Baker students use sports skill for jobs

Story by Kyle Davis

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Several Baker athletes are trading in their player uniforms for referee’s stripes to work part time officiating games.

For a college student, it’s a good deal.

Most of the work is done on the weekends and for pretty good pay.

Senior Matt Quandt, who played for the Baker basketball team for two years, has been officiating for six years.

Quandt started officiating soccer when he was younger, but now he focuses on officiating high school varsity basketball.

“I’ve been part of the game at every level now,” Quandt said. “I’ve played and then I’ve helped coach and now officiating. I’ve been on every side of the ball. So it gives you appreciation for what everyone does on the court.”

Quandt said when he first started officiating, he had a problem with being too quick with his calls.

“I’d anticipate the play like I was a player, and I’d anticipate a foul or anticipate a travel, and it’s just letting the game come and calling it,” he said.

Quandt is state certified to officiate in both Kansas and Missouri.

Like Quandt, sophomore Carly Dickens switched roles in a sport she plays. 

Dickens began refereeing soccer last spring at Heritage Soccer Park in Johnson County, but she’s been playing soccer since she was in kindergarten.

“It’s a really easy job, I think, just getting out there and being outside,” she said. “You pretty much know the rules, so it’s not a hard thing to do.”

Dickens took a class to become a referee, which was just for college students who played soccer.

So instead of taking a 16-hour course divided into two weekends, she took a six-hour course that went over the main points of officiating, because the class was expected to know the rest already.

Several Baker athletes also referee for Brice Soeken, sports coordinator at the Baldwin City Recreation Commission.

Soeken said at least two or three Baker students officiate during basketball season and three or four help out during soccer season.

“They’ve been some of my better officials that I’ve had so far,” Soeken said. “I think it helps our kids too because (Baker) students are very willing to help out every time one of the players does something wrong.”

Officials often are targets for blame from a coach, player or fan, but Dickens said she hasn’t had many bad experiences in that area.

“Coaches are actually really good about complimenting us and telling us good job,” Dickens said. “It’s kind of nice. It’s rewarding.”