With football season on, equipment managers have tough road ahead

The high school football season finally kicks off on Friday, Sept. 25. As players and coaches prepare for their first games, equipment managers have spent months preparing for the season in other ways.

Dan Patrick has been Brookfield Central's equipment manager for the last 38 years.

"I make sure I order helmets, footballs...anything that the program needs I take care of. I meet with the head coach and we come up with a list and I take care of that," Patrick said.

Along with the players and coaches, Patrick's role on the team?

"Absolutely vital. Dan is someone that I feel very fortunate. I follow different coaches and they say, 'Oh man, I have to do all this equipment stuff and I have to do this.' Dan takes care of all of it. He takes care of all those things that allows me just to coach more," said Joel Nellis, Brookfield Central football coach.

Dan Patrick

Dan Patrick

The Lancers are getting ready for another practice -- and the dummies set up, all the pads -- that is all Patrick's doing.

"It seems like he’s out here so early on game days setting stuff up," said Cam Devine, a Brookfield Central senior. "He knows everything there is to know, especially equipment. You ever have an issue, you go in there you won't be in there long because he will have everything figured out."

Patrick can get in almost 15,000 steps in a day because the work never ends.

Brookfield Central High School football practice

Brookfield Central High School football practice

"I started getting equipment ready in May inventory-ing, making sure we have everything for every level," Patrick said.

Patrick's job got a little more hectic this off-season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"When each coach has their own station, I have a bucket with quad and rags and hand sanitizer at each station that they can use after a drill," Patrick said.

The players are responsible for washing their own uniforms. But inside the Lancers locker room which Patrick helped build, they are being utilized differently to prevent contamination.

"We’ve gone to a colored system of green, yellow, red where those groups can go it there for a short time. No more than five minutes to get in and out with coaches hustling them out," Patrick said.

Brookfield Central High School football practice

Brookfield Central High School football practice

In his almost four-decade long career at Brookfield Central, Patrick also filled another need on the football team. He has been the team's kicking coach the last 25 years.

"I like the community. I like the people. I have coached in this district. It’s a good program," Patrick said.

Fully entranched in the community and his work, Patrick is not leaving anytime soon.

"I enjoy it -- as long as I’m physically able to do it. If I didn’t have the excitement, I wouldn’t be here," Patrick said.
Brookfield Central kicks off its season Friday against Menomonee Falls.