Often unseen, sports managers make the game


Dehlin Lee

NC lacrosse managers prepare for the senior night game by getting water for the players. “Our job as managers is just to make sure the boys have water, working the clock, and getting the stats for the game,” sophomore Ib Okpok said.

Dehlin Lee, Reporter, Photographer

Sports spectators often overlook tasks such as setting the scoreboard, preparing the field for coaches and players, and filling the water bottles for the players; all of this work must be accomplished before the players even arrive at the field. Sports managers help both athletes and coaches tremendously and hold a special place on the team. They work with the coaches and help the players need throughout the game and practices such as getting more water, taking stats or getting an extra ball, often times going the extra mile for the team.

“I like managing. There is a lot to do for the players and coaches, but managing with your friends and meeting new people makes it fun,” sophomore lacrosse manager Ib Okpok says.

Fellow NC students sign up to become managers of NC sports team and help out each sports team by bringing equipment, water, and scorebooks to each practice and game—both home and away—ensuring coaches and players end up with what they need.

“I love getting to know more people and doing new things. Being a manager does not take too much work, but it can be time-consuming. Balancing school and managing are pretty easy for me because the coaches allow me to do my homework while we wait for the games to begin,” freshman soccer manager Abi Klinkert says.

Having the opportunity to manage also means the chance to travel great distances. Traveling can always be unpredictable when it comes to the playoffs. Students often miss school going into the playoffs, but all absences are excused.

“Missing school can be rough at times because I am missing that one on one time with the teacher and we always get behind in the work and lesson, but most teachers understand and are helpful when I come back the next day. The coaches always make sure we are given time to do our classwork and homework that we are missing on the bus ride there and always help us when we need it,” Klinkert says.

Dehlin Lee
Sophomores Ib Okpok and Leigh Smith fill water bottles before and throughout each game and make sure the lacrosse team is fully hydrated. The managers continue to work hard as the season comes to a close, recording player statistics and video recording the games as well.

In the 2018 season, the boys’ varsity lacrosse team traveled nearly three hours to take on Gainesville High School in a regular season game. Players and managers left school early around 2:30 to make it to the game on time.

“It took us about two and a half hours to get there and the trip was fun but very tiring. On the way there, we were all talking and having fun which was great, but on the way back one of our players got injured during the game and got ejected which got to our heads and the bus ride home was somber because of frustration and anger. It’s so fun to go and support the boys, but it is so far away that it becomes tiring,” sophomore Leigh Smith says.

Managers put in a great amount of work for the NC sports teams and help the players and coaches. They not only get the chance to meet new people and make new memories; they can also set the pathway for their future. Students who truly love the anticipation and hype of sports may want to take the chance of making a career out of it: sports management offers that for students. Although a career in sports management focuses on the business attributes of sports, students who aim for a career in business and sports get the chance to do to both, all while catering to their love of sports.

Attending all games and most practices, working hard to provide the equipment a team needs to prepare for a good practice, and great games can take up much time of a manager’s life, when trying to balancing school and working the games time management is important, but the work is always worth it in the end.

“The work is worth it in the end. I always love watching the boys run out onto the field after they just got a win and they all get the hype, it is just so much fun to watch,” Okpok says.