Sweeney manages to make an impact

From basketball team manager to leader of the golf team, senior ‘an extremely team-oriented guy’

Senior+Emmett+Sweeney+holds+up+both+Mac+scorebooks+in+an+effort+to+correct+the+score+in+a+basketball+game+at+LBJ.+%E2%80%9CBefore+the+game%2C+we+decided+that+we+were+gonna+have+two+separate+people+on+our+team+keep+track+of+the+score%2C%E2%80%9D+Sweeney+said.+%E2%80%9CMidway+through+the+game+we+noticed+that+we+were+missing+a+point%2C+so+we+stopped+the+game+and+told+the+referees.+We+argued+with+them+for+a+while%2C+but+they+ended+up+not+giving+us+the+point.%E2%80%9D+Photo+by+David+Winter.+
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Sweeney manages to make an impact

Senior Emmett Sweeney holds up both Mac scorebooks in an effort to correct the score in a basketball game at LBJ. “Before the game, we decided that we were gonna have two separate people on our team keep track of the score,” Sweeney said. “Midway through the game we noticed that we were missing a point, so we stopped the game and told the referees. We argued with them for a while, but they ended up not giving us the point.” Photo by David Winter.

Senior Emmett Sweeney holds up both Mac scorebooks in an effort to correct the score in a basketball game at LBJ. “Before the game, we decided that we were gonna have two separate people on our team keep track of the score,” Sweeney said. “Midway through the game we noticed that we were missing a point, so we stopped the game and told the referees. We argued with them for a while, but they ended up not giving us the point.” Photo by David Winter.

Dave Winter

Senior Emmett Sweeney holds up both Mac scorebooks in an effort to correct the score in a basketball game at LBJ. “Before the game, we decided that we were gonna have two separate people on our team keep track of the score,” Sweeney said. “Midway through the game we noticed that we were missing a point, so we stopped the game and told the referees. We argued with them for a while, but they ended up not giving us the point.” Photo by David Winter.

Dave Winter

Dave Winter

Senior Emmett Sweeney holds up both Mac scorebooks in an effort to correct the score in a basketball game at LBJ. “Before the game, we decided that we were gonna have two separate people on our team keep track of the score,” Sweeney said. “Midway through the game we noticed that we were missing a point, so we stopped the game and told the referees. We argued with them for a while, but they ended up not giving us the point.” Photo by David Winter.

Janssen Transier, staff reporter

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While he’s a great player, he’s really great about helping the other kids. Even the coaches and parents from other teams come up to me and tell me about how great he is to play with.”

— Golf coach Nancy Nitardy

“It all sort of just happened.”

That’s how Emmett Sweeney describes how his deep involvement in McCallum sports started.

“It wasn’t my mission to be really involved at McCallum, but a lot of my friends were in sports or involved at McCallum somehow, so it ended up that way,” he said.

Sweeney’s involvement in sports isn’t limited to just being a spectator; he played on the McCallum basketball team as a freshman, then returned as the team’s manager the following year. Rather than be frustrated with his new position, he said he decided to lean into it.
“For me, if I’m there, I may as well do a good job,” Sweeney said.

On the morning of April 2, Emmett Sweeney (center) and Mac Golf finished in second place at the District 25-5A tournament and moved on to regionals which took place earlier this week in McAllen. Pictured are Diego Gonzales, Coach Nitardy, Paul Raper, Ethan Vandament, Emmett Sweeney, Zach Masterson, Henry Sandlin and AISD Athletic Director Leal J. Anderson. Photo courtesy of Emmett Sweeney.

After a successful season as manager his sophomore year and another season of actually playing on the team as a junior, Sweeney decided to return as the manager for his final year at McCallum. He said the decision came down to where he felt he could make the most impact.

“Honestly, it was between being on the team and playing a minute a game, or be the manager and actually be involved in the team,” he said.

One person who has firsthand experience with Sweeney’s time on the basketball team is senior Norman Boyd.

It was between being on the team and playing a minute a game, or be the manager and actually be involved in the team.”

— Emmett Sweeney on becoming the boys basketball team manager

“As a player he always brought a lot of energy and excitement,” Boyd said. “I remember one time we were playing Bastrop, and everyone fouled out, so Emmett and the other people on the bench had to close the game, and we ended up winning.”

According to Boyd, Emmett’s strengths aren’t just as a player.

“As a manager he has a lot of stuff to keep track of, he does the book during games, helps set up the court and everything and also does a really good job of being at every single game and supporting us,” Boyd said.

Basketball isn’t Sweeney’s only sport here at McCallum; as a freshman, he joined the McCallum golf team.

“My grandfather was a very skilled golfer, so that definitely inspired me to play. My grandfather began golfing at a young age, and continued improving when he joined the Air Force,” Sweeney said. “While he was in the military he won a lot of tournaments, and by the time he retired from the Air Force at age 50, it was too late in life to pursue a professional career, but he still won lots of amateur tournaments.”

Sweeney’s grandfather definitely passed on some of his skills to him, but according to Sweeney, the most important thing he taught him was a love for the game.

“He taught me to just have fun with the game, and that when you’re having fun, you play better. Watching him play until the age of 95 really showed me that this was a sport I could get at and play my whole life,” Sweeney said. “After he passed away, I really wanted to play like he was still watching.”

One person familiar with his golf skills is coach Nancy Nitardy. She has nothing but praise for both his playing ability and his team presence.

“From the first time I met Sweeney, he was a really fun, positive kid,” Nitardy said. “He had and has a great energy about him. What I really admire about Emmett is that, while he’s a great player, he’s really great about helping the other kids. Even the coaches and parents from other teams come up to me and tell me about how great he is to play with. He’s an extremely team-oriented guy, and I’m gonna miss him.”

Watching [my grandfather] play until the age of 95 really showed me that this was a sport I could get at and play my whole life. After he passed away, I really wanted to play like he was still watching.”

— Emmett Sweeney

According to Boyd, Sweeney has always had such an affable personality.

“I’ve known Emmett since third or fourth grade, and even then he was super outgoing and energetic,” Boyd said. “I honestly haven’t seen that change all that much since elementary school; he’s still a lot of fun to be around.”

Sweeney recommends participating in different activities in high school.

“I think it’s important to get involved in the high school experience, because it makes it a lot more fun, and, not that I want it to end, but it makes it go by faster,” he said. “You also meet so many new people, and it’s a great way to make friends. There’s just so many things that I went and tried, and I met a lot of different people because of that.”

He then added another key piece of insight for future Knights.

“If I could give a freshman coming into McCallum one piece of advice, I would tell them to just be themselves,” he said, “because in high school, you’re gonna lose some friends, and you’re gonna gain some friends, but there’s no point in being someone you’re not.”

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