Shorewood grad interns for Corvallis Knights baseball team

Thursday, June 6, 2013

JK Dykes interns for Corvallis Knights this summer

By Brooks Hatch
Corvallis Knights Media Relations Director

JK Dykes won’t be a professional athlete.

But that doesn’t mean the former Corvallis Knights (2010-11) infielder from Washington State can’t have a long and successful career in professional athletics.

In fact, the 22-year-old from the Seattle suburb of Shoreline, Wash., hopes the Sport Management degree he received from WSU on May 4 will be the first step on the route to a front-office position for a major- or minor-league baseball team.

“I’ve always liked sports, baseball in particular from the get-go, and working on the front-office side was always my backup plan if playing didn’t work out,” said Dykes, who this summer will work as the Knights’ Washington State Sport Management intern. 
“Washington State has a great Sport Management program. Originally I was a communications major with a Sport Management minor, but when I started taking my Sport Management classes I liked them so much I flipped-flopped and made Sports Management my major and communications my minor.”

Step 2 in that career progression is this summer’s internship with the Knights, which began on May 6. He’ll work closely with Knights president Dan Segel on all aspects of the team’s operation, from sales to marketing to operations to serving as the official statistician at all 32 home games.

He’ll also assist in the marketing and operation of the Knights-run Reser’s Oregon All-Star Series, set for June 15-16 at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.

“I eventually want to work my way up in the operations side of a pro baseball organization and handle the baseball ops side as a general manager or in player development, rather than the business side,” he said.

Segel said JK’s internship will help him learn and develop his business skills in a real-world environment by working with all aspects of the organization. His projects will require critical thinking, creativity, enthusiasm and commitment.

“In short, this summer JK will cover all the bases with the business and operational side of the Knights much like he covered the middle infield as a player with the Knights and the Cougars,” Segel said. “JK is a high-energy guy who will do his best every day to help make our franchise better and to enhance the experience of our customers and fans.”

Dykes said he plans to be involved on as many levels as possible and “get my hands into a little bit of everything.”

“My goal is to better understand how to run a minor-league type organization,” he said. “But more importantly, I will know what I want to do after this summer. I’ll have a better idea of where to go next, since I’m covering so much in this internship.”

JK as a Coug
JK was a two-time Wesco League all-star and the team captain as a senior at Shorewood High in Shoreline before heading off to Pullman, where he was a 2010 teammate with Knights’ pitching coach Connor Lambert. JK lettered in 2010 as a true freshman, then played for the Knights that summer. He redshirted in 2011 and then played the first month of the summer with the Knights before returning home in early July to attend to family matters.

He never played again. He considered transferring before the 2012 season, when it became apparent his playing time would be minimal, but decided against it. JK said retiring wasn’t easy – “I started playing when I was four or five and making the pros was a goal for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be ARod (Alex Rodriguez), when he was a Mariner” – but he liked WSU too much to consider transferring and starting over someplace new.

 “I re-prioritized my life,” he said. “I decided to concentrate on academics, and make sure I graduated on time.”

Mission accomplished. JK earned a 3.48 GPA his final semester and graduated in four years with a 3.0 grade-point average.

JK lived with Andy and Michelle Noonan in North Albany both years he played for the Knights, and he’ll stay at their home again this summer.

The relationship he built with the Noonans, and with others on the team and in the community, were the highlight of his two-year playing stint.

“I became really close with the staff, and loved everything about the team and the community,” he said. “Winning and having success on the field was just a bonus. 
“A lot of my teammates at Washington State dreaded summer ball. But I realized Corvallis was a great place and everyone I know who has played for the Knights has had great things to say about them.”


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