BY Victoria Gaikwad
Football may seem like it’s just the players and coaches, but the spotlight can’t just be on them. Some light has to shine on those who work behind the scenes and make everything run ever so smoothly. That type of dedication comes from our beloved managers. Sports managing takes about 16 to 18 hours out of your time weekly, and sometimes flows into late night practices or past-midnight away games. These managers don’t just sit back and watch the players, they truly are a part of the team. For them, it’s an extra job without pay.
“I would usually leave around 4 or 5 everyday, but now I leave around 5 or 6,” said Chadd Pouge (12). “Especially now during breaks, we have to be here for morning and/or afternoon practice to make sure everything is as it should be. As well as before the school year begins, we are here two weeks before, practicing along with them.”
Pouge has been a manager for three years. From his perspective, nothing has really changed over the years as he as been a part of this staff. Many managers, however, feel like the hard work they do and the hours they put in go unnoticed.
Managers have to keep up with the players and be dedicated to the responsibilities that their job entails, like fixing any broken equipment or helmets, getting the gear for the players (pads, helmets, etc), and even making films. For those who don’t know, films are a crucial part of the practice. When players watch the film the managers make, they are watching what they do and if they need to improve specific things. This is a pivotal part of the process for individual players, to see their progress and effectively show change, to play up to their best potential.
Managers are also a huge help to the coaches as well as the players. Each positions coach has an iPad that is fully charged and ready to go for the games. These iPads show the different plays and can recap or replay what just happened or should have happened. The coaches use this like another set of eyes, as well as to show the players what exactly went down, if needed.
“Anything that the players need, we got them,” says Pouge confidently. He reiterates, managers are definitely not trainers (the students who run water onto the field during games); managers operate behind the scenes to keep the sports machine running.
Managers spend their days and nights right alongside the players and coaches, so it only makes sense for them to feel like a part of the team.
“The coaches are my family,” says Taylor Nickel (11). “We are one big family and have love for them all.”
When you look at the chaos on the sidelines at a football game and only see huddled football players and coaches, remember that within the chaos are the managers, constantly paying attention and ready to provide whatever may be needed at the time.