Keeping count

Julia Collner, Scene Editor

Many people overlook the importance of a great team manager. Senior Amanda Blomberg, four-year manager of the wrestling team, and junior Chris Vaughn, three-year manager of the boys’ basketball team, help their teams succeed.
Participating in the sport was not an option for Blomberg and Vaughn, so they did what was possible to be a part of the sport that they love.

“My brother wrestled, and I was looking for an extracurricular activity to do, and since I love wrestling, I decided to become a manager because my dad wouldn’t let me wrestle,” Blomberg said.
The responsibilities of a manager are to keep score and statistics at games, make sure the team’s medical kit is fully stocked and be a moral support to the players.
“Amanda is a source of comfort for the wrestlers in a big sister kind of way. She demonstrates a lot of patience when dealing with the wrestlers and coaches, which is impressive given how combative wrestling is as a sport,” coach Samuel Hershey said.
Senior wrestler Brinson Allen feels as though Blomberg is a pivotal aspect of the team.
“She’s our go to person. You need water, snacks, she’ll go get it for you. She has a bubbly personality that helps pick up the team,” Allen said.
Vaughn feels being a sport manager gives one a whole new insight of the game being played.
Having to pay attention and keep records all of the points, assists, field goal percentage and rebounds keeps Vaughn on his toes.
“I would have to say I enjoy taking the stats at the game the most because it unlocks a whole different perspective to the game that is unnoticeable as a fan. I can see the game from a statistical point of view. It also gives me the chance to help my players by making sure they know how they are doing,” Vaughn said.
Although Blomberg and Vaughn are praised by coaches and players for what they do, it is not always so easy.
For Blomberg the hardest part is working the clock at a close match. For Vaughn, it’s dealing with the psychological part of his role.
“The hardest part used to be the criticism, but it has faded away. As of now, there isn’t much of a difficulty to what I do because I have grown to be a successful addition. It is mentally tiring to me at times because it really works your attention and mind,” Vaughn said.
Managers have to be calm and focused in order to succeed at their job, two characteristics that both Blomberg and Vaughn possess.
“Chris is one of the if not THE most hardworking managers that I have ever been around,” basketball coach Darryl Robinson said.
The players appreciate having someone to support them.
“Chris is very valuable because he does a lot of the things that are under the surface that you do not really notice, it was really nice having him around,” said senior Philip Graham.
Both Blomberg and Vaughn plan on making a career out of this opportunity, Blomberg plans on going to Wake Tech and then Chapel Hill and become the wrestling manager there.
Vaughn said, “The most rewarding part would have to be between making my players content and being successful at what I do. It’s nice knowing I am good at this, and that it has a future for me. It gives me the confidence I need to embark on my journey through the sports management industry.”