Sports Managers – the Team Behind the Team

SHES GOT YOUR BACK -- Ashley Longs sunny disposition makes her just about everyones friend.

Kaleb Blanton

SHE’S GOT YOUR BACK — Ashley Long’s sunny disposition makes her just about everyone’s friend.

Tending to every need of two sports teams at Central High School sounds rough, doesn’t it? No one else but Ashley Long, a senior here at Central, can accomplish it. She fetches the athletes water, encourages them before the game, helps them with an injury, and the list goes on. The responsibilities of a sports manager are very strenuous, but there is much more to it than just “getting the guys water”.

Ashley, who has been a sports manager for 12 years, is the manager for the football and wrestling team at Central High School. She has also managed at Harrison, Brown, and Ooltewah. When we think of football players and wrestlers, we think of big, muscular, sweaty men playing a sport. Ashley sees them as some of her greatest friends, people she looks forward to seeing each and every day.

“I enjoy seeing them progress. I chose to manage these specific sports because a lot of the football players also wrestle and they’re all great friends of mine. I was actually asked to manage the wrestling team by players who wrestle and play football,” Ashley explained.

Ashley is a very caring and down-to-earth person who works diligently at what she does. To become a sports manager, one have to maintain a B-average, have good attendance, keep up with homework, be at study hall, be at practice, and be at every game. Which is extremely similar to being an athlete (even a little bit harder), Ashley does it all, which can be very stressful. She cleans sports gear, gets water (which is her least favorite task to do), tends to hurt players, and helps them not only physically but mentally as well. Ashley prays with and encourages the teams before each game/match. She makes sure she is there for her team just as a teammate would be.

” I contribute to the teams by staying in the game [and] helping them to not quit and not give up. If I miss a day, the guys get onto me and I don’t hear the end of it,” the senior noted.

Ashley does an amazing job at being a sports manager. She truly is the team behind the team.