The scoreboard is turned on, fans begin to arrive in the stands for a heated game, and the teams start to warm up. The players are ready for the game, but without team managers, this would not be the case. Team managers play a vital role in the preparation for games, dedicating large amounts of their time to ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Senior Sam Zou is a first year team manager for football. “I’m not allowed to play because I’m an exchange student,” Zou said. “The state of Ohio has rules against it, but being a manager lets me feel like I’m still part of the team.”
Zou attends all practices and games, and even arrives before the players do. “Practice is usually after school from 3:10 to 6 p.m.,” Zou said. “I get there around 3 to put the equipment on the Gator and get the footballs from the coach’s locker room.” During practice, Zou gets water ready for the players, fixes helmets, and helps the coaches catch balls.
Zou has similar responsibilities on game days. For a 1 p.m. game, he arrives at 10:30 a.m. to take the equipment out to the field. During plays, he refills the water bottles for the players so they can focus on the game. Afterwards, Zou stays to clean up the bottles and put the equipment away.
“It’s a big time commitment to be a manger,” Zou said. “You don’t get to play, but you get to watch the game from the sidelines and help the players, which is pretty cool.”
Varsity Football Coach Mike Orlando believes that Zou and the other two managers, sophomore Andrew Martin and sophomore Jimmy Wegener, are great additions to the program. “There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes on a daily basis and our managers should get the majority of the credit for all that we accomplish logistically,” Orlando said. “They bring efficiency to our schedule and allow our coaches to focus on coaching. I am truly grateful for their countless hours and selfless service to the McNick Football Program.”
Junior Danny Feck has enjoyed his experiences being manager for the past two years, and plans on continuing the pattern this season. “This will be my third year being team manager,” Feck said. “I’ve known a lot of the guys since grade school, and being manager has given me a chance to get to know them even better and just hang out with my buddies.”
Feck attends practices from 4 – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and occasional Saturday morning practices from 9 – 11 a.m. His main duties include running drills and keeping score during team scrimmages. On game day, he arrives with the team members around 6:45 p.m. to watch the second half of the preceding game and to help the players warm up. During the game, Feck keeps the water cooler filled and cheers the team on.
“I’m excited for basketball to start back up,” Feck said. “It sounds like it’s going to be a good season, and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”
Varsity Men’s Basketball Coach Tim Monahan claims that his mind is always at ease when Danny is there to help out. “Danny has really helped out the lower levels the past two years and I am looking forward to having him on the varsity level,” Monahan said. “It’s the little things he does throughout the practices and games that make it easier on us coaches. He’s a great addition to the program.”
Sophomore Lauren Henry recently finished her first year as a team manager.
Henry attended most weekday practices, which lasted from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. She would walk to the field with the team and be there by 3:15 to set up equipment. “I love watching soccer and being part of it,” Henry said. “I’m friends with the girls on the team, and I got to bond with them even more during practices.”
Games usually started at 5:30 p.m. Before the game, Henry would eat dinner with the team and be on the field by 4:45 to watch the second half of the JV game. When the field cleared out, she got the balls out, filled the water jug, and prepared the stat book, which she updated throughout the game. Around 7:30 p.m. when the game ended, Henry would stay with the team for the post-game talk and then clean up the field.
Henry also views her manager position as preparation for a future job. “The head coach knows I want to be a soccer coach someday,” Henry said. “After the game, he would ask me questions from a coaching standpoint, like what I would do in hypothetical situations and what my opinions were on his decisions during the game.”
Assistant Varsity Women’s Soccer Coach Emma Colella hopes Henry will be back next season. “I think I speak for all the coaches when I say we are very grateful for Lauren,” Colella said. “She is very knowledgeable on the game of soccer and she brought her input and observations, which the girls found helpful. We appreciate her dedication and spirit.”