Paladin Profile: Football Team Managers
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused college sports to look nearly unrecognizable on campuses across the country. It was recently announced that the Southern Conference is postponing its sports for the fall season, leaving many Paladin players and fans feeling disheartened. Despite this disappointing news, an essential and valuable group in our sports family are still walking with their heads held high: the football team managers.
While it can be difficult to remain optimistic at a time when everything seems so up in the air, the managers remain optimistic about this season. Jacob Soapes ’21 shared that despite the challenges the team is facing this season, the morale is still strong amongst the managers and players. Though motivation may be hard to find at times, the team and its managers are remaining focused with a goal of playing in the spring. Colby Mayer ’23 and Robin Medoff ’21 share the same aim of hopefully getting to play a spring season, though they are aware that there are many factors that will go into the final decision.
Despite the uncertainty, the equipment managers are dedicated to their team and are moving ahead with their duties. Mayer states, “I’m one of the equipment managers for the team, which I like to describe as anything that the players touch, we are responsible for. We label and hand out all of the apparel, make sure all of the equipment is set for practice and games, and do LOTS of laundry.” Since COVID-19, extra safety protocols have been put into place, such as wearing facemasks, regular disinfection of all equipment, and daily temperature checks. The team is continuing with position walk-throughs and strength and conditioning training. When practicing, the equipment staff put splash guards and eye shields on every helmet to prevent droplets from spreading. Medoff explains that their processes pre-pandemic were similar, but the addition of the new precautions adds a little bit of time for cleanup. Nonetheless, she is willing to do whatever it takes for the team to be able to practice and play.
Though these times have presented every reason to be upset or frustrated, the football team managers have remained excited and optimistic about the future. Mayer is looking forward to upcoming road games. Soapes still thinks there is a good chance to play in the spring. Medoff expressed her gratitude for her position as a team manager. Her words can encourage us all to stay positive this semester: “This job for me isn’t about the money. I’m just happy I got to meet a group of great people and get to be a part of Furman Football.”