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Student Managers: Helping the Team However They Can

<p>The Memphis baseball team celebrates a home run. Their student managers say being a part of the team is what drives them.</p>
The Memphis baseball team celebrates a home run. Their student managers say being a part of the team is what drives them.

In every college athletic department, student managers play a vital role in the execution of a game day. At Memphis Baseball, two full-time students, Hank Hisky and Aidan Hicks, work behind the scenes to get the team and their facilities ready for game action.  

Unlike the larger sports like basketball and football, baseball at the University of Memphis only has two managers. Because of this, the job is not easy, but, for Hisky and Hicks, the opportunity to be around the game they love makes it well worth the trouble. 

"I spent one year, my freshman year here, just not doing anything, and it felt like I was going through the motions pretty much with school," said Hisky. "During the summer, I coached at my old high school, and my head coach after it ended was like ‘Hey, I have this opportunity for you through a guy I know,' and I couldn't pass it up."

Hicks' story on his decision to join the staff is very similar to Hisky's 

"I played baseball all of my life, but then I had to stop," said Hicks. "Going through the college decisions process, I saw this opportunity, and I went for it."

Hisky and Hicks prepare balls, bats, and laundry before each and every game, but those tasks are just the beginning of a day's work for student managers. 

"During home games, we will get our postgame meal in for our players and staff members. We’ll also do umpires' food," said Hicks. "We’ll get them a meal. We’ll get that set up for them in their locker room." 

Laundry is a constant in the life of a student manager for any sport, with pregame loops, uniforms, and off-day clothes, but at Memphis, Hicks and Hisky are also tasked with doing the away team's laundry.

"They’ll approach us pre-series, I guess you should say," said Hisky. "Some teams don’t and some teams do, but they’ll just pay a small amount of money for us to do it."

Because baseball has fall exhibition games and practices, being a student manager is a year long job.

"In fall there’s a lot more laundry," said Hisky. "Pitchers have a whole different schedule then hitters, so we have to split up the pitchers' loops of laundry and the hitters'.”

Even when there is not a game, the student managers are on call to help out with whatever any players or coaches may want done.

"On off days, some guys will come up here and get some work done," said Hicks. "We just try to help out with whatever the coaches and players need."

Despite the fact that being a student manager provides a front-row seat to the action everyday, both Hisky and Hicks enjoy being a part of the team more than the stuff that they get to see.

"My favorite memory that is going to carry on through this is just going to be being in the locker room in general," said Hisky. "I don't think that there’s a single thing in the world that can beat that.

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