For over the past 10 years, Hooft has been a regular at Raider sporting events as she and her husband, Robert, have watched and supported their four children (Anneka, Ray, Jessica, and Sierra) through their years of Reed athletics.
Never missing a game, home or away, Hooft can always be spotted either taking pictures or keeping score.
Hooft first began scorekeeping when she was a P.E. teacher in Winnemucca. As the head coach of the Lowry girl’s J.V. team and assistant for the varsity for five years, Hooft kept score during the boy’s games. Once her children began growing up though, she decided to retire and become a stay-at-home mom. But that didn’t stop her from staying involved.
“My husband and I have both always coached or managed their baseball team, their softball team, and when they got to high school we just sort of moved in to that role of helping out,” Hooft said. “I started keeping score at the softball games and I’ve always kept score for basketball.”
The task of keeping score isn’t a task at all though for Hooft. Describing a scorekeeper’s worst nightmare as not having a pencil or eraser, it is easy to see that she has a genuine passion and enjoyment for it.
“I just like keeping score,” Hooft said. “It keeps me in the game. I get real nervous when my kids are playing, so it gives me something to do. That’s why when I’m not keeping score, I take pictures or do something else because I just can’t sit there and watch because it’s too nerve-wracking. I really do like it though.”
With four children playing sports year-round, there has been plenty of stress and anxiety to experience for Hooft. Keeping herself busy during the game so she can escape the nerves isn’t the main reason that she is so dedicated to volunteering her time though.
“I think it’s important to your kids,” Hooft said. “I think that inside, your child is excited and proud of what they’re doing. They’ll kind of look up and look at you, check to see if you’re there, and I think they are excited to have you there. It means a lot to them. Just for them to know that I’m behind them, I support them. I think it gives them confidence. So we’ve always been there for that reason.”
With the enthusiasm that Hooft radiates while talking about sports, it is clear that she is a strong advocate of sports.
“I’ve always said that no matter what my child wants to play, we’ll be behind them, because sports to me are a life lesson right there. And there’s something for everybody,” she said. “I think there’s a sport every kid can play. It is so important in giving you lessons on how to deal with people, how to deal individually with people, how to deal with people you don’t like, but you still have to put up with. So no matter what they wanted to play, we’ll take you to the practice or we’ll take you to the game, whatever you need to do.
“My kids have learned so much from sports. Following through on things. Having a job to do and getting it done. They’ve learned not to make excuses. That’s the thing with sports. If you didn’t do your job, you didn’t do your job, and there’s a consequence. And if they’re not playing, and sitting there wanting to play, it teaches them to accept their limitations. And if they don’t want to accept that, then they learn to push themselves to be better. It’s complemented their growing up and overall being a complete person.”
Whether it’s as a coach, president of the PTA, or scorekeeper, Hooft is keen about being involved, and not just in athletics.
“I just think being engaged is important,” Hooft said. “If I wasn’t keeping score, I’d be doing something else. I’d probably be doing the snack bar the whole game. I just think you can’t be an observer. You have to get involved with what’s going on. And nothing’s going to change unless you help get in there and do things, not just with your kids’ school or sports, but the community in general. It seems like there’s always somebody or some organization that relies on volunteer people. Somebody has to step up and do things, so here I am.”
As for her experience with Reed, Hooft couldn’t be more pleased.
“I can’t imagine my kids going to another school,” Hooft said. “I know there are other really good schools, but Reed has been so good to us, to our kids. It’s given them the education that they needed. It has stimulated them and pushed them, backed them up and supported them.
“I just think that the administrators have been wonderful, the teachers that they’ve all had have been really good. It hasn’t seemed like they’ve gone down in hill in any area since we’ve been around. They’re really wonderful, they really are, and I’m not just saying that, I really think so. I’m very satisfied and pleased with all that they’ve done for us.”
Despite the fact that her youngest daughter, Sierra, is set to graduate in June, Hooft said that she will probably still attend Reed games. And she is more than willing to help if the girls still need it.
“If they want me to, I would,” Hooft said. “I would do it. It wouldn’t matter. I don’t mind doing it at all. And I know we’re going to be there because we know half those kids anyway. So I’ll probably continue.”