The impact an athlete has on his team is evident from what he does in a game and practice, but many forget the influence of those who work behind the scenes.
Eric McLaughlin ’15, who was a team manager for the Jesuit High School basketball, baseball, and football teams during all four years of high school, now works as the student team manager for Oregon State University’s baseball team.
Eric sets up equipment for practices, works with video and manages statistics. Being the team manager requires a great deal of responsibility and can often be tedious, but Eric’s love of serving in a team environment outweighs the difficulty of his position.
“I love being around sports — you can’t complain when your job involves showing up to a baseball field everyday,” Eric said. “I also enjoy the team atmosphere that I am able to be a part of. It’s incredible to have the opportunity to support these programs with great athletes and then see how successful they are when they compete on the field.”
As a senior at Oregon State University, Eric feels that Jesuit did an incredible job to prepare him for life in college and beyond.
“Everything about Jesuit positively impacted my life,” Eric said. “The faculty and staff helped me to grow spiritually and academically, and the athletic program taught me the importance of hard work outside of school. All of those experiences led me to where I am today, and I will always be grateful for that.”
Many students and teachers felt the impact that Eric left on his alma mater. Former head basketball coach Greg Harcos ’89 believes Eric was instrumental to his team’s success.
“Eric was reliable and so good at his job that players came to expect Eric to do things for them,” Mr. Harcos said. “But Eric was never their babysitters and would let his teammates know when they were asking too much.”
Jesuit’s baseball coach, Joe Potulny ’76, also feels that Eric was extremely beneficial to his team.
“Eric was very diligent; he paid attention to detail,” Coach Potulny said. “I would say perfectionist, but that conjures up images of obsession and compulsion, anything that needed to be done, he was willing to do it. On game days, he ran music in between innings, did radar readings, and kept stats. He did anything that had to be done.”
Eric’s influence on Jesuit sports played a significant role in the performance of the teams he managed. When he was a senior at Jesuit, the basketball and baseball teams made it to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs.
The legacy of responsibility Eric left on Jesuit can be seen with the growing desire of students wanting to take on leadership positions, specifically student managerial positions. Eric’s ability to influence success without recognition reminds us that winners are not just those who star on the field.