‘Momager’ Lucy Kortze And Student Managers Helped Behind The Scenes At Blue & Gold Stadium
Fans who attend Newtown High School sporting events are consistently treated to announcements of goals, player check-ins, statistics, and more detail courtesy of public address announcer Jason “J” Edwards. A big part of making this happen is the effort of team managers who log details in the official scorebook, and radio details to Edwards, up in the press box, from across the field at Blue & Gold Stadium or share information with him at the scorer’s table for basketball and volleyball games indoors.
“We’re in constant communication, and they help me keep it as professional as possible, as timely as possible, and as positive as possible,” Edwards said. “They help me do the best job I can because they do the best job they can.”
Managers also help coaches who refer to the book for halftime adjustments, for example, and they assist media covering games.
Most of the managers are students, but the girls’ lacrosse team had a unique helper on the sidelines this spring: Lucy Kortze, whom Maura Fletcher, coach of the varsity girls’ squad, solicited to help out, knowing her ties to and knowledge of the game. She has a niece, Keeley Kortze, who played on the varsity team. She also has two children, Aiden, 13, and Claire, 11, who play youth lacrosse. Kortze is an assistant coach with the grades 7/8 boys’ team and serves on the Newtown Youth Lacrosse Association (NYLA) board as a scheduler.
“I know she sits on the NYLA Board ... So she knows the game. She accepted and made a huge commitment to us. She comes to every game — home and away. This takes time away from her own family, but she has gained a new one in the NHS girls’ lacrosse family,” Fletcher said.
“We call her the ‘Momager,’” Fletcher said.
Kortze was joined to help out at the scorer’s table late in the season by Lexy Leidlein, last year’s varsity team manager, who now attends Penn State University.
“We had Lexy last year as a full-time manager, and she was great. People don’t realize how valuable a good and consistent manager is,” Fletcher said. “When there is consistency, the stats are more accurate, and during the game and postgame, coaches utilize the book to make adjustments. We did not have a full-time varsity manager at the beginning of the season, so we reached out to Lucy,” Fletcher said.
Kortze, a stay-at-home mom, jumped to the opportunity to pitch in. “My schedule allows me to travel with the team and go where they go,” Kortze said.
Throughout the years, she watched Keeley and Keeley’s older sister, Cassidy, play lacrosse from the stands across the field from the team benches and scorer’s table at Blue & Gold Stadium. “I love being on this side of the field,” she said.
Kortze majored in business, and statistics was her favorite class at Keene State College in Keene, NH. Never did she know how much statistics would come in handy.
“I love Newtown youth lacrosse and absolutely love supporting Newtown lacrosse,” Kortze said.
In many instances, managers are injured varsity players or JV team members looking to be a part of the excitement at the varsity level.
“Whatever we can do to help the team. We just want them to excel,” said Leidlein, who was hurt last year and stayed with the team by logging stats into the book.
“I wanted to still be part of the team,” added Abby Poseno, who served as manager for the junior varsity games while sitting out with an injury this spring.
The Newtown boys’ lacrosse team had a rotation of team managers, utilizing injured and younger players willing to step in and help out.
“It is a job we appreciate because it helps us track our stats and opponents stats too,” said Scott Bulkley, coach of the NHS varsity boys.
Michael Ihlefeld and Daniel Jaeger are junior varsity lacrosse players who kept score at boys’ varsity games this past season.
“It helps out the team,” Ihlefeld said.
“It’s one of the more important things we can do on the sideline,” added Jaeger, noting that team managers can take on a variety of roles, including providing water to players during timeouts.
The managers gain a taste of commitment and sense of involvement — not to mention a closeup seat for the play on the fields and courts.
“It’s a huge asset. Managers are an integral part of the teams,” Newtown High School Athletic Director Matt Memoli said.
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