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Student-athletes compete in the work force
Free from the burden of classes, summer is the time for student-athletes to earn extra money
Published 5/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
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This summer, WSU student-athletes are taking part in a different type of team: the work force.

Reasons vary as to why some student–athletes seek employment for the summer. However, there is one common trend: many say they will use skills developed from their competitive backgrounds and apply them to their new positions.

"I work because it’s an escape from my normal routine and I get to interact with a ton of people outside the athletic department," said Stephanie Logan, a member of the women’s volleyball team, who also works as an information desk attendant in the Compton Union Building (CUB).

Apart from the desire to do something different, Logan said she finds herself emphasizing the relationships she has with her co-workers and boss, which she compares to the value of teamwork that volleyball taught her.

Meg Autrey, CUB Coordinator of Facilities and Operations, said she sees important qualities portrayed in Logan.

"(Student-athletes) have great values and know what it means to work with a team," Autrey said.

While Logan found new team members in her co-workers, two pairs of student-athletes are employed alongside their actual teammates.

Football teammates Tana Pritchard and John Fullington found that working together in a different setting adds memories to their friendships.

Pritchard, a linebacker, and Fullington, an offensive lineman, are working landscaping jobs in Pullman and Moscow.

Even though they may not need the money for school loans, Pritchard said they enjoy doing something constructive with their time, as well as earning a little extra cash on the side.

"It helps that I’m in shape. I carry a lot of trees," he said.

While the job entails much hard work, the two are still able to poke fun at each other on occasion.

"John is a lot stronger than me, it wouldn’t be much of a competition," Pritchard said.

Pritchard also said he carries traits over to his new job that he acquired from football, including accountability and responsibility.

Teri Owens, a manager of Cougar Country Drive-In, said she also sees those two traits in her employees Shantae Young and Kayla Warren, both women’s track and field athletes.

"They both are really reliable about picking up shifts if they miss for a track meet," Owens said. "They are very independent, easy to train, take direction really well and are definitely hard working."

While many traits brought over by the two athletes are useful in the work force, the one the women are most known for is the comical approach they take to their work, Warren said.

"Working late you can get quirky and weird," Warren said.

Young said it makes work not seem like work.

The track and field team has a limited number of scholarships to share between nearly 50 women on their roster, which Young said provides more of an incentive to work during the summer.

"It’s both a need, and it’s nice to have extra cash. Who doesn’t like to go shopping?" Young said.

Both Young and Warren, like true competitors, said they use the same tenacity when presented with a challenge at work as they would in track and field.

"If you’re not putting the work in, you won’t get the results you want," Warren said.

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