It is a Friday night and teenagers want to be doing one of the following:
a) spending time with friends
b) at the big game
c) making some money
d) avoiding mom and dad
Not many students sign up to do volunteer work on a Friday night, but that is exactly what students all across the country do, including Damonte Ranch. When the Mustangs kickoff the home portion of the 2019 schedule Friday night, all the attention will be focused on the football team, the cheerleaders, and the band; not many people will take notice of the student managers. They’re there before any of the fans arrive and are still there after the fans have left. During the early part of the season they work up a sweat and later in the season they fight off the cold. I noticed the managers working hard, at a practice earlier this week, and thought it would be great for people to meet them and understand how much work they are putting in.
Leading the brigade this year is Jake Gardner, senior. Jake was one of the managers last year, he also manages the boys basketball team, runs track, and is working on his rap game (check him out on Twitter). Jake told me he loves being a manager because of the positive atmosphere and the opportunity it affords to hang out with the coaches and players.
Viviann, grade 9, Destiny, grade 10, Charlotte, grade 10, and Gabby, grade 12, are the other managers for the Damonte Ranch Football Program this season. In addition to helping manage the football team, Gabby also plays volleyball at Damonte, while Destiny and Charlotte play lacrosse at Damonte. The girls all said the weather can be a challenge, including the heat early in the season, and the cold late in the season. They also don’t like moving the full orange water jugs around, but they love being a part of the program and all agreed that, “We are having a lot of fun!”
I attend a lot of high school sporting events every year, and I can confidently say that team managers are a valuable resource and put in a lot of time and effort. So, the next time you are at a high school game, please take notice of the managers and all the hard work they are putting into the game experience. They don’t get cheers, nor do they get an athletic letter, but they do earn the love and respect of the coaches and players.
Lynn Ault | Writer
Lynn Ault is the “voice of the Mustangs”, announcing football, basketball, and wrestling for Damonte. His daughter graduated from Damonte in 2017 after playing basketball and two years of varsity cheerleading. His son is a senior and plays football for the Mustangs.