SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Courtside at a basketball game is the best seat in the house – just ask Sister Frances Meyer of Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco.

At a spry 4-foot-2, Sister Frances is a Hall of Famer for her contribution to the Sacred Heart athletic office.

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“I really wanted to be a nurse at one time,” she said. “But they told me I was too short.”

The 81-year-old Meyer has spent a lifetime of service to the church, and to Irish athletics for three decades.

“When I was an elementary school principal, when we had basketball games there was nobody to run the clock,” she said. “(So) I started doing that.”

Sister Frances retired from teaching math, choosing instead to work in the office, and then the scorer’s table in the evening.

At her age she still puts in 14-hour work days. Combined with volleyball and football, Meyer estimates she’s worked over more than 1,000 Irish games.

That’s a lot of winning and losing. “In the olden days it used to get me,” she said. “But, that’s the way the sport goes.”

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Sister Frances brings a decorum to the table that sometimes is lost on visiting schools. “I think what might be shocking to them is to see a sister at the table,” she said.

Salty language? Frowned upon.

“If they do it behind me, I will turn around and say something to them,” she said. “Some will give me a look, like, ‘Who do you think you are?’”

But that doesn’t mean the sister isn’t above some pointed words herself – or at least a stern look.

“I’ve also had some words with referees who have reprimanded me for some things … because of my facial reaction.” Shrugging, she acknowledged, “I get into the games sometimes.”

On this day, the freshman team got beat in overtime by Valley Christian on a bit of a Hail Mary finish.

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We’ll get ‘em next year? “Oh, I hope so.”

Dennis O'Donnell