Team manager is appreciated
Michael O’Connor has been the manager of the Seymour High School football team since he was a freshman at the school in 1998.
O’Connor didn’t think twice about sticking with the team. “I’m dedicated to the team,” he said.
He has lived in Seymour his whole life and simply loves Eagle Football. He never played the game but he always watched the guys beat other teams.
“The coaches appreciate what I do,” he said. “The players appreciate what I do for them.”
O’Connor asked a former coach if he could be manager and then spoke to head coach Gary Householder who agreed to his request. The manager has been supporting the team ever since.
He loves the coaches and the team and gets to go to away games, where often the other team’s coaches and players know him well.
“I remember going to Sullivan North, going to Volunteer,” he said. “I know the schools’ coaches and they know me. It’s been a good experience.”
“Sometimes I feel very special.” Many of the football players that he has managed have touched his life in a positive manner and O’Connor is thankful for that.
“I keep an eye on the guys and make sure the crowd is enjoying the game,” he said. “A lot of people have told me I’m doing a good job.”
That makes it worth it for him to come out to practices during the week and games on Friday. O’Connor works two jobs, one at Food City in Seymour and one at Old Navy in Pigeon-Forge. But, he wouldn’t give up his managing experience.
“A lot of people haven’t seen me in a long time,” said O’Connor. “Some of the players, we were together since middle school.”
“You get used to high school,” he said. “When I’m at the football field I get to see people and have a good time cheering on the team.”
“Sometimes they thank me for what I do for them. We all pray together as a team and family. We all get along,” said O’Connor.
Like anyone else he loves to see his team win, but after a loss he tries to encourage the players. “I try to tell them that they did a good job,” he said.
With so many people who are appreciative of his efforts, O’Connor is just as thankful for the people he has surrounded himself with. “I want to thank the coaches and team for everything, and the parents who come to the games,” he said.