3 boys become managers of girls varsity volleyball

Junior Porter Moody, senior Ryan Fuller and junior Michael Long have decided to take on the roles as team managers for the girls volleyball team. Working with a group of all girls has opened up their eyes to new experiences  that they wouldn't have had with their regular sports teams.

Credit: Courtesy of Megan Sin

Junior Porter Moody, senior Ryan Fuller and junior Michael Long have decided to take on the roles as team managers for the girls volleyball team. Working with a group of all girls has opened up their eyes to new experiences that they wouldn't have had with their regular sports teams. "It’s kind of cool seeing what a girls sports team is like," Michael Long said. "I think that we can take some of their values and use it in our team in the spring season.”

Ellie Tyska and Max Brande

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For the majority of the varsity sports teams at Wayland High School, the role of the team manager(s) is assigned to those who wish to take up the position. While many may volunteer for the sake of being with their friends, the girls varsity volleyball team managers in juniors Porter Moody and Michael Long and senior Ryan Fuller see the position as an opportunity for some fun and improvement.

Having played on the boys varsity volleyball team themselves, the managers are quite familiar with the sport and practice environment.

“Some of the girls [on the team] are managers for [the boys volleyball team],” Moody said. “It’s also just a good way to get some touches and help them out.”

Just like the average manager, the boys partake in the usual jobs such as taking down stats and ensuring that the team is well-equipped.

“In games, we keep track of the stats, and sometimes we help set up the camera for film,” Michael Long said. “[We cheer] them on [as] the team morale boost.”

Unlike the majority of team managers, the boys also take this opportunity to participate in the team practices and drills, which gives the team an extra challenge.

“The guys this year have been practicing with us at almost every practice, so it’s really helpful that they’re able to help our coach,” senior girls varsity volleyball player Megan Sin said. “At practice, we can do practice scrimmages with them. The guys are more competitive, so we can get more reps in, and we get to play at a higher level.”

“I think having boy managers, especially because they all play club volleyball and school volleyball, they really give us a challenge defensively,” senior girls varsity volleyball player Qian Long said. “When we’re playing offensively, they challenge us defensively.”

Not only does the boys’ participation in drills help improve the girls team as a whole, it is also a great chance to work on their skills in preparation for their own season.

“Basically, [I decided to become a manager because] I just thought that it would be a good time with the boys, and we also like the game of volleyball a lot so we’d be able to play it more rather than just the spring season,” Michael Long said.

Although the boys receive many benefits as managers, there are some challenges when working with the other gender, especially when practicing with them.

“For volleyball, I think specifically [for] the boy managers when they’re playing with us, there is a boundary – like they can’t ‘play too hard,’” Qian Long said. “But we are also managers for the boys volleyball, [and] we’re not really given a limit [as] to how good we can play. We are always allowed to play in whatever drill they’re doing, but for boys, you know, sometimes they have to step off.”

For the girls, having the boys on the team first came as a little startling, but they soon realized that their presence would benefit the teams in multiple ways, one way being the fun and different dynamic that they bring to the team.

“They bring positivity and a different energy,” Sin said. “I believe that during practices, it’s been really fun to have them, and it’s helped us bond as a team in general. We’re always making jokes and having fun while working hard.”

In the end, the boys feel welcome on the team not just as managers, but as teammates as well. The boys are looking forward to the rest of the season and spending time with the team.

“It’s just a good time, there’s not much to complain about,” Michael Long said.

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