Leadership through athletics

Poly students learn leadership through many different venues. In the Athletics Department, the Student-Athlete Leadership Council (SALC) promotes leadership both at Poly and within the greater Pasadena community. The council upholds the Poly credo, mission statement, and philosophy, along with that of the Athletic Department. The council’s focus is to provide a positive influence through student-athlete leadership on teams (at all sports level), as representatives in the Poly community (including students K-12, staff, families, and alumni), and by serving the Pasadena community at-large.

The Student-Athlete Leadership Council (SALC) is made up of nine to 12 student-athletes in grades 11 and 12. The council is organized into three committees focused on service, spirit, and education, with mentor-coaches acting as advisors.

Student-athletes at Poly

List of 3 items.

  • John Genske '17

    John Genske ’17 is the epitome of a multisport athlete, having participated in four different sports during his career at Poly. This fall, he returned to Babcock Field as a second-year starting quarterback, following a 2016 campaign that saw him throw for mroe than 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns. John also is four-year Varsity basketball player, who led the team in scoring this past season. He finished his junior year by winning the Prep League championship in the high jump. His accolades include being named to All-Prep League teams four times in both football and basketball and being selected All-CIF Southern Section in basketball.

    Outside of athletics, John dedicates his time to being a Poly Ambassador and the head of the Young Life Club. He also volunteers his time working with kids at various basketball camps.

    He shares, “I grew up watching all three of my older siblings participate in athletics at Poly, so from a young age knew that I would like to carry on that legacy. I was raised in the community of Poly Athletics and always dreamt of some day being a leader amongst the various sports teams. It's funny to think how long ago that was and how many of my childhood goals and aspirations are quickly becoming fulfilled as I begin my senior year here at Poly. Poly athletics holds a huge significance to me because of the strong relationships that I have developed between my coaches and peers, which I'm confident will last me for years to come.”
  • Will McConnell '17

    It is incredibly difficult to participate in three different high school sports and excel in each one, but Will McConnell ’17 makes it look easy. During his junior year, Will was a starter on the Varsity football, soccer, and volleyball teams and even more impressively was selected All-Prep League in each season. Will’s contributions to Poly Athletics aren’t just bound to the level of his play, but also to his success in the classroom. Each of the Varsity teams that he played on were selected as CIF-SS academic champions.

    As a model student-athlete, Will participates as a member of the Student Athlete Leadership Council, is a cabinet member of the Men’s Service League, and is one of the editor-in-chiefs of The Paw Print. His volunteer efforts include raising money for charities and coaching youth at Foothill Hoops.

    Will shares, "I feel extremely blessed to go to Poly, and its exceptional athletic program is a big reason why. Poly gives me the opportunity to play three different sports I love, with fantastic coaches and great teammates. Some of my best memories at Poly have come from playing sports here, and I can't wait for one more year here."
  • Morgan Shafia '17

    Morgan Shafia ‘17 is on the verge of doing something that high school student-athletes rarely do — compete in 12 different seasons of sports. Morgan, a three-sport Varsity letterman in volleyball, water polo, and diving, is coming off of a fantastic junior year, during which all her teams made the postseason. She was selected All Prep League in water polo and finished the year by scoring the CIF-SS Division 3 diving finals, which helped the Varsity girls swimming and diving team capture their second consecutive CIF-SS championship.

    In addition to playing three different sports throughout the school year, Morgan is incredibly active through her extracurricular activities. She is a member of the Student Athlete Leadership Council and Ambassador’s Council, is a photographer for The Paw Print, serves as Peer Mentor, and is a Global Scholar. If that wasn’t enough, Morgan also co-founded an Intergenerational Program aimed at helping senior citizens learn how to use various devices.

    Morgan shares, "Poly’s commitment to student-athletes has enabled me to push myself in arenas that I never thought I could. In becoming a 12-season athlete, I have found tremendous support, strength, and confidence from both my teammates and coaches. This incredible network has given me the courage to try new sports such as water polo and diving, while instilling in me the dedication to both improve and refine the athletic skills I already had. Poly athletics has provided me with limitless opportunities to pursue my athletic passions."
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