Vince Lombardi, my personal idol, said, “Individual commitment to a group effort that is what makes a team work, a company work, a civilization work.” This pertains to what I do every day as the equipment manager for Greece Athena Varsity Football. I played four years of football at Athena, but this is my first year of being the equipment manager. There are multiple responsibilities that the equipment manager is held accountable for on game day.
When I arrive to the school at about 9:30 on a Saturday, there are many things that I have to accomplish before the game starts. The first task on my list is to make sure the football field is completely set up. That means all the pile-ons and yard markers are at the correct locations. The pile-ons are orange and rectangular shaped. They are placed at each corner of the end zone. The yard markers are usually orange as well, and they have numbers on it. The ten yard marker is placed on the ten yard line; the twenty yard marker is placed on the twenty yard marker and so on. Next on my list is to check to see if the scoreboard is working properly. If it is not, I have to call a maintenance guy to come see what is wrong so it will be working by game time. After the field is set up and the scoreboard is working, I have to make sure that the United States flag is hung on the pole for the National Anthem. Then, I go into the equipment room, which is located inside of the school right across from the boys’ locker room, and fill up two big blue Gatorade coolers, and two small red coolers with ice and water. I then gather any bag or box that the coaches need to bring to the field and put it in the white pick-up truck given to me from the town of Greece. This includes the ball bag, headsets, medical box, and small extra equipment such as mouthpieces and straps. After everything is packed in the back of the truck, I bring it to the field and unload it. The field is already opened because maintenance opens it before anyone arrives. The last thing I do before the game is get the team pumped up. I make sure they are hype and ready to go before they take the field! The team gathers around me and I tell them to not be afraid of any one and I have faith that they can beat any team that is put in front of them.
Once the game begins, I have to keep an eye on the water bottles and make sure that they stay filled throughout the game. I also have to hold the game ball and any time our team goes on offense I run the ball out to the official. It is tough to do both of these things at once, especially making sure that everyones equipment doesn’t get misplaced. If they happen to misplace something big, like a helmet, I would have to go back to the equipment room inside of the school and get them a new one. This would only be about a one minute drive because the field is on school property. Also, if I feel overwhelmed, I have one of the players who are not playing, either because of grades or an injury help me with one of the jobs. Throughout the game I’m constantly giving coach-like pep talks to each of the players to keep them in good spirits, even if we’re losing. For example, when one of my best friends Frankie, who is the quarterback, throws an interception, I immediately go and talk to him when he gets off the field to make sure he shakes the play off and doesn’t get down on himself. I tell him that there is a lot of game left and he will come back next drive and do…