Interview by Diamond Farmer | Submitted by Olivia Bush Nomination and Photography by Cindy & Todd Bush Pennsylvania
The Nomination: Olivia Bush: is the first female manager for the Patriots High School Football Team. As a leader, and rising sophomore with a passion for football, Olivia took it upon herself to put herself out there in what is traditionally a male-dominated world.
On her own, Olivia reached out to the Head Football coach directly and shared her desire to help the team by being the football manager for the upcoming season. After a 1:1 interview with the coach, Olivia got the job of becoming the first female manager in the school's history.
After a little skepticism from some of the players at the beginning of the season, Olivia quickly won them over with her knowledge of football (she can hold her own when it comes to discussing the specifics of her favorite sport). She became a true member by doing her part in helping the team win this year's CB Cup and making the playoffs.
How does it feel to be the first female football manager at your high school? It feels great. Knowing that I am shattering stereotypes and progressing in a field that is typically dominated by males is amazing. I have had so many girls come up to me in class, before practice, or after a game and tell me how cool it is that I’m the football manager. I love being able to inspire people and girls specially to follow their dreams.
How did the team respond to the news that a girl would be managing their football team? Well I vividly remember the first day of practice like it was yesterday. I was out on the field already and they all came running up. Coach stopped them and said, “Guys this is Liv, she’s your new manager,”. They immediately all started clapping and cheering. So many of them then came up to me introducing themselves. That first week of practice they all looked out for me making sure I was ok and always offering to help, and they continued all season. They were all so sweet and welcoming and made me feel truly a part of the team.
What were your thoughts when you first started managing the team? I was very nervous. There were about 65 guys there and I only knew about three of their names. I would see them run out of the school and onto the field and would be so intimidated. At first, I thought they were big and scary but then as the season grew on, I realized that they had a heart of gold and were all so sweet.
What do you do as manager? I film specific drills at practice, fill up their water tank and bottles. During games I run water out during timeouts and am there as support.
Do you plan on doing this next year? What would you do differently? It’s not what I would do differently; it’s more about what will be easier. As next seasons practices start, I will know where everything is in the school and know almost all the guys. I won’t be as nervous either, so I will get to enjoy summer practices more.
Do you think other girls will become interested in managing male dominated sports? If so, do you have any advice for them? Yes, I do think other girls will take interest in managing male dominated sports. A piece of advice for them would to be not to be scared and to put yourselves out there. The first month of practice I would get nervous beforehand. It wasn’t until the first game, when I really started talking and getting to know everyone, that I became comfortable around everyone. You really get to know the guys and who you are managing this way and when the season is over its like you have all these big brothers looking out for you.