During his Grade 11 season at Neelin High School, Theo Farough gained a reputation as being a quiet leader on the Spartans varsity boys volleyball and basketball teams.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound student was well-known for being the first person to the gym every morning and the last one to leave during the season. That trend is continuing this season, but Farough has changed his other leadership qualities.
He’s no longer quiet on the court, instead encouraging his teammates when they’re down and pushing them when they’re up. That’s part of the reason Farough is captaining Neelin’s varsity boys volleyball team and the Grade 12 student is enjoying his new role.
“That’s something Mr. (Don) Thomson talked to me a lot about last year was leadership and getting guys into it,” Farough said during a break in the action on Friday at the Viking Showdown high school boys volleyball tournament. “That’s what I’m trying to do. You can’t win by yourself. You need teammates and it’s exactly what a leader needs to do is get its teammates better.”
Farough’s leadership skills extend far beyond the basketball and volleyball courts. He can now be seen around Neelin encouraging Grade 9 and 10 students to join the school’s athletic programs.
He also helped found the Neelin Athletics Council this year, which encourages students who aren’t athletes to attend sporting events and athletes to go to non-sporting events. The idea came from a Neelin teacher but Farough helped get the ball rolling, and he hopes it will catch on throughout the school.
“(We’re) trying to get all the other kids, like the choir kids and arts kids, out watching the game and supporting them,” he said. “Then we can go to choir concert and support them and all that kind of stuff. Whatever you do in front of a crowd is nice.”
Neelin varsity boys volleyball coach John McLeod is impressed with what Farough has brought to the team this season.
The Spartans’ left side attacks mainly run through Farough now and McLeod loves the attitude his captain brings to the team every practice and match.
“He’s a huge part of our team, especially emotion-wise and with a positive attitude,” McLeod said. “He really displays it well on the court, and he does that on the academic side as well as the athletic side. He’s a great student and he’s just a positive kid. He does a lot for this team.”
Farough has made it no secret that basketball is his first love and his goal is to play basketball at the university level next season. That, however, doesn’t mean that he’s going to just anxiously wait around for basketball season to start.
Instead, he’s enjoying his time with the Neelin volleyball team and with the Spartans football program, which he joined this fall as a receiver and defensive back.
“I’m just enjoying every tournament,” said Farough, who has four catches for 176 yards and one touchdown with the football team. “You can’t take anything for granted. Every missed opportunity, every tournament we don’t play our best, it’s like you’ll never get to do that again. You only get one chance at it.”
“I’m excited for basketball season, but I don’t want to rush to it,” he continued. “I don’t want to be waiting for it because then I’d miss volleyball and football. I don’t want to be too excited because I’ll miss out on this.”
The Viking Showdown wraps up with the final at Vincent Massey today at 4 p.m.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 13, 2012