LeTard keeps Saints ready to play

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 1999

A good army relies on its supplies to keep it operational. And football teams rely on their managers to keep them operational during gridiron battles.

Philip LeTard, 16, has been equipment manager for the Trinity Saints since he was in the seventh grade.

The junior is entering his fifth season as manager of the football team.

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A manager has a variety of duties that change given the day of the week.

On practice days, LeTard makes sure water coolers are on the field ready for use. He also has the balls and kicking tees on the field.

Game day is another issue. LeTard usually arrives at the stadium by 4:30 p.m. – three hours early. This allows him time to make sure the balls are pumped to the proper 13 pounds of air pressure, fix any broken equipment and get the coolers cleaned and filled.

If any equipment is broken during the game, LeTard has an assortment of tools to fix a loose face mask or broken strap on shoulder pads. The repairs are often done on the fly, which leads to creative repairs.

&uot;A couple of years ago a player broke part of his shoulder pads,&uot; LeTard said. &uot;The only way we could fix it was to tape it together with athletic tape. He played the rest of the game that way.&uot;

LeTard’s work with the team is something he wants to do. &uot;This is my way of giving back to the school,&uot; he said.

Life as a manager also has its perks. LeTard travels with the team to all the games. &uot;The closeness I have with the team is fun,&uot; LeTard said. &uot;It allows me to see the team evolve.&uot;

LeTard believes his hard work is appreciated by the players.

&uot;All the players are always nice to me. I may not be in shoulder pads but I’m treated like I’m part of the team,&uot; he said.

LeTard is interested in continuing his manager duties after he graduates from Trinity. &uot;Some of schools give scholarships for managers. I&160;think it would be nice to take it to the next level,&uot; he said.