Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 – John Zacher ’17 heads to the team huddle as a timeout is called. Zacher has managed for the basketball teams since his freshman year.
By Tyler Conrad ’17
Players and coaches tend to get the credit–or blame–for how their team fares, but on many school teams there is another person responsible for the players focus on the game.
“I love basketball and wanted to help the program in any way I could,” said John Zacher ’17, who has been a manager for the basketball team since his freshman year.
Zacher, due to his commitment to the team and his role as a manager, has had a somewhat evolved position over the years. Now, he spends a great amount of time offering analysis to coaches and watching trends among the players.
“I take stats at the games and offer analysis,” Zacher said when asked to list some of his responsibilities to the varsity team. “I know a lot about the game and figured I could help the coaching staff on an analytical level.”
On the other hand, George Rivera ’17 and Gurkaran Bhatti ’17 are both managing sports for the first time this year. Bhatti is a manager varsity soccer and Rivera is a manager for varsity basketball.
“For me, being the basketball manager was a great way for me to be able to be with my friends and stay occupied until the spring season,” Rivera, who plays varsity football, said. “It’s two very different roles, instead of competing and making a difference on the field, or court in this instance, I instead contribute the team by video taping and in turn it helps the players and even coaches correct their mistakes.”
Similarly, Bhatti wanted to get involved with the soccer team and went to coach Mr. Noah Lewkowitz ’98 for the opportunity.
“I was interested in helping out with the soccer team going into this school year so I talked to Mr. Lewkowitz and he told me to come out to tryouts and at the end he’d let me know if the team would need my help,” Bhatti said.
Bhatti described his position as part of the team a very rewarding yet time-consuming experience.
“As manager I’m responsible for pumping the team up in the locker room before practices and home games, I help warm up the keepers and anyone else who needs help and I shag the balls after practice. I’m also responsible for the team’s Twitter and taking photos at the games,” he said.
Zacher’s commitment to the team is also extremely time consuming during the season, which runs November until February.
“We are either practicing or playing games Monday through Saturday. We watch film at lunch as well,” Zacher said.
Although both Bhatti and Rivera are new to their positions, they both said they have great relationships with the players and the coaches.
“It’s really good, since I myself am an athlete I can relate to them on a lot of levels and I also bring a lot of enthusiasm and liveliness along with motivation,” Rivera said on his relationship with basketball players.
He also said he has a great working relationship with head varsity coach Mr. Matt Hooten.
“It is basically as if I am peer instead of a player, he treats me with respect along with all other staff and players,” he said.
Bhatti similarly said he has an appreciation for his team and coach.
“It really feels like I’m part of the team and I don’t really feel out of place,” he said.
Zacher said he is very grateful for his opportunity to grow and develop a passion of his over his high school career.
“Brophy is all about going out and doing what you love,” Zacher said. “The more I have been involved with the basketball program, the more I have come to love what I do. I attribute the growth of my position to my passion to help put a banner on the wall.”