Countless hours of practice go into preparing for each game, tournament and match. While athletes are spiking, dribbling, hitting, throwing, kicking, running and diving, many others are running around behind the scenes to do tasks that improve the experience of many athletes. Student managers help by taking care of details so athletes and coaches are free to focus on other tasks, knowing whatever is asked of the student managers will be done well.
The volleyball student managers, seniors Mia LaHood and Maria Gallegos, attend every practice and game. “We shag balls and keep scores and do anything any of the coaches ask me to do. I also go to every game and tournament and keep statistics for the team,” Gallegos said.
One of the reasons LaHood and Gallegos decided to be student managers was because it’s senior Mary Wolfe’s last year of volleyball. “We thought it would be fun to spend her last year with her!” Gallegos said.
Last basketball season, Julia Nulty ‘16 and McKenna Simpson ‘16 were the student managers for the varsity basketball team, and current senior Eryan Davis was the student manager for the junior varsity basketball team.
Part of Davis’s duties were to make sure the team’s spirits were always high. “I would encourage them in the locker room. I would tell them that as long as you’re doing your best, that’s all you can do,” Davis said.
The softball team benefited from senior student manager Jen Novotny’s work this season. Novotny input game data into GameChanger, which allowed fans to follow live updates from their phones. When she wasn’t logging stats, she cheered from the dugout. “Every game I would try to cheer so loud that my voice was at least a little bit hoarse. Every game was fun to attend and I loved being team manager!” Novotny said.
Since the cross country team has three coaches, varsity coach Mr. Roger Wright and assistant coaches Mr. Greg Golka and Mrs. Alee Cotton, the team does not have a student manager this year. Golf is in a similar situation, as varsity coach Mr. Robert Davis and assistant coach Ms. Connie Cavel share duties.
Juggling all these responsibilities isn’t always glamorous. “At a tournament in Lincoln, the second set of a game was just about to start and my nose started profusely bleeding. I was in the bathroom for a whole set, so I didn’t get any stats and I came back and it was all over my folder and now everyone knows it is my folder,” Gallegos said.
Despite these challenges and bloody noses, student managers can be seen at every practice, faithfully shagging balls, keeping score and keeping spirits up.