Football Through the Managers’ Eyes

It is easy to imagine the excitement and intensity built around the experience of being a player on football team. You put yourself in their cleats on the field as the game ends and Titan Terror goes wild – another win!

However, what about the people on the sidelines? The managers? How do they see it?

Football team managers Hanna Mehlmann, Monica Garced, and Megan McCall-Carter gave a unique stance on what it’s like to be members of the football team who don’t get any playing time.

These ladies are juniors and first time team managers for the CB South Football Team. Last year Paige Braun, their friend and President of OEG (a club that they are also involved in), was a manager of the team and told the girls it was fun and something that they should consider doing.

They took the advice of their friend Braun, but said there was no specific motivation to become managers. Garced said they had more of a “why not” mentality.

They showed their interest to Coach Hetrick last year. There was no formal application process and after being asked a few questions, they were set to be the newest team of managers.

A typical day at practice entails heading right to the field house after school ends and filling up water bottles with water and ice for the team. They stay at practice with the team, using megaphones to call periods and handing out water to keep the team hydrated. At the end of practice everyone gathers in a huddle and Coach Hetrick gives one of his “motivational speeches,” said Mehlmann.

“Whenever the players need something equipment wise, we can usually handle that,” said Mehlmann. “If not, we ask Coach James.” Coach James was a previous football manager and student at South and is now a coach.

On Thursdays before Varsity games, the managers hand out jerseys and pants to the players in the locker room. That is the only time they have separate, specific jobs, said Garced, because the three girls split up the stack of jerseys and pants and each take a group of numbers to hand out to players.

The time commitment is “huge,” said Mehlmann, and it can get difficult to manage their school work and other extra-curricular activities because practices run until 6 p.m. daily. In order to give each other a chance to attend other after school activities and clubs they are involved in, they work together to take turns going to practice directly after school.

“We go to all of the practices, we fill the waters and hand them out for the guys so they don’t get dehydrated,” said McCall-Carter. “And then we also go to all of the games on Fridays, those are the Varsity games, and all of the games on Mondays, those are the JV games, and we go to all of them no matter what, no matter if they’re home or away.”

They began their work as managers at the spring mini-camp in May and June, and also went to Mill Creek Elementary School for three weeks in the summer. “It’s not just during the school year,” said Mehlmann.

The managers attended the two team practices per day in the summer, which started on August 8 at 7:30 a.m. Players would bring their pillows and blankets and take naps in the pods in between practices.

Recognition wise, their names, pictures, and titles are in a pamphlet that can be purchased for five dollars at each football game.

They also were given their own jerseys, which they wear to every game as tradition. During the games, they stand on field with the players and coaches.

At the end of the games, there are three buses waiting for the team, one for each grade, and the managers ride with all of the juniors. The whole bus blasts music and sings. “I can always hear Tommy Merlo in the back,” said Mehlmann.

They said they absolutely love being a part of the team and recommend it to anyone who is looking to be a part of something on a “whole other level” at CB South. A sense of “comradery” with the team is felt during team dinners on Friday in the cafeteria said Mehlmann.

Because they are so close to the team, they can definitely feel the vibes the players are giving off, such as if they’re excited or sad. Mehlmann said, “They are a good team, work super hard, and lose gracefully.”

Mehlmann also said the players are always saying thank you, and are “super polite.” “They really do care and are big sweethearts,” she added.

“My favorite part is mostly the jerseys, but it’s also just helping the guys when they need something,” said McCall-Carter.

“And the Varsity games, just being on the field when they score, is always so exciting,” said Garced. “We like to win, obviously, so when they score, the excitement is real, it’s not the same as being in Titan Terror.”

“Oh my gosh, it is just so fun. Practices are super fun because the guys are all so nice and they’re really polite, and they’re always like ‘Hey ladies how was your day?’ I really love when we hand out the uniforms… I just love it!” said Mehlmann.