Meet the managers: Bison men’s soccer

Bri Pomonis, Senior Writer

Despite having never tallied any minutes on the field, student managers Andrew Ahn ’20. Mackenzie Gross ’21, and Jessica Mount ’21 play an integral role in making the Bison men’s soccer season a success. All former soccer player themselves, the managers have found a new way to continue their love for the game in this unique leadership position. Many fans are unaware of the important contribution that student managers make to their favorite Bison teams, but their work behind the scenes is critical to the functioning of the team as a whole.

For a student manager, duties mainly revolve around keeping home games running smoothly while promoting a spirited environment for fans and players alike. On game days, you can find Ahn, Gross, and Mount preparing the stadium for the day’s events, keeping track of substitutions, filming, and working with youth ball boys and ball girls.  

The managers have become an integral part of the program for the Orange and Blue, and all three can attest to the camaraderie that extends beyond the official roster. The shared desire of the coaches, players, and managers to see the Bison at the top of the rankings continues to fuel their passion for the team and the connections they make with the players.

“The players are truly great guys,” Gross said. “They’ve really made us feel accepted and welcomed to the team.”

Ahn echoed the similar feeling that he feels valued on the team, despite the fact that he isn’t out on the field.

“Even though I don’t get to play the games and put in my blood, sweat, and tears, I have never felt like there was a difference in my treatment. There is a clear sense of responsibility and dedication that I hold [that is] different from that of a player, but even so, I still feel like a member of the team,” Ahn said. “The coaches have been so helpful in my transition into the team, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

It is these relationships that have made managing a memorable experience — — one that all three managers hope to return to next year. For first-years Gross and Mount, the program has already played an especially influential role in their first semester and their adjustment to the University.

“I’ve met so many new faces, all genuine and kind, and it’s been a great experience learning more about soccer and the individuals involved,” Mount said. “It’s definitely promoted a sense of community.”

“This job has given me the opportunity to meet so many people, and really spread my wings. We hope they’ll ask us back next year; it’s already been a highlight of this year,” Gross said.

The bonds made with each other, the program, and the sport of soccer are evident in their reflections on the season so far. Their dedication will continue to be a driving force of success for Bison soccer.

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