Hall of Fame inductee – Manny Bashakes

Inaugural class
Manny Bashakes is an inductee into the inaugural class of the Starr’s Mill Hall of Fame. Although Bashakes never attended Starr’s Mill, he played a significant role in helping to kick off school sports by volunteering in field maintenance. Bashakes has been maintaining the practice fields for nearly thirty years, and continues to maintain the fields and equipment at least once a week.
Manny Bashakes is an inductee into the inaugural class of the Starr’s Mill Hall of Fame. Although Bashakes never attended Starr’s Mill, he played a significant role in helping to kick off school sports by volunteering in field maintenance. Bashakes has been maintaining the practice fields for nearly thirty years, and continues to maintain the fields and equipment at least once a week.
Courtesy of Shane Ratliff

Manny Bashakes is an inductee in the inaugural class of the Starr’s Mill Hall of Fame. 

When Starr’s Mill High School first opened in 1997, practice fields had not been built yet, so the football team started off its first season playing in Fayette County High School’s football field. Without the vital help of parent volunteers like Manny Bashakes, outdoor sports at Starr’s Mill would have taken much longer to kick off on their own practice fields. 

Adeline Harper

Bashakes’ son Andrew played football when Starr’s Mill first started athletics. Bashakes started volunteering with field maintenance for the school shortly after this in 1999.

“It was an opportunity for me to use my time to help the school, because I had that time to use,” Bashakes said. “I helped with the system, and I enjoyed it.”

Since then, Bashakes has provided voluntary help for the school’s field maintenance non-stop. With his total of over 20 years of experience, Bashakes has faced many weather-influenced challenges. 

“One year we had four hurricanes that came through this area, so it was very wet,” Bashakes said. “Another time, we faced a four-year long drought, which posed different challenges.”

Although each year poses new challenges to overcome, with the help of Bashakes, other parent volunteers, and funding from the booster clubs, the challenges faced on the fields are not detrimental. 

It was an opportunity for me to use my time to help the school, because I had that time to use.”

— Hall of Fame inductee Manny Bashakes

No matter how hot or cold the weather is, Bashakes and his team always ensure that the fields and lawn equipment are maintained. During the winter time, he checks the equipment once a week. When the weather is hotter during the summertime, however, he checks back on the fields and equipment three to four times a week. 

“If I didn’t have a lot of support, I couldn’t do it,” Bashakes said. “I’m so happy that the booster clubs understand that every dollar is hard earned, and the support they provide the program helps to provide a safe environment for the kids to play in.”

Besides his love for field maintenance, Bashakes grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan, and attended Western Michigan University. From there he served the nation by joining the Navy reserves.  After returning from the Navy, he spent his career working for Delta as an airline pilot.

Even after retiring from his career in 2021, Bashakes continues to assist with field maintenance for the school.

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About the Contributor
Adaleigh Weber, Editor
Senior 2nd year with The Prowler News & Features Editor   I am excited to be a part of the editorial staff this year and to help make The Prowler as great as it can be. I am a member of the color guard in the Starr’s Mill Panther Pride marching band, and I enjoy creative writing and art in my free time. I am always willing to take on new opportunities in life.

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    Michelle L LukitchSep 18, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    Well-deserved Manny!! You are a terrific role model for all those kids, parents and volunteers at Stars Mill! They have been lucky to have you for all these years.

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