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Meet the 2020 Chiefs Interns

New Faces in the Chiefs Organization
April 29, 2020

This story was originally published on our Playing in Peoria blog. To visit this story on our blog, click here.

This story was originally published on our Playing in Peoria blog. To visit this story on our blog, click here.

Each year, the Peoria Chiefs hire a group of interns to help perform a variety of jobs, ranging from graphic design and video production, to promotions and community engagement. As Spring Training heats up in warmer locales, the Chiefs are preparing for the 2020 season and the majority of the interns have touched down in Peoria. Considering that I am back for my second year as an intern in the media department, I felt that I was semi-qualified to help introduce you to the newest members of the staff. Some of the questions I asked were career-related while others were of the off-the-wall variety. So, with further ado, here’s your first chance to meet the 2020 Chiefs Interns. If you see us at the ballpark this season, certainly stop by and exchange a pleasantry or two.

Evan Shawgo (Promotions Assistant):

Q: How did you find your way to the Chiefs?

A: This is my first internship in sports. I went to the U of I for undergrad and was actually a kinesiology major and I wanted to go to PT school up until my junior year. It was too late to switch (majors) so I graduated with kinesiology and went to grad school at U of I for sports management and I graduated in December.

Q: What do you hope to do with your sports management degree?

A: Hopefully I’m working in sports, baseball is one of my passions. I’d love to get to the professional level with a team, whether its basketball, football, soccer even. I’d love to just progress through the ranks of the league.

Q: Favorite sports moment?

A: The Illinois comeback over Arizona in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. I was in third grade, so I remember it pretty vividly. I remember watching it at my grandma’s house and I remember crying with five minutes left because we’re down 15-it’s over. Then Derron Williams hit a couple big shots and obviously we ended up winning.

My freshman year of soccer we went to the state championship. In high school if you get a yellow card, you have to come out of the game. I was on the bench and one of our star players got a yellow card. So my coach turns and looks at the bench and says, “Shawgo.” It’s really cold outside so I started shedding layers and I’m getting super nervous. As I’m about ready to go, the coach looks down the bench and sees another starter who’s out just to get a breather… I ended up having to put all my stuff back on- I didn’t even go in.

Q: What was it like being in the Orange Krush?

A: It was awesome. My family is full of Illinois fans. I always tried to keep it clean but some of my friends would really get after those guys (laughing). I’m sure I’ll look back later in life and really miss it.

Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: I’m pretty picky, so I don’t have a lot that I like. It would probably be pasta- I love this cajun chicken pasta from Chili’s. That’s probably the pasta of choice.

Q: As a Peoria native, what’s the best local joint around here?

A: I’d go Agatucci’s. It’s different, they do these really thin, long slices. And it’s not too far from where I grew up.

Q: What’s your go-to coffee order?

A: I don’t drink coffee. I don’t drink soda or alcohol either. I drink water and milk… and Sunny D.

Q: Three seconds left, your team is down two, who in the office do you want taking the final shot?

A: Not you. And not Rod. Probably not myself. I feel like Nolan’s a good athlete. You know what, I’ll say Eric. He has some size. He’d probably get his shot off. (Writer’s Note: Austin has a NERF hoop on his door in the promotions office. I don’t receive enough credit for my ability to knock down a mid-range jumper).

Roderick Williams (Promotions Assistant):

Q: How did you get started in sports?

A: I got started as an athlete. I’ve been playing football since I was seven. I went to a small school in Kansas called Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas and played football all four years. My senior year, my professor helped me get an internship with the Wichita Thunder (ECHL). I worked game-day promotions and thought I could do more with it. I graduated and that led to me to Troy, New York to work with the Tri-City Valley Cats (New York-Penn League). I did community relations and promotions with them and it allowed me to see baseball for the first time.

Q: What did your previous internships teach you?

A: They prepared me to think on my feet. You might have everything planned out in your mind but in reality it’s going to be the opposite. It helped me see things that I haven’t seen in my life.

Q: How would you compare baseball and hockey?

A: I feel baseball is more community-based. And it’s outside which allows me to interact with fans more. The season-ticket holders get to know you. I can actually have a face-to-face conversation with them.

Q: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

A: Humble, hard-working and goofy.

Q: If you had to describe Austin Shone (Manager of Promotions and Merchandise) in three words what would they be?

A: Intelligent, goofy (he’s way goofier than me) and down to earth.

Q: If any of the interns had to run a route and catch a pass, who would you choose and why?

A: I’d go with my boy Evan. He’s a big soccer guy, so he may try to catch it with his feet (laughing). But from what I’ve seen and from what I’ve heard he’s an athlete.

