Behind The Game: Winter team managers


Junior Haley Rice (left) with her teammate Abi MacDonald. Rice is the manager for the girls’ varsity basketball team this winter.

Nicole Erdekian and Abby Mitty

On every team, there are the coaches, players and even team trainers. However, there’s one important role on the team that sometimes can be forgotten: the team manager.

Depending on the team, managers take on various tasks. They record statistics, provide materials such as pinnies and balls during practice, keep track of equipment and help out the coaches.

Junior Haley Rice (girls’ varsity basketball), senior Aimee LaRochelle (Nordic skiing), sophomore Fatma Sayeh and junior Annie Clarke (girls’ varsity hockey) are all managers on their respective rosters this winter sports season.

“I knew I didn’t have enough time to invest in a winter sport, but I still wanted to participate in practices and be a part of the team, so I decided to sign up to be the team manager,” LaRochelle said.

Being a manager comes from a combination of having no winter sport to participate in and athletes asking their friends to manage their team.

“I’m friends with Olivia Tacelli, and she plays [on the hockey team],” Sayeh said. “I’m friends with a lot of the girls on the team, and they said they were in need of a manager. I don’t do a sport in the winter, so I thought it would help me fill my time”

In other cases, some choose the path of becoming a manager because they are physically unable to play. Junior Haley Rice wasn’t capable of playing a sport this season because of a back injury, which prompted her to manage the girls’ varsity basketball team.

“I have a back injury from crew, and I’m not able to do winter training because of it,” Rice said. “Since crew was such a big commitment [and] I didn’t want to just stop doing something after school, my friend Kate [Balicki] asked if I would manage the basketball team.”

Among these three teams, managers perform varying duties. All managers have to help out their coaches with certain tasks. LaRochelle helps her coach keep track of the skis and poles assigned to each skier.

“I also keep track of the racers’ times in each meet, give support to the athletes and keep track of equipment and uniforms,” LaRochelle said.

For the girls’ basketball team, Rice is required to work the clock during timed drills for practice and keep track of points. The girls’ varsity hockey team has four managers, so the tasks are spread out among them all. However, Sayeh is still occupied with many responsibilities.

“I have to get there an hour early for all home games,” Sayeh said. “[I take care of the] scoreboard [and] statistics. For hockey, you need to have someone open and close the door for the girls.”

Each team requires a different level of commitment. For skiing, the responsibilities aren’t too heavy and the team only races once a week.

“Since I’m not a racer, I do not need to come to all of the practices, and therefore do not participate as much as the athletes,” LaRochelle said.

According to Sayeh, the hockey managers only have to go to the home games.

“Hockey’s really late, so some nights you aren’t going to get home till 10 [p.m.],” Sayeh said. “[It depends] on if it’s [an] away [game]. You’re not forced to go to away games, but if you do you won’t get home until 11. I’m not forced to go to practices [because] they practice every day for like three hours.”

In contrast, the girls’ basketball team seems to need more assistance.

“I go to every practice,” Rice said. “I have to be at every game, and I go to every team dinner. The coach wants me to be part of the team, so I try my best to do so.”

Even though Sayeh is enjoying this winter season managing her team, she isn’t planning on being the manager next winter because she hopes to find a winter sport of her own.

Rice is still unsure about whether she’ll manage the girls’ basketball team next winter.

“Honestly, I’m not sure yet,” Rice said. “[It] depends [on] how my injury is from crew. But it is possible.”