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Writing for the love of the game

UMD alumnus Jake Przytarski
Jake Przytarski keeping up on his work for (photo courtesy of Jake Przytarski)  

From student newspaper to big league blogs, one UMD alumnus has followed his passion for sportswriting.

For many students, picking a major and finding their true calling can be difficult. But as Jake Przytarski found, UMD guided and pushed him toward his true calling.

“I planned on a business degree,” Jake said. But when an opportunity to cover UMD athletics for UMD’s student newspaper The Statesman came up, Jake took the leap. “It was a great first step,” Jake said. “I always liked sports, and I always liked writing.”

At The Statesman, Jake covered UMD sports, and learned valuable lessons along the way. As Jake described, the deadlines he had for The Statesman and the numerous interviews he had to do helped him “break out of his shell.” Then, Jake switched his major to journalism.

All his hard work paid off when, after Jake graduated in December, he won a coveted internship at the sports blog

Jake emailed the Editor-in-Chief Melissa Mahler after graduating. “When I emailed her, I told her how much of a fan I was of the Vikings.” That, along with his experience covering sports for The Statesman, got him in the door.

Now Jake covers the weekly happenings for both the Vikings and the Chicago Bears. “I’m really enjoying my time there,” Jake said. “I get to write about things I truly care about.”

Beyond, the opportunity has also opened more doors for Jake. This summer, Jake will be shadowing Mike Wobschall, a well known Minnesota sports writer and coordinator of the Vikings Entertainment Network. Another coveted opportunity, gotten by a single email with a history of experience backing it up.

For Jake, these opportunities were earned. “They want to see you have something driving you,” Jake said.

From business major to working with the pros of sports writing, Jake has come a long way. A fact that he is more than grateful for.

“It’s a dream come true,” Jake said. “It’s truly a blessing.”

About the Journalism Major

About the UMD Statesman

UMD alumnus Jake Przytarski
Jake interviewing former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings (photo by Brian Bellmont)

By Cole White, July 2016.

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