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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2015) – A California Baptist University senior recently won the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Writing Contest in the college student division.

Jake Zalesky, a public relations major and sports information intern, won with a soccer article he wrote for cbulancers.com. Sammi Sheppard, director of sports information, entered him in the contest without his knowledge, so he was even more surprised he won.  

"I was shocked. I never thought that something I'd write would win anything, let alone something that's soccer-related," he said. Zalesky also is a member of the soccer team.

"That was really exciting, the fact that I wrote an article for my team, and it won an award," he said. "That was great. That was a huge blessing."

It also made it a challenge writing the stories.

"As a writer, you have to get rid of all biases," he said. "You have to stand neutral with things that you're writing about. It was tough at first, but now it's a lot easier for me."

For Zalesky, the biggest reward is seeing his articles online or in print and having the opportunity to write.

"Just seeing it actually there with my name on it is really rewarding," he said. "It's giving me a lot of experience. Just being able to write for the school is a huge reward for me."

Sheppard wanted to give him practical experience after he expressed an interest in sports information.

"I'm very happy for Jake," Sheppard said. "It's always encouraging to get some positive feedback, especially when you're still learning. He's been a great help this year and has the makings of a great sports information director if he wants to be."

To read Zalesky's winning story, click here.