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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Senior managers make their mark

Perhaps softball coach Diane Stephenson best summarizes the importance of senior managers Matt Nocks and Leslie Shaffer to the team.\n"They're going to be the toughest people we've ever tried to replace in our program," Stephenson said. "Matt and Leslie do a great job. People don't realize how much the managers do. They're a part of our coaching staff."\nWith both graduating in May, Tuesday's sweep of Miami marked the last home doubleheader the two managers will work. As their careers draw to a close, they realize what IU softball has meant to them.\n"I knew that I wanted to be involved with IU athletics, somehow," Nocks said. "Freshman year I was bored and had too much free time. My grades were suffering, because I was always busy during high school. Joining the team just helped me change all that."\nShaffer said she agrees that her association with the team has changed her as a person.\n"I don't think the team realizes the impact they've had on me," Shaffer said. "They're a big reason why I'm still here.."\nBoth came to IU wondering how they would find their niche and hoping not to get lost. Becoming managers changed their experience at IU.\n"I have learned so much from Diane and the staff, and from being around the athletes," Nocks said. "This helped me build up my confidence and instilled some leadership qualities in me.."\nShaffer said she has come to appreciate the relationships she's made as a team manager.\n"I'm a shy person," Shaffer said. "Being with the team (introduced me to) 20 other people I got to know and have relationships with."\nStephenson said Nocks in particular has changed during his stay in Bloomington.\n"I think with Matt especially (has come out of his shell), because he's the only man in our program and the girls haven't really been easy on him," Stephenson said. "It's been a growing and learning experience for Matt."\nShaffer and Nocks said they see their work pay off when they hit the road, and how IU's Softball Field compares to other parks.\n "We have pride making sure we have good-looking facilities here," Nocks said.\nWith Nocks graduating and heading off to work for Accenture Consulting, and Shaffer on her way to veterinary technical school at Purdue, the two are appreciative of their involvement with the program.\n"Just to be a part of this is something I'll cherish forever," Shaffer said.

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