Q: What’s it like being a mascot?

A: It’s fun. You have to express yourself with your body language to make yourself more theatrical. When I’m taking pictures with people sometimes I have to remember that the head has to look down. And I’m smiling at the same time, even though I know they can’t see me. (Writer’s Note: Theatrical? I personally think Rod would be great as the lead actor in a play.)

Samantha McCloskey (Community and Fan Engagement Intern):

Q: When did you know that you wanted to get into sports?

A: I’ve loved watching and playing sports since I can remember. I always fantasized about making a career out of it, but didn’t entertain the idea until midway through college. I’ve been in the service industry for years and love creating a fun and exciting environment for others. That aspect combined with my upbringing on minor league baseball led me to Peoria.

Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

A: My entire family has been so supportive and I love all of them for it, but my dad has truly influenced me the most. He taught me the important life lessons: “do good for people and they will do good for you” and “aim for the fences”. Sports play a huge part in our relationship and he is the reason I fell in love with baseball.

Q: Who is your favorite non-baseball team?

A: Any Texas Tech team is my favorite team. Last year TTU ranked nationally in basketball, baseball, cheer, track and field, soccer and meat judging! I’m so proud to call Tech my alma mater. (Writer’s Note: How do I become a judge in a meat judging competition?)

Q: Favorite sports memory?

A: As a Philly girl, watching Roy Halladay get inducted into the Hall of Fame was surreal for me. I wore a huge smile on my face and my Phillies jersey on my back all of induction weekend. My dad showing me around the Hall of Fame Museum and being around other baseball lovers is about as good as it gets.

Q: Without ever being in Peoria, what do you know about the city?

A: I honestly don’t know much about Peoria but I’m excited to learn! I know the Chiefs are an integral part of the city’s culture and I am excited to become a part of it.

Q: Which social media platform is your favorite and why?

A: I love Twitter because of how fast it moves. It’s the first thing I check in the morning to get up to date on sports, news, and my social circles. It’s always good for a solid meme too.

Q: If you were stranded on an island, what three things do you bring?

A: I’m a “enjoy what ya got” kinda girl, so a surfboard, SPF 100 sunscreen, and a plate of fish tacos.

Q: Go-to karaoke song?

A: Texas Tech would take my diploma back if I didn’t say “Friends in Low Places,” by Garth Brooks.

Mandy Vieceli (Graphic Design):

Q: How did you get started in graphic design?

A: I’ve always been into art and design but I took a high school class that I really liked a lot and led me into graphic design.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to get into sports?

A: I always loved sports, especially growing up. And I obviously love art, so over the last couple years I’ve tried to really combine the two.

Q: What’s one thing that you’ve already learned from this internship?

A: Just seeing a completely different perspective. It’s way different from being a fan.

Q: Where do you hope to be in ten years?

A: It would be ideal to design for a Major League team. (Writer’s Note: Certainly seems ideal to me.

Which Chiefs uniform is the best and why?

A: Baby Blue Alternates. It’s a good color. It works with everything.

Q: Go-to karaoke song?

A: “Tequila” by The Champs.

Q: If you were a kitchen utensil, which would you be and why?

A: Spatula… I use them a lot. (Writer’s Note: Certainly a versatile kitchen tool).

Q: If you had to choose any of the interns to successfully catch a pop fly, who would it be and why?

A: Krista. I know she played softball before, so she’s been the most successful.

Krista Broom (Video Production Intern):

Q: What led you to this career path?

A: I just like telling stories about things that I’m passionate about. And something that I’m passionate about is sports. So, this really combines those two passions.

Q: Where do you hope to be in ten years?

A: In a perfect world, I’ll be working for the Cardinals!

Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

A: Definitely my mom. She was there when I was at my lowest and then at my highest. She always cheers me up if I’m down and she’s just always been there.

Q: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

A: Fun. Loyal. Happy.

Q: What is your favorite sports moment of all-time?

A: I went to the Angels-Cardinals game last year at Busch where Albert Pujols hit a home run. My dad took me to that game for my birthday and that was like the best moment ever. Everyone was on their feet in Busch, just cheering for Albert Pujols. It was a great moment.

Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

A: I would say Buffalo Wild Wings but pizza is probably a more realistic answer.

Q: Of all of the interns on staff, who would be most likely to run for political office and why?

A: Probably you. You have that personality… and you talk a lot. (Writer’s note: I do talk a lot.)

Q: Parks and Recreation or The Office? Why?

A: Parks and Rec. Ron Swanson. That’s why.