors, that hard work has paid off.  Horvitz and Akason were named team captains by their teammates and coaches.

Horvitz, a 6-foot-2-inch guard, is just coming back from a high-ankle sprain he suffered in October.

“It’s a really great honor because my teammates voted for me and to know that they think I’m a good leader really means a lot,” Horvitz said.

He began earning minutes later in the season and was an integral part of the Trevians’ nine-game winning streak, but his impact off the court is what made the biggest impression on the coaching staff.

“Dylan has just been a leader,” coach Scott Fricke said. “He was a leader last year as a Junior. But he’s a kid who’s really getting our junior class and our senior class molded together so that’s an important job.”

Akason, a 6-foot-1-inch guard, was a bit more of a surprise.

“Joe has been a kid who, this summer I wasn’t sure if he was going to be a captain and he’s really shown some leadership with organizing and being a great teammate in practice,” Fricke said.

Now Akason is eager to step into a bigger role on the court and benefit from what he learned last season.

“Not playing made me want to work really hard to improve my position for this year and showed me that playing time isn’t everything, but if it comes you have to take advantage of it,” he said.

Now in leadership roles, Horvitz and Akason know from experience how important it is to have an impact on younger players like sophomore Spencer Boehm.

“They’re both great leaders, they both know the way New Trier basketball should be run and they’re both very vocal,” he said. “They reach out to players and help them on the court.”

New Trier plays its Thanksgiving tournament next week, starting with three games in three nights against Lincoln Park, Mather and Loyola. And while the Trevians are going to depend on their captains to keep the team focused and motivated during that tough stretch, Horvitz and Akason are using the opportunity to push their teammates toward success.

“We’re going to need help from everybody, especially on that third game,” Horvitz said. “The bench is going to have to create some energy and we’re all going to have to stay really focused because it’s going to be a long week.”

Seems like they’re already settling seamlessly into the roles they dreamed of just a year ago.