BAR HARBOR — When the Trojan varsity girls’ basketball team went from an undefeated season in February to suffering a loss in the quarterfinals last winter, Kyle Lamson was thousands of miles away. But to him it felt like it was his loss.
“It felt personal to me,” said Lamson, who is now in his third year as the student manager for the team. The Mount Desert Island High School senior said he was on a vacation at the time and was frequently checking in to learn how they were preparing for the big game. He even texted them right after to find out “the run down.” Even though it was a loss, he said he wanted to feel like he was there for his team. “I’m really invested in them, and I feel like I’m part of the team.”
After playing for the junior varsity boys’ team in his freshman year, he was forced to quit because of knee surgery.
His eagerness to continue being part of the school’s basketball program led him to accept the position as the student athletic manager.
Lamson typically can be found sitting on the far end of the bench, vigorously tracking the shots, fouls and scores. He does it all – from stacking the balls after a game, to handing out cups of water to players as they step away from the court, to ensuring that the medical kit is well equipped. “I help wherever I’m needed.”
Not only does he show up at every team practice, transitioning from helping as a rebounder to a shooter to being an additional player for drills in pairs, he also accompanies the team to all their away games.
“He has an understanding of basketball,” Head Coach Brent Barker said. According to Barker, “you kind of have to make a read on,” some of the plays, such as when a turnover occurs in a match. “He does a good job of that.”
Lamson is a part of the varsity golf team and played baseball his freshman and sophomore years at the high school. He uses the skills of communication and being a team player that he honed while on other sports teams to the help the girls.
Barker finds Lamson’s dedication to the program “outstanding.”
“He is going to be tough to replace.”
Recording the swift movements of the players on the court is a skill Lamson has learned over the years. In his sophomore year, when he first began entering the game statistics, he had trouble keeping track of everything. “It was so fast paced,” he explained.
Girls’ junior varsity Head Coach Greg Linscott took Lamson under his wing. “He would always be in my ear telling me what to do. If a player got a foul and I missed it, [he would] just put it down,” said Lamson. Now, he said, after doing it several hundred times over the years, he has become “pretty fluent.”
Lamson has known the players on the varsity team for several years, which he said has made him emotionally invested in their success. “I’ve grown up with all these girls through middle school and high school,” he added. “It is a great feeling just to see them excel in what they’re doing.”
Where he works primarily behind the scenes, his name isn’t mentioned in the lineup when the players are introduced. He doesn’t get to shoot baskets or play defense. But Lamson acknowledged that his work and participation help the team succeed.
“I know I’m appreciated,” he said. “I’m grateful for all of them. It feels like a family, it really does.”