Twice-Told Tale

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Twice-Told Tale

Twice-Told Tale

Managers are the Secret to Success

Emily Cypher
(Above) Before every game players participate in warm-up to prepare, but they are not the only ones getting ready. The managers are also hard at work preparing in every way. Manager Mehr Ohri, grade 10, who has only just become a basketball manager this year, says, “My favorite part of being a manager for the basketball team is getting to sit on the bench and watch the home games, especially the ones that we win.” Mehr along with her fellow managers help the players throughout the game by handing out water as well.

At the highest level of any sport, whether it’s the National Basketball Association (NBA) or the National Hockey League (NHL), sports managers are the secret to success. Managers are acknowledged in the sports world but are overlooked with the assumption that they solely affect the team’s success behind the scenes. The student managers at Lake Highland Preparatory School give an interesting perspective on how they work behind the scenes and beyond. Outside of an average sports fan’s favorite team, they don’t hear much from managers or general managers (GM) besides a few famous GMs such as Brian Cashman, general manager of the New York Yankees, and Rob Pelinka general manager of the Los Angels Lakers. These people who hold the title of GM are the key players in the success of every team. 

GMs choose their team’s coach and players, and are also responsible for communicating with other teams about trades. Specifically, they are in charge of trades, who the team’s draft pick is, and contracts between players and the team. To add, sports managers or sports agents are in charge of specific players, and they work to find opportunities for their clients, such as brand deals. Sports managers are first introduced to the business side of sports in high school, and while the tasks are very different between a high school basketball manager and a GM for an NBA basketball team, their interest in becoming a manager comes from the same place.

These individuals are driven to the manager position because of their love for sports. High school management tasks are completely parallel to the professionals in the field, and they complete tasks such as collecting players’ jerseys during the pre-game warm-ups. Lake Highland Preparatory School offers students the opportunity to manage select sports teams. The Lake Highland Varsity and JV Basketball teams have four managers; Mehr Ohri, grade 10, Annabelle Sharp, grade 12, Shae Steenburg, grade 12, and Lily Larson, grade 12, and they continue to be the secret to the team’s success.

Naturally, the first question that might come up, is, “Why would you want to be a basketball manager?” There are multiple other sports and why would some want to be a manager of a sports team anyway? Mehr Ohri, grade 10, commented, “I want to go to college for sports business/management so I was looking to manage any sports team for our school, and the basketball season was coming up, and the hours!” She refers to, “The hours” meaning community service hours. Not only is managing a team in high school a great learning experience, but it also helps with school requirements. 

All of the managers are heavily focused on, “The time commitment”  according to Mehr. There is a learning process that comes with discovering how to balance schedules with school work in order to be successful as managers and students. Shae Steenburg, grade 12, stressed, “Only do it if you’re dedicated to committing that much time, and if you actually enjoy watching the sport. Otherwise, I think it could feel like a chore.” Meaning, that being a manager is a lot like a full-time job in high school. In fact, on top of being a student at Lake Highland, each manager is also a student-athlete. This is why it is understandable that all four managers explained that time management is very important. 

 “I decided to become a manager because I was interested in what it meant to become one and to also get community service hours,” Annabelle Sharp, grade 12, offered. Each manager commented on the service hours that accumulated from supporting the team throughout the week and during their games most weekends. As a result, it is sometimes it is difficult to keep up with the team.

Being a manager also requires, “Driving to far away games on the weekends” Lily Larson, grade 12, added. So with the addition of having practice for their sports, “The hardest part is making time for the games and practices each week,” Annabelle highlighted. Lily continued to add, “For away games we have to help pack the bus, and I do the book to keep score. But for home games, we play their run-out music and sit on the bench with them and cheer.” As they continued, a lot of what they said was surprising, and something they all mentioned, was laundry. 

“I think people would be surprised to know that we clean and fold their laundry,” Annabelle explained. This is the part of their job that can feel like a chore at times. They don’t just take care of the varsity team’s laundry, but also the JV team’s needs. The variety of jobs they have is overwhelming, as they also occasionally help the coaches with drills during practice and will help with “Cooler Duty.” After shoot around, a warm-up the team does before a game, the player who lost has “Cooler Duty.” The managers and that player will collect ice and water in preparation for the game. Annabelle continued to say, “One thing to know is that [basketball] becomes a huge part of your life and to make sure you don’t have too much else going on on the side.” being a team manager barely leaves any weekends free. Managers really are a part of the team. 

The managers participate in many ways, and Lily commented that she has been a manager for two years. “For the first year I did it for service hours, but the second year I enjoyed being with the team, and it felt like I was on the team with the way we were treated.” All four managers are more than part of the team and play an important role. They do the book (the book is used as documentation for the score, amount of fouls, and more), they do laundry, they help the coaches with personal errands, and they participate in practice as much as possible. Although the title of GM is lifetimes away from the title of student basketball manager at Lake Highland Preparatory School, all four managers Mehr Ohri, Annabelle Sharp, Shae Steenburg, and Lily Larson—continue to help as the secrete to the team’s success. 

(Right) Lily Larson, (third from left), Annabell Sharp, (fourth from left), and Shae Steenburg, (second from left), are all Seniors this year, and each commented on how much they enjoyed being basketball managers. Mehr Ohri, grade 10, just completed her first year as a student basketball manager, and commented, “My perspective changed from the beginning in the way that the workload got a lot easier over time.” (Emily Cypher)
(Above) The four student managers of Lake Highland Preparatory School’s basketball team sit on the sidelines along with the other players at all times. There the managers can help the players by getting them water, and any other drink they might need, such as Gatorade. Besides performing tasks, getting to sit on the bench is a form of support for the team. This is an exciting opportunity for the student managers, offering a new perspective. (Emily Cypher)
(Above) While there are many exciting things about being a student manager for the basketball team, doing the team’s laundry is one of the less glamorous activities and something a lot of other students would be surprised by. Mehr Ohri, grade 10, mentioned, “We do a lot of laundry and folding of their jerseys.” The Lake Highland student basketball managers are hard workers and are excited for the upcoming season as well as its potential new managers to add to the team. (Emily Cypher)
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About the Contributor
Emily Cypher
Emily Cypher, Copy Editor
Emily Cypher, grade 10, is the Copy Editor of Lake Highland Preparatory School’s, Upper School newspaper, the Twice-Told Tale. She found her passion for Newspaper from the iconic show Gilmore Girls, which aired in the 2000s. After reading more books than anyone could count, her passion for writing grew even bigger, as she is currently exploring creative writing as well. The staff and the opportunities that come with being part of the paper are what she enjoys most about being a member of the Twice-Told Tale staff. Emily continues exploring new passions with writing and beyond. Outside of school, she plays volleyball at Game Point Volleyball Club as a libero. Her commitment to the sport helps her time management skills grow along with her ability to be flexible. Emily loves to travel and visits New York as much as she can, and she is excited to push herself to learn new things.

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