Carol Sprys: Holding FHC Athletics Together

Carol Sprys: Holding FHC Athletics Together

Mackenzie Yob, Staff Writer

Posters of different sports teams hang all around the walls, All-Conference pictures are hung, on the desk sits a bowl of tootsie rolls with the sign that reads ‘Take one.’ The final piece of the room: athletic secretary Carol Sprys. The athletic office holds the keys to everything related to sports with Sprys and athletic director Clark Udell at the helm.

“As athletic secretary I am the personal secretary to Mr. Udell and I’m in charge of making sure we have games scheduled, buses scheduled, officials scheduled, and rosters sent and rosters received and officials paid. It’s a lot of paperwork,” Sprys said.

Sprys has been working in FHC’s Athletic Office for two years but was previously at Novi High School on the east side of the state. She was a secretary there for 10 years. She and her husband moved to this side of the state because of her husband’s job. She knew as she was moving that she wanted to be doing the same job here that she did over there.

“I love what I do. I was extremely lucky when my husband got the job over here in Grand Rapids,” Sprys said. “My husband and daughter were online and found that this position had opened up so I applied and couple weeks Mr. Udell called for an interview. The rest is history. It was an easy transition. You guys had the same amount of sports but not as many kids. It was an easy move for me to move. Plus when I moved I got to keep my green and white.”

According to Athletic Director Clark Udell, there were 128 applicants for the position. To begin his search he initially swept the candidates for experience and there were some but that was only one part of criteria he was looking for. Then he looked for anything that set the others apart from the others. Sprys had a reference from the MHSAA.

“The thing that stood out was that she had someone who was the associate director down at the MHSAA as a reference. She was also surviving as novice athletic secretary,” Udell said. “So then I looked deeper. I saw that she had Randy Allen, associate director at MHSAA, was a reference and I thought not many secretaries would put somebody like that as a reference. I reached out to Randy and he said she was awesome. At that point I reached out to her for an interview. I ultimately reviewed 1 out of the 128 applicants. It was just too good to be true.”

Udell also expressed how passionate Sprys is about her job. According to him she always wants things to be done right. She doesn’t take any shortcuts. This is seen by many coaches around the school like basketball coach Ken George and football coach Tim Rogers.

Rogers spoke about how during the season Sprys does everything for him. It could be making sure the buses are on time for an away game or sewing a jersey before the game.  George agrees with Rogers but also says Sprys’ commitment to the program is  incredible.

You see her at most of the events all the time,” George said. “For kids, coaches, teachers, and members of the community see the athletic secretary there helps add to the program and the importance of the entire program.”

Sprys’ has two kids that are 27 and 25. When they were in high school they were involved in sports. She likes to go watch the sporting events at the school without having to be really stressed out because her kids are out playing. She said that she can enjoy the game while still being worried for the kids that are playing.

People ask me ‘Why are you here?’ and I say you know they are my kids,” Sprys said. “I come to watch basketball, I go and watch hockey. It’s a family.”

Sprys’ commitment to the community is just one characteristic that makes her a great athletic secretary. To Rogers, she offers so much  more than her passion and commitment to others.

Carol is more than our athletic secretary to me,” said Rogers. “She is a role model to my daughters, a friend to my wife and a valuable member of our football family to me.  I am not sure I have ever met a more caring person in my life.”