There’s a particular group of people in Montgomery County whose work you see every time you attend a high school basketball game. Their names are usually in the game program, but you will never see them listed in the scorebook. They practice every day, make all the road trips, and spend countless hours in the film room, long after their teammates head for home.
These neglected notables are your school’s Student Managers. And, if they are nearly imper-ceivable to us, coaches know full well their value to winning.
“The managers are always the unsung heroes of the program,” observed Crawfordsville Girls head basketball coach Tony Bean, granting kudos to senior managers Angel Fenwick and Dammaris Chavez. “Bottom line, if you have good managers, a coach’s job is easier and the program runs more smoothly.”
In addition to familiar game duties, like keeping water bottles filled, supplying towels, and manag-ing the equipment, teams today ask managers to accept additional responsibilities — many be-hind the scenes.
Managers are responsible for tons of laundry — practice gear and game uniforms. “They even do some sewing for us!” added North Montgomery Boys head coach Eric Danforth.
Moreover, coaches are asking their managers to take bigger roles in team preparation. Manag-ers set up practice, run the scoreboard and timer, and usually man the recording equipment.
”We treat our managers as Assistant Coaches. They have extreme responsibilities. That comes with added stresses of being expected to perform night in and night out,” said Athenians Boys mentor David Pierce, relying this year on seniors Olivia Grady and Statistician Cale Keller.
“The [players] really know they are in charge, and have everything under control.” agreed Southmont Boys coach Jon Sparks. “They have to know our drills, and how we keep score. They even load the film online. And, no one has better film than we do.”
Can you get along without managers? “We survived!” admitted first year Southmont Girls head coach Dustin Oakley. “I didn’t know any students, [when I arrived]. But, we already have a cou-ple interested for next year.”
Luckily, all that hard work increases the bond Student Managers share with their teams.
Senior Kinsey Humphreys leads North Montgomery Girls coach Ryan Nuppnau’s film crew, but the coach finds humor in other roles, too. “Kinsey and Ashlynn Voorhees will style our play-ers’ hair before the game. They even babysit on Saturday mornings when I bring the kids to practice with me,” said the coach.
Perhaps, Student Managers even play a role in making a ball club close-knit, too.
“One of my favorite parts is to watch the managers kid the players and the players kid the Man-agers,” said Sparks. “I know that the managers have more fun when we win, because they have a lot invested too.”
Other Student Managers this year are:
Crawfordsville Boys: John Chavez, Robbie Brown, Matt Perkins, Cameron Smith
Crawfordsville Girls: Britney Snyder, Mackenzie Lewellen
North Montgomery Boys: Emily Hughes, Andrea Ponto
North Montgomery Girls: Kenzie Walke, Hope Shirar
Southmont Boys: Megan Anglin, Abbi Benge, Maddie Parker