If there is one thing that almost all Oshkosh West students can agree on it’s their school spirit, especially when it comes to the sports teams that the student body can’t get enough of. The importance of the sports players and coaches are easily recognized, however, it is the student managers of these sports who, due to their dedication to the team, are able to help improve these teams and deserve recognition. These managers work extremely hard and do everything they can to keep these teams running smoothly and progressively. This job, as one can imagine, is not done easily and takes an extreme amount of effort.
“During the season we dedicate roughly twenty plus hours a week to being a manager,” said senior Kirra Sieber, manager of the wrestling team.
Twenty hours a week is dedicated solely to helping the teams of Oshkosh West. These managers use all of this time to complete the several tasks they are in charge of completing each week.
“I, along with the other managers, am responsible for taking stats, such as shots, goals, fouls, and saves,” said junior Elaine Rygh, manager of the soccer team. “In addition to that, I get the Gatorade and water ready before every game and clean up after the game,” said Rygh.
The soccer managers are not the only Oshkosh West managers that experience the time consuming job of taking scores and keeping track of players progress. The wrestling managers are entrusted with score keeping as well.
“I score the matches and then later use that information to make up spreadsheets for each wrestler showing their wins and losses, the score of the match, who, and where they wrestled and then various other information that was collected throughout the match,” said Sieber.
While keeping track of scores, stats, and spreadsheets is a common job when managing, it is not the only task that the managers are provided with.
“We fill the water bottles and keep people hydrated,” said Kendall Bowers, manager of the football team. “On game days we carry around equipment and make sure players have all the stuff they need on the side lines and loading buses,” said Bowers.
While there is no doubt that the sports managers have hard and time consuming jobs, it is not all work for these managers. Along with all of the hard work they put into helping these teams, they still manage to have a lot of fun while doing their job. They are all exposed to new and exciting things that, for them, makes it all worthwhile.
“My favorite part about being a manager is being around all the wrestlers and the other managers,” said Sieber. “Because we are all together so often, we all become very close.”
These managers love what they do and being a part of the team to experience the games right alongside the players, makes their job worthwhile and memorable.
“I think that my favorite memories of the season so far is just being around the team,” said Rygh. “They are all so supportive of each other, and although they are super competitive, they have fun together and there are always plenty of laughs to be had on the bus or the bench.”
The managers have made unforgettable memories during their time as managers and continue to make more every day. The memories made by these managers are ones they will remember and cherish long after their time at Oshkosh West is over.
“My favorite memory is when we won against Kaukauna,” said Bowers. “It was awesome seeing so much positivity compared to last season.”
The managers not only know how to have fun with the teams they manage, but they also have a lot of laughs with each other as well. For these managers there is always something to laugh about.
“At the JV north game last year it was super cold and I was trying to pick up this jug of water and I accidently dropped the whole thing of ice water on Kendal’s leg,” said Kylie Hibbs, manager of football. “She was mad at first but we both laugh about it now.”
The laughs never end when these managers are with each other and their teams.
“Sometimes when I walk past the players I hear random parts of conversations that I find pretty funny,” said Hibbs.
Though the fun never ends for the sports managers when they are doing their jobs, they still face many problems, such as weather. This is especially apparent when it comes to managing the soccer team.
“There was one game, which ended up being canceled where it started to sprinkle a little bit so the other managers and I started to put the stuff away that shouldn't get wet,” said Rygh. “Then it began to downpour and all of the boys ran to the bus and all of us managers got soaked while the boys stayed nice and dry.”
These problems, however tough to encounter, never keep these managers down. In tough situations the managers of Oshkosh West are able to find the fun and positive side of things.
“Because of the rain and because of all the body heat on the bus, the colder temperature outside, and the large amount of rain coming down, the windows fogged up, including the front window and the bus driver had to constantly wiped the windows so he could see,” said Rygh. “We all tried to help him by opening the windows and cooling down the bus which ended up being pretty rough because the rain just kept hitting us in the face through the open window. It was a type of fun experience where it is mostly fun when the experience is over because it was pretty crazy while it was happening.”
West’s student managers are not only important and helpful to the players and the fans, but they are most helpful to the coaches. These managers play an enormous role in keeping the team running smoothly.
“They play a huge role on our team, they take care of all the little things that drive me crazy that I never have time to get done,” said Mr. Levine, head coach of the football team. “They get the water out, they get the equipment out, they get stuff ready for the games, they bring stuff in from practice, they get stuff done after games, and sometimes they make cookies.”
The Oshkosh West athletics program without these sports managers would run much less efficient.
“They make life much easier for coaches and for players,” said Levine.
They do so much for the team without anything in return, making themselves valuable assets to Oshkosh West and their athletic programs.
“Without my manager I would go nuts, I would be busier than I already am and I can’t imagine that,” said Levine. “The years where we didn’t have managers was very very difficult.”
By: Carly Chandler