When did you start working on this year’s event?We started in mid-September. Baumholder has hosted this event all five years it’s been played, but it’s not locked in concrete that the games will be played here. (DODDS-Europe) keeps coming back, however, because we’re centrally located, have good facilities and the community has supported the event every year.
This was your second time as event director. Is there any trepidation at the outset about tackling such a big job again?The trepidation comes in when you think about doing all this work again — finding volunteers and organizing everything. With volunteers, you can’t just say “Do this.” You have to ask what they’re willing to do.
How much time did you devote to this year’s event?I don’t know how much time I put in specifically because some of the tasks melded into my duties as athletic director. I also try to involve my JROTC cadets into the process. I wear two to three hats doing this job.
What’s the biggest challenge in staging the Super Eight?Coordinating the work of all the various agencies and volunteers to make the event appear to go off without a hitch. We couldn’t do it without the community — the garrison commander, his executive officer and the sergeant major all were very supportive. Gene Winfree, the community civilian misconduct officer, handles all the community details. Danny Robinson, our principal, also gives a lot of his time. All I do is pull strings. Others do all the work.
What’s the hardest part of the job?The most time-consuming thing is coordinating the needs of the eight football teams. We don’t even know who they are until a week before the event, so all the planning has to be redone when the teams are decided — each has its own needs for buses, accommodations and security.
Arriving at the field, spectators have to be struck by all the awnings, concession tents and team locker room tents on the field. When do you start the actual setting up of the site?The physical setting up begins about Wednesday before the game. The electricians got electricity to all the booths and even furnished tube lights for all the tents. Then you’ve got to arrange for lining the field. This year, the officials arrived on game day and insisted we use sideline markers in addition to the lines on the field, so we had to round them up and get them in place.
What’s game day like?This year, with the addition of a fourth game, we arrived at 7 a.m. to set up the gates. The MPs arrived at 8 a.m. to do a security search of the field. At 11 p.m., we still had people there. The last thing to deal with is the trash. That many people generate a lot of trash. I went back to the field on Monday and still found some trash to pick up. We don’t want to give the field back to the community in a messy state.
With hours like that, do you ever regret committing to this event?You know, every so often, we sometimes say, “Never again.” But the most rewarding thing is that we can say, “Guys, we did a pretty good job.” As long as DODDS wants to keep coming back here, we’ll be glad to do it.
David SchwabAge: 56
Title: Title: Event director of DODDS-Europe Super Eight tournament
Day job: Senior Army Instructor, Baumholder High School Junior ROTC and Baumholder High School athletic director
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