Not Your Average Summer
While other college students spent their summer on the beach, Washington College rowing coxswain Jeff Nutting spent his summer restoring a 1969 Chevy C-10 pick-up truck.
"When I bought it, I had to have it towed because it wouldn't start," Nutting, a sophomore, recalls. "There was a small hole in the bottom of the door, rotted out boards in the wooden bed, scratches and cuts in the body, one or two dents, missing wires under the hood and countless other problems."
Nutting embraced the challenge, getting the truck to start, cleaning up the body (and fixing that hole in the door), painting it, putting four new tires on, replacing the radio and speakers, running all new wiring, and replacing part of the engine, nearly all of the brake work, and several other parts under the hood.
"All in all, I took a scrapyard-bound truck and completely flipped it to run like a dream."
Nutting was just one of several Washington College student-athletes who found alternatives to sunbathing during the summer months. His teammate and fellow sophomore, Robert Storck, had the opportunity to coach and train with a member of the U.S. National Adaptive Rowing Team.
"Andrew had been blind since birth but had picked up rowing as a form of exercise," notes Storck. "I trained with Andrew every morning in preparation for his try-out for the national team. I also had the privilege to take Andrew out in a single. This is tricky, because in a single you need to look behind you to see where you are going. I acted as his eyes, helping him to steer down the course. Andrew was selected for the National Team and raced in a coxed four."
Men's soccer captain Danny Wood did a six-week internship at an inner-city school, working as a teacher's aid in a kindergarten classrom. Twenty of the 26 students in the class were "English as a Second Language" (ESL) students.
"It was a huge eye opener to see how little these kids have along with the amount of guidance these children need," says Wood, a senior. "This experience has changed my career choice from nursing to becoming an elementary school teacher in the city."
James Bedrock, another men's soccer senior, landed an internship with Valliant & Associates, an independent investment firm under Raymond James Financial Services, in Chestertown and was able to fully experience the town outside of the bubble of campus.
"This is truly a beautiful town with plenty of things to do every day," stated Bedrock. "I am truly going to miss this town when I graduate and will relish any opportunity to come back and spend some time here."
Junior Steve Cameron of the baseball team was another WC student-athlete with an internship, this one at Booz Allen Hamilton. Cameron also played for Western Howard County in the Maryland Collegiate Baseball League. Proving it's never too early to start taking internships, freshman baseball player Michael Bullock worked a short internship with a law firm in Towson, MD. Bullock hopes to go on to law school and become a lawyer.
A number of Washington College student-athletes spent the summer teaching and coaching the sports they love. Four women's basketball players - junior captain Meghan Tait and freshmen Kelly Mitchell, Michaila Hatty, and Katie Bay - taught the game to girls of varying ages and all came away from the experience with new outlooks.
"Being able to teach the game I love is such a rewarding task and the fact that the girls had such great attitudes made the whole week that much more enjoyable," notes Tait, who volunteered at a camp for girls 10-14 and also played in a summer league. "Teaching these girls reminded me to slow down and enjoy the game."
"Not many people in my neighborhood make anything out of basketball because of the lack of leagues so helping in this one makes me feel like I'm helping little girls experience what I did," notes Hatty, who coached in a youth league in her hometown of Philadelphia. Hatty also helped raise money for a friend, playing in the Joseph Burkhardt Healing Fund 3-on-3 Tournament.
"While I was coaching I learned how to have patience with the girls," remarks Bay, who coached seventh and eighth graders. "I also learned how negative attitude affects the whole team. One girl on the team who was really talented had the worst attitude. I pulled her aside one practice and talked to her about it and it felt good when I saw her changing her ways and picking her teammates up and even trying to help them out."
Field hockey players, Emily Trees, a junior, and Erin Lewns, a sophomore, each organized field hockey clincs. Trees spent four weeks coaching a clinic for sixth- and seventh-grade girls. "The girls loved the idea of having practice with a collegiate player and learning so many new things about the sport," remarks Trees. "The clinic was beneficial to me as well. I needed to be patient and repetitive with every drill and activity."
Lewns organized her clinic for junior varsity players at her high-school alma mater, North Harford in Pylesville, MD. "My ability to incorporate our college skills, drills and game play was beneficial to the girls and helped them to build a new perspective of the game," Lewns states.
Junior men's swim captain Johnny Helenek coached served as am assistant coach for the Lake Marion Lasers youth club in the Montgomery County Swim League in Maryland. He also spent the summer training with the Lasers' masters swimming program. Senior women's swim captain Rachel Glasser, meanwhile, lived in State College, PA, for the summer, training with the Penn State team and working as a coach and counselor for the Penn State swim camps.
While taking two American Sign Language classes, junior baseball player Shane Mattingly found time to work for the Baseball Factory at various youth instructional camps, including holding clincs and camps at the Little League World Series.
Freshman Jon Mahaffey prepared for his college baseball career this summer by playing on the Mt. Airy American Legion team that advanced to the National Championships last year in North Dakota. Freshmen soccer players Trevor and Tyler Francis and Josh Goheen teamed up to win a regional three-on-three soccer tournament.
The men's basketball team was well-represented in Europe this summer as juniors Kevin Breslin, Chris Olsen, and Adam Naymick took a course in England that involved hiking around the countryside. Junior Sal Schittino, meanwhile, traveled to Scotland to learn more about that country and about himself.
Finally, there is the heart-warming story of how freshman baseball player A.J. Schmalfuhs became the best friend of man's best friend. Schmalfuhs was working at his job taking care of dogs at a kennel when he noticed a dog was acting strange. Schmalfuhs had the dog checked out by his supervisor, who determined the dog was starting to experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the animal's stomach twists 90-360 degrees and, if not caught in an hour of when it happens, will cause death.
"The dog was sent to the animal hospital and when he got there he had surgery to correct his stomach," remembers Schmalfuhs, who also spent a week in Munich, Germany, during the summer. "My supervisor told me that if I had waited half an hour more before taking him outside he most likely would have been dead. I saved his life."