Natisha King (far above) and Julia Beck (above) are two of the reasons for Belton High School Athletics’ running smoothly during the school year. (Courtesy Photos)
The Belton Tigers athletic department is a well-oiled machine that continues to grow year by year.
On the surface, you see the players performing on the field and coaches coaching them up.
Behind the scenes, there is so much involved that two people tackle the tasks on a daily basis.
Meet Natisha King, Belton Athletic Business Officer Manager, and Julia Beck, Belton Athletic Secretary. They are the backbone of Belton Athletics.
Both King and Beck have their plates full on a daily basis.
“Julia and Natisha ensure that the athletic department runs smoothly on a daily basis,” Belton Volleyball Head Coach Krystal Brodbeck said. “Their exceptional customer service skills are always evident.”
For King, a 1998 Belton High School graduate has been with BISD for five years and Belton Athletics for four years. Holding an associate’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix, King’s time of year where it is the most challenging is during football season.
It truly starts in the spring when dealing with the renewal of football season tickets. Converting from one ticket system to another this past spring, King had to oversee the conversion and monitor the information exchange, while learning the new system. It is a responsibility and challenge many will next never experience or understand.
From season tickets to the ticket trade days to single-game ticket sales, King’s days during football season are always hopping.
Not only does King fill the role as coordinator for ticket sales, she is also the coordinator for Belton Tigers’ game-day operations.
The responsibility stretches far beyond the box office for King. She is the staffing coordinator. From the arrangement of the game officials on and off of the fields and courts to the security personnel, King’s plate is a full one on game nights.
“The main goal is safety; safety for our players, coaches, officials and the fans,” King said.
King took over for Denise Petter a few years back. Petter, a key figure in the Belton Athletic Department for many years, was a role model for King in the early days of the position.
“She’s a mentor, and at the same time such a wonderful woman,” King said. “I was very honored to have her show me the ropes and to teach me a great deal of the knowledge that she has. Varsity football nights are gigantic. From placing workers to the smallest things, like having the right number of wristbands for sideline passes. From the last-minute runs to the gates to deal with people who brought the wrong tickets to people who can’t print out their tickets, and to little kiddos who are lost in the stands, it’s everything.”
“Natisha is perfect for her position because she has a very helpful personality and a business-like attitude,” Belton Girl’s Head Basketball Coach Brenda Gomez said. “She will take the time to show me how to do things and then ask later if things worked out. I admire the time she puts in to make things run so smooth because of her organizational skills.”
“Natisha is extremely detail-oriented and has a desire for all events to be presented in the most organized and professional manner possible,” Brodbeck said. “Natisha always provides detailed guidelines to follow and keeps a sharp eye out for expenses related to game day operations.”
Beck, a 1999 Belton High School graduate with a human resources background, arranges the travel for the coaches and the teams, as well as acts as the liaison for communication between the athletic directors in District 12-6A.
“My main responsibility is assisting (Belton Athletic Director/Head Football) Coach Skidmore manage the athletic budget,” Beck said. “That covers buying equipment, feeding players when they are at their events, banquets, and anything that involves dealing with money through the athletic fundraisers. I also help out with anything that the coaches need.”
“Julia is so easy to talk to and help with so many different types of information,” Gomez said. “I can ask her a question and if she doesn’t have the answer then she will find out in a timely manner and let me know. If I mess up with a form Julia will let me know how to adjust next time but fix it at the moment.”
“Julia keeps the multiple sports on task and is an invaluable liaison for maintaining appropriate guidelines,” Brodbeck said. “Julia is never too busy to assist with needs, and always makes everyone feel as if they are at the top of her list.”
Another responsibility that Beck has is being a key communicator with the University Interscholastic League, as Belton serves as the chair for District 12-6A. She is the chair secretary.
“All of our district AD’s are great to work with,” Beck said. “It’s not too difficult.”
The two positions always carry a big deal of responsibility and attention to detail. They also carry situations were emergency or high-level priority attention is paid outside of their normal positional responsibilities.
“I take a deep breath,” King said. “A nice, big breath and then take care of the small things that you can right away. I do a lot of running on Friday nights. There are always last-minute things to do and somebody can forget. You just have to stop and take a breath, and then go out and make things happen.”
“You just have to take things on a case-by-case basis,” Beck added. “We work with a great coaching staff here in Belton, and they are so willing to help us, our kids, our athletes, our parents, and our community. Reaching out to them is a big resource in what we are able to do.”
“Julia and Natisha are the lifeline of what goes on in the athletic department,” Belton Head Softball Coach Matt Blackburn said. “From processing all business-related aspects in athletics and their game day duties, they are who keep all of us coaches in line. The athletic department could not function without them! I know I lean on them regularly and they always go above and beyond to help.”
Beck and King both agreed that teamwork in the department is what helps their mission.
“Everyone is eager to help us out,” King said. “Communication, on the fly, it’s pretty smooth if you consider the massive personalities that you have and how much everybody is spread out to do what they need to take care of. Nobody will, in a pinch, just shrug their shoulders and just walk away. That is something that I have found, in the different jobs that I have had, I feel very blessed with working here with these people. It’s a really good place to be.”
“Our coaching staff has been tremendous to work with,” Beck added. “They are amazingly helpful.”
“Running an athletic office for over 1,000 high school athletes takes special people. Julia and Natisha are special,” former Belton Athletic Director and current Vice Superintendent of Student Services Mike Morgan said. “Each handle the customer service needs for athletic staff, athletes, parents, college scouts, salesman, game workers, officials and everyone else it takes to run a first-class athletic department. I can’t say enough good things about the job they do and how they do it.
A business background is helpful in positions of this nature, dealing with money, budgets and resource management. However, the intangibles of being personable, multi-tasking, and prioritizing are huge assets.
“The biggest asset is being a people-person,” King said. “Being able to listen. I’ve dealt with many upset people for whatever the case may be. What it boils down to is that they are not coming at me because they are upset with me; they want to be heard. Giving a few moments for them to vent and having a solution that goes with what they’re saying and not trying to appease them or get them out of your face. And a couple courses in psychology never hurts!”
“I really think multi-tasking and prioritizing are two key assets,” Beck said. “Natisha’s right in where being personable and a people-person is a big part of things. If you can work with people, they can work with you. It makes life a little bit easier.”
“Both of these ladies deal with so many different types of personalities and no one has ever complained about how these two women are always there to help,” Gomez said. “They always have time, never to busy, and will always acknowledge you no matter what they are doing at the moment. They have difficult jobs and they are amazing at what they do.”
When you attend a Tigers’ or Lady Tigers’ game, just remember that King and Beck are two people behind the scenes of what you see on a Belton game-night.