There’s one thing Marian girls do best: cheer. Whether it is on the floor of Baxter Arena, at pep rallies or at sporting events, Marian girls’ enthusiasm is undeniable. At every game, match or event there will always be one or two students that are a teams biggest cheerleaders. These are the students standing alongside the coaches, shouting encouraging words, helping the coaches when needed and high-fiving athletes as they walk off the field, court or track.
Although they often go unnoticed, team managers play an essential role on every team. Senior Sofia Pantano was a team manager for the tennis team her sophomore and junior years, and hopes to take on the role again this year. Pantano helps out the tennis team however she can. Whether it’s picking up balls, running drills or cheering on the team at all of their matches, Pantano is always there lending a helping hand.
Pantano has learned to help her team in more ways than what she is asked. When the team faces challenges and feels discouraged, Pantano provides a positive energy to keep the team motivated. “It’s really easy to get negative in any sport you’re doing, so I take it upon myself to try and keep a positive environment to keep them excited and ready to go,” Pantano said. Team managers provide the necessary aspects of having the comfort of a classmate by the players’ sides and the reliability of a coach.
The position of a team manager benefits both the team and managers themselves. Pantano has gained more from this opportunity than she expected. “I’ve learned what a positive and healthy team atmosphere looks like,” she said. Team managers are a bridge between being a coach and a player, allowing a team to form a bond that will last beyond their four years of high school.