LITCHFIELD, Minn. – When Derek Koll comes back to school for football camp, it could very well be the most relaxed portion of his summer.
The UW-Stout senior defensive back has been keeping himself busy with a summer internship, working at a community home as an umpire for a number of leagues, coaching at sports camps and playing both baseball and slow pitch softball.
Koll, an applied science major with a physical therapy concentration, works mornings at the Meeker Memorial Hospital as a physical therapy intern. He also spends part of his time as a direct support provider (DSP) at Meeker County Community Homes.
During the later parts of the day, he umpires in Cal Ripken leagues, Babe Ruth leagues, and American Legion leagues all in his hometown of Litchfield, Minn. Koll has coached at a couple of youth basketball and football camps throughout the summer.
If that is not enough, Koll is in his second year as a member of the Litchfield Blues baseball team where he is the catcher. He also plays slow-pitch softball and is helping to coordinate a tournament schedule for one of the teams he plays with, including weekend tournament games.
“Managing this schedule has never been easy,” Koll said. “But fortunately, the people I work with and work for are flexible and allow me to occasionally leave early or make-up hours to accommodate for lost time.”
Koll, who intends to pursue a career as a physical therapist, needs 160 hours of work experience to fulfill the requirements of his major.
“I fortunately was able to get the internship in the rehabilitation department in my hometown, which has been a great experience,” Koll said. “I have been learning and obtaining knowledge from a number of qualified therapists who I know personally or I have worked with throughout my athletic career.”
As a DSP at the Meeker County Community Homes, Koll is working one-on-one with a young adult from the group home.
“Usually, we engage in physical activity such as walking, bike riding and various other outdoor games,” Koll said.
Turning to the baseball diamond, Koll umpires two to three games a week in any of the local leagues. Koll has been umpiring since he was 14-year-old, turning to umpiring after he completed a level of ball.
“Right out of Cal Ripken league (10-12 year old), I started umping Cal Ripken,” Koll said. “Then following Babe Ruth league (13-15 year old), I starting umping Babe Ruth. The last two summers, I have been bumped up to VFW, which is my favorite league to umpire.”
“I enjoy giving back to the athletic departments in Litchfield because I have spent so much time around athletics,” Koll said. “One of the ways I can continue to give back is by coaching and refereeing.”
Koll is certified to umpire in Wisconsin and has umpired a handful of junior varsity games in the Menomonie area.
“These jobs provide two important components to my lifestyle,” Koll said. “I need the internship and community homes jobs to prepare me for the health field in the future. The coaching and refereeing keeps me close to athletics, which is my ultimate love and passion.
“Having a strong mix of both of these components keeps me on my toes and makes what can sometimes be a stressful summer an enjoyable experience.”