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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Behind the Painted White Lines

Photo by Keifer Russell

Stavros Sardella was raised by the game of soccer. As a child, Sardella recalls coming down the stairs each morning for breakfast to the Premier League on the television.

“My dad always kept on the TV,” Sardella says. “My dad introduced me to the sport, and all my siblings played, so there was no other choice but to play too.”

As Sardella grew up, soccer remained as a constant in his life.

“I played soccer in both club and high school, and I was originally going to play in collegiate soccer too,” Sardella says. “But if I did (play collegiate), it would be close to home and at a small school.”

But, the Rhode Island native decided that he would rather attend a larger school in the city.

“I started looking at Marquette and I loved it, so I had to make a sacrifice,” Sardella says.

Sardella says that looking back, he couldn’t have made a better decision for himself. Through Marquette, Sardella has been able to experience a game from a whole different lens.

“Being a manager is a whole different beast,” Marquette men’s soccer head coach Louis Bennett says. “He has the accountability for everything, for our players to have what they need when we go on the road, make sure we got the right balls, make everything so it goes smoothly, he prepares us.”

Sardella has been on the manager squad since spring 2021 when the “COVID season” was on full blast.

“I wasn’t allowed to go to any games or any practices. All I did was laundry in the locker room,” Sardella says. “I only knew the guys by their jersey number and their last name, so it was pretty frustrating.”

Now Sardella has worked his up to the role of head manager.

“Now I think ‘Thank God I don’t do that anymore,’” Sardella says. “If you give them (the team) respect, they’ll give you respect back. It doesn’t come right away, you just have to build a connection.”

One strong connection that Sardella has built in the past years is with senior forward Lukas Sunesson.

“He (Sardella) is a great guy,” Sunesson says. “We (the team) also hang with him outside of soccer, outside of the locker room. He’s one of us now, you know?”

Behind the white lines, Sardella supports the players in any way he can, after the pregame meal of course.

“I usually get all the jerseys organized and hang them all up, make sure everything is good,” Sardella says. “Then I go back to the locker room and make sure that the guys have everything they need, from socks to extra gear to wear in the game, I make sure it’s ready.”

Sardella also assists in the social media aspect of the team, which involves creating player content.

“I always ask the team a question of the day when they enter the locker room. It’s good banter to have and then during game time, I’m recording content for social media,” Sardella says.

With all the behind-the-scenes work Sardella fulfills to make sure practice, games and road trips go off without a hitch, he makes sure his priorities are in order.

“It’s definitely hard, but I have my priorities set,” Sardalla says. “School first, then managing, then homework, my bartending job (at Mecca Sports Bar & Grill) and extracurriculars.”

When Sardella isn’t on the green of Valley Fields, or playing in his own contest for Marquette men’s club soccer, chances are he is behind a DJ booth.

“He’s an up-and-coming talent in the DJ world,” Sunesson says.

Sardella, also known as “Staux,” has begun booking DJ gigs around Milwaukee and Marquette’s campus.

“The coaches have started calling me by my DJ name, which is very funny,” Sardella says. “It’s been a lot of fun and all the guys have heard me DJ.”

Whether prepping for a gig or a game, Sardella has a positive attitude.

“He brings good energy, he’s always there when you need him, always cheering us on,” Sunesson says.

Sardella takes a lot of pride in his role as not only a manager but a friend.

“A strong friendship has developed from mutual respect. We’ve all built a good friendship from going on road trips, going out to dinner together and all those small things that make big memories.”

This article was written by Ava Mares. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @avamaresMU. 

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About the Contributor
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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