Not a player, still a teammate


Skyler Froese

She’s easy to spot. In a team photo of pressed and well postured young men she is the singular teenage girl.
For junior Randi Obermiller, the status of lone female in the mix of a few dozen boys has been a daily occurrence for the past year. Obermiller isn’t lost or just tagging along. She is fulfilling her job as sports manager.
In the past school year Obermiller has had the title on three separate RBHS sports teams.
“During baseball I was the official scorekeeper,” Obermiller said. “For soccer I went to practice every day.”
A sport’s manager’s duties are primarily keeping track of equipment, helping coaches and players and some minor bookkeeping. The managers are required to go to games and practices.
Junior Brendan Fish has been the sport’s manager for boys JV and varsity basketball since his freshman year. Fish describes his work as many diverse efforts to help the team succeed, from filling up water bottles to analyzing individual players during games so they can grow as athletes.
The path to becoming sport’s manager is neither high stakes nor glamorous; it comes from a desire to just help.
“In many areas of my life I try to be as involved as possible,” Fish said. “I made a difference by giving my time.”
Obermiller started managing the soccer team because her father was the assistant coach, but she wanted to branch out to other sports. She cites her love of baseball as why she offered to lend a hand to the baseball team when she saw them doing preseason conditioning.
By this point she had gained some recognition for committing to manage two teams. This willingness to help prompted Coach Drew Mueller to ask her to be an assistant manager to boys basketball. Obermiller was obliged.
“[Managers] are there  to do everything we can’t do,” Mueller said. “They are essentially a part of the team in some way, shape or form.”
Mueller believes managers gain the same sense of belonging of belonging and camaraderie as an athlete on the team, even though they are not out on the field. Senior Connor Brumfield said that his relationship with Obermiller has grown positively in the past year.
“Managers play a vital role in keeping the team organized and in high spirits,” Brumfield said. “I enjoy her presence in the dugout.”
Being a sports manager also shares the same negative consequences as being an athlete. Fish admits that finding time to do his job became difficult as he had to deal with the additional work from advanced placement classes and other extracurriculars.
“To manage the basketball team I had to give up my time and effort, but gladly did so.” Fish said. “Although it made things a bit more tough, the experience was well worth it.”
Mueller describes three pillars of a teenager’s world, school, social lives and extracurriculars. He believes for athletes and managers alike keeping the three in balance can be a struggle.
“It teaches them time management,” Mueller said. “They give up a big part of their social lives, and I commend them for it.”
Managers gain more than just time management skills from what they do. Sports managers become part of a team that cares about them.
“The guys are pretty nice to me, and I get along with them pretty well,” Obermiller said. “They never let me carry heavy things by myself. They’re pretty sweet.”
Both Fish and Obermiller acknowledge other perks, like being a nice addition to resumes and their coaches. Fish in particular grew fond of Coach Travis Gabel, admiring his absolute moral compass and how he brings together the team with common values.
“Seeing members of the team grow as players and people is truly and uniquely inspiring,” Fish said. “I have a great appreciation for it.”
By Skyler Froese