In the sports world, it’s the athletes and coaches that steal the spotlight with their success that comes from hours spent in preparation of their craft.
No one ever notices the people who tirelessly work behind the scenes, helping team operations run smoothly. People like La Feria’s Synthia Ramirez, who has been the glue for La Feria’s basketball, track and football programs for the past two years.
Ramirez, who was a cheerleader at one point, decided last year that she would fully commit to being a team manager. With the Lions right in the middle of the hoops season right now, Ramirez is currently focused on the round ball, but track & field is just around the corner.
And when she’s not performing her duties as team manager, she likes to practice her cosmetology skills on family and friends.
Ramirez, who is a senior and will graduate this spring, wishes to pursue a career in cosmetology and one day wants to operate her own beauty salon.
The Valley Morning Star recently sat down with Ramirez to discuss what it takes to be a team manager and find out a few other things about her.
Q: What made you want to take on the position of becoming a team manager?
A: I’ve always liked watching guys play sports; you can also see and feel the intensity. But I believe since I didn’t do sports, I really just wanted to be around them. What better way to do it than having front-row seats and taking care of the guys?
Q: What are your duties as team manager?
A: For basketball, my main priority is to make sure everyone and everything is taken care of and kept in order; making sure everyone is ready for the game. I am also in charge of getting the scorebooks ready, making sure the (water) bottles stay filled, that we have at least four towels, that the roster for the visiting team is filled out and returned to the scorers table, and keep the shooting shirts folded throughout the game.
Q: How did you find out about the position?
A: Knowing the basketball coaches had a big part in becoming a manager. I knew they wouldn’t mind the help and I wouldn’t mind giving it.
Q: Describe your experience as team manager?
A: It is honestly an experience like no other. You never know what to expect with the guys or even the coaches. They’re all very welcoming and make me feel like the work I do is appreciated. They take care of me.
Q: How does your service help the team?
A: I like to think I keep the games flowing. If it’s not with the work I do, then it’s with support. I have crazy love for my boys; they continue to make me proud. After every game, I make sure to tell everyone that they had a good game. Sometimes it’s hard to stay quiet or even stay sitting down when one of them gets hurt during the game.
Q: What’s something people wouldn’t know about the job?
A: It’s not just about going to the games and sitting down watching the guys play, although it might seem like it. There is actually a lot of work done behind the scenes.
Q: Is it difficult handling school and the responsibility of being a team manager?
A: I don’t find juggling all the extracurricular activities and school to be difficult. It makes me push myself to try harder and keep my grades up.
Q: How has this job helped you in school or other areas of your life?
A: I feel like being a manager has helped me with my communication skills and working well with others. It has also taught me to be more responsible, in the sense of taking care of what needs to get done.
Q: What’s your favorite memory in your time as team manager?
A: Given that I’ve been with the guys since last year, there are so many memories. My favorite would have to be after getting a win in the Lyford tournament. The coaches, players and I all had a little picnic outside in the grass under a big tree with Chick-fil-A. The memorable part was we all sat in a circle, holding hands and we waited until everyone was there before one of the guys started praying for the food.
Q: What’s something people don’t know about you?
A: That’s a hard question because my life is an open book, but it would have to be that I’ve been in two car accidents. They have taught me that we aren’t immortal and it’s made me realize how precious life really is. Also, most people don’t know that I can hit three-point shots all the way around. When playing with a couple of my friends, I went all the way around hitting my threes not missing once. I have yet to do it again, though.
Q: What are you going to miss about being a team manager?
A: I’m going to miss EVERYTHING! From the guys, the coaches and the intensity of the games, to the bus rides, when everyone eats together and even the practices. It’s a great feeling to see the guys grow and mature not only as basketball players, but as people in general. I’m very glad I was able to be apart of this great program. I can honestly say it has been awesome.