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The Aquilian

My time as a varsity football manager

Me+with+my+parents%2C+Coach+Trivers%2C+and+Mr.+Jim+Kilroy+during+Senior+Day+
Me with my parents, Coach Trivers, and Mr. Jim Kilroy during Senior Day

The summer before I started my freshman year I knew that one of the extracurriculars I wanted to do most at Gonzaga was be involved with sports. I have never been a great athlete, but I still wanted to be a part of a team. My older brother, who was two years ahead of me at Gonzaga, mentioned that he knew a couple of students who were student managers for various sports teams. After hearing that, I decided to look into being a student manager for the football team because football is my favorite sport. I met with Head Coach Randy Trivers a few weeks before school started, and he explained what the job entailed. A few days later, I came to practice for the first time and immediately knew that this is how I wanted to spend the fall of my freshman year. 

I felt like a fish out of water when I first met the team. Here I was, 14 years old, 5 ‘5″ and all of a sudden surrounded by 17-18 year old grown men that were six feet or taller and weighed 250 pounds or more. I had expected to spend most of my time being the manager for the freshman football team, but Coach Trivers needed me to be one of the managers for the varsity team. 

During that first season, I was one of five managers, and we were a well oiled machine. It was a great season, and I loved being around the team. All the coaches were great guys and would joke around with me. The players were all very welcoming and were very fun to be around. I made a lot of great memories that season, and overall, it was a great experience. 

The following season was a complete 180 from my freshman year. Because of covid, the season was held in the spring of 2021, was shortened and did not include playoffs. My role with the team was very different. During my freshman year, another manager and I worked very closely with the athletic training staff and helped them with whatever they needed. During practice, we would be around the field making sure that the coaches had the right practice equipment for different drills and putting away that equipment when they were done with it. On game days, we would be on the sideline making sure the players stayed hydrated and we were available to help with anything. However, because of covid, I spent the entirety of my sophomore season filming practices and games. I rarely interacted with the coaches and players, and it was not as fun for me. I was away from the sideline during games and practices and did not feel as involved. I was also just one of two managers that year.  The season was a success for the players, however, as varsity finished the season undefeated.  

I was looking forward to returning to normalcy for my junior year. I was the only remaining manager from the 2019 season and was tasked with showing three new guys the ropes. While the team on the field did not have an amazing season, I really enjoyed this season. I became closer with the other managers, and I was able to return to some of my duties that I did my freshman year. I both filmed and worked on the sideline during the games. It was awesome to be around the team again, and overall, it was a much better experience than my sophomore year season. 

Unfortunately, the three managers that I worked with my junior year did not come back as managers for my senior season. All three had valid reasons for leaving, but I was a little bit frustrated that I would be the only guy with experience. Two sophomores joined me as managers, and we were a good three-man squad. Each of us had to put in a lot of time and effort because there were just three of us responsible for daily jobs that were really meant for five to six people. We worked hard throughout the season and came to know each other well. The two sophomores preferred to film so that allowed me to return full time to the duties that I did as a freshman but just at a larger scale due to the lack of managerial help.  As the season progressed and the games remaining on the schedule dwindled, it began to set in that a chapter of my life was closing. I had spent the past four years pouring countless hours into this program and all of a sudden it was ending. While the season on the field wasn’t a major success, I made a lot of memories during the season. 

In the end, I am very glad that I decided to be a manager for the football team. Down the line when I look back on my time at Gonzaga, I will remember all the good times I had with the football team. The coaches, the players and my fellow managers have all had a lasting impact on me, and I will always be thankful for them. Through my time as a manager, I learned how to help others, work well with others and lead others, and those lessons will be ones I take with me for life. 

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