There’s an age-old debate about whether leaders are born or made.
In the case of the newest captain of the Saint Ignatius Football team, you could argue it’s a little bit of both. Without a doubt, the third captain of the Wildcats worked hard to earn the distinction with his work ethic. But he’s got some great genes, too.
Nick Lamirand ’21 has been selected as a captain for the 2020 season.
Diehard fans of the Wildcats should know Lamirand’s name for two reasons: 1. Nick played a significant role as a tight end last year for the Wildcats; 2. Nick’s dad, Dean ’93, starred for the Wildcats back in the day.
Using the word “starred” might not give the elder Lamirand enough justice. Dean earned the nickname “The Dream” after leading the Wildcats to back-to-back state championships in 1991 and 1992. A recent inductee into the Saint Ignatius Athletic Hall of Fame, you could make the argument that Lamirand is among the best to ever suit up for the Wildcats. A stud running back, Lamirand stands seventh in program history with 206 points scored in his career, spanning from 1990-92.
Lamirand proved to be an effective leader as a captain, skills that have translated well as a husband and father.
"My dad was a captain when they won it, so I've had his jersey above my bed for 10 years now," Nick says. "Saint Ignatius runs deep in my family, so it's amazing to be a captain."
But far from it that Nick was handed the captaincy. The 6'5, 220-pound tight end has shown an incredible work ethic over his four years.
For evidence, you just need to look at the young prospect. He bulked up by 25 pounds in the offseason, transforming himself into a muscular, athletic Wildcat.
"You can see that he's growing and filling out. Nick showed a lot of good leadership in the offseason," says Head Coach Chuck Kyle '69. "That's what being a captain is all about. We always announce two captains at the banquet, but leaders rise over the course of the year. Nick led by example and his relationships with the other guys. He showed he's a leader. Now we have one captain on offense."
Lamirand joins Nick Velotta and Aidan Conway, both muscle-bound defenders. The trio is a formidable one. All are special multi-sport athletes – Velotta is a thrower in track & field, Conway is a defenseman on the hockey team, and Lamirand is a lanky forward for the Basketball Cats.
All three are respected by their teammates.
"Nick is very athletic, but more than anything, his work ethic is respected by the other players," says Kyle. "His teammates realize that Saint Ignatius football means something to him. That's important."
And if anyone values the captaincy, it's Lamirand.
"It's a really big deal. Coming in as a freshman, I never thought I would be a senior captain," Lamirand says. "It shows that hard work pays off. I've worked my butt off since I got in the doors here."
This year more than any other, leadership is critical, as Lamirand realizes.
That explains why he's laser-focused on his new role.
"With the situation in the world, Nicky, Conway, and I have agreed that we need to be captains and leaders off the field big time this year," says Lamirand. "[We want to avoid] another shutdown of our school or season. We've taken on a huge role this season. On the field, our goals are to win all of our [regular season] games, dominate the playoffs, and win it all."
Lamirand and the Wildcats are currently conditioning, and will return to practice God-willing on Saturday.
"I'm happy to get back here," says Lamirand. "I'm excited for this year and the memories we're going to make."