However, in volleyball her responsibilities are a little different. “In volleyball I have to keep book, which keeps track of points, substitutions, time outs, and sideouts. I also have to keep track of some stats, which are mostly serves and blocks,” she explained. “I enjoy doing book more than any of my other jobs.”
So, where does the part about making cupcakes come in? Well, it all started with a little idea back in middle school and culminated into something that has stuck throughout the years.
“I make cupcakes for the sports teams because I enjoy baking, and I saw that the moms always brought the girls food, and I just felt like making cupcakes for the team once. Everyone liked them so much, it just kind of stuck,” Julie elaborated. “I also see it as a reward for doing well (or not so well sometimes) and also as a ‘thank you’ for giving me the opportunity to manage such a good team.”
Julie started managing sports her eighth grade year. “Someone asked me if I wanted to manage the teams, but I don’t remember who,” mentioned Julie. “Once I started, I couldn’t quit because I enjoyed spending more time with friends, as well as making new ones.”
However, managing the teams means more to her than anything.
“While managing the teams, I have made so many memories that I will never forget,” she reminisced. “The obvious would be the trips to state! I have had the greatest opportunity: I was able to go to state all four years of my high school career. While that may sound incredibly fun, that wasn’t always the case. I might have gone to state all four years, but as you know, we have never earned a state title.”
“You have no idea what it’s like to walk into a locker room after losing a state title game. Whether you think you would or not, you will most definitely start balling your eyes out,” she continued. “It is impossible to look at the girls’ faces and see the disappointment. The thing is, while it would have been nice to earn a state title because my name too would have been on the board, I didn’t want the title for that reason. While managing, I feel like I am a part of the team. All the girls try so hard, and to walk away with what feels like nothing… I felt so bad for them. I had to see four groups of girls cry because they gave their absolute all, but it wasn’t enough to win what they came for. And that is the worst part. In the end, you don’t cry because you lost. You cry because it’s over.”
Even through the numerous games and the countless bus rides that seemed to take forever, who wouldn’t want to go back and change the outcome of the game? To be able to see the girls win a state title and walk out of that gym, not with tears of sadness, but tears of joy? From Julie’s perspective, if she could go back and change it she would, but at the same time, she wouldn’t.
“Of course I would want to change that we didn’t get first at state, but at the same time, I wouldn’t. I think we learn more from our misfortunes and losses in life. I think that the girls have become stronger because of it. I can’t imagine who I would be if I could go back and change all the mistakes or bad things that have ever happened to me, “ Julie explained. “Life is never perfect, but it’s the imperfections of life that make you who you are: strong, confident, and brave. To be strong, you had to once be weak. What made you gain strength (not muscle strength)? What made you become brave and confident? At least for me, I know that I would not be strong, confident, or brave, if I had not overcome the imperfections I have faced so far.”
Being a manager for five years has given Julie some of the best times she’s had during school: going to state, being a part of such a great team, and getting to know other students, just to name a few. She also has a little bit of advice for future managers for basketball and volleyball. “The same for both groups: don’t mess up and never think you aren’t a part of the team. You are; you just have to establish that with yourself. While you may not play, keeping stats is a major favor for the coaches, and supporting the team is one of the greatest opportunities I have had throughout my high school career.”
--by Karissa Durbin