August 19, 2011
Local student makes a Jet connection
Cortland High grad Pristash in internship with NFL team
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — A local student has established his own Cortland connection with the New York Jets.
Cortland High graduate Brian Pristash, the son of Kevin and Teresa Pristash of Parti Drive in Cortlandville, is an events intern with the National Football League club. While the start of classes Monday at Iona College will end his training camp stint, he will also be working for the Jets during home games and other events this fall.
Pristash, a sophomore at the new Rochelle-based college majoring in Business with a minor in Sports and Entertainment, is an events intern with the Jets. He contacted the team via its website for an application before the lockout scuttled plans to hold training camp in Cortland, got one and applied. Once the labor dispute was settled, he found out via an email on July 27 that he had been accepted and would start work with the opening of training camp, five days later.
“I have a number of different assignments,” Pristash said. “I work the JetsFest for kids, with the blowups; I work security on the field and with the VIP and handicapped (ADA) section, and might hold players’ helmets while they sign autographs. We usually get started at 10 or 10:30 in the morning and go until 6:30 or 7 at night; it’s usually an eight-hour day, but it can go a little more. Basically, whatever they want.
“Once the season starts, I’ll work home games and some outside corporate things. There are a lot of different options; I’m guessing I’ll be working JetsFest and might also be down near the field somewhere.”
Pristash’s first game will be Sunday, when the Jets face the Bengals in their first home exhibition contest.
All of this is heady stuff for a young man who was a fan of the team to begin with.
“It’s a dream come true,” Pristash said with a smile. “I’m very happy here; the idea of being able to work for the Jets has been my dream. I’m 19, young and happy to be where I am right now. The opportunity to work for an organization like the Jets is great.
“I don’t feel like I’m a fan anymore; I feel like I’m part of the organization. I’m not out there playing, of course, but it’s a great feeling. Everyone is working hard, and it’s a positive atmosphere. It’s a great environment to be part of if you’re passionate about the game of football.”
Pristash already has a notable standout memory of his time with the Jets.
“I was working the ADA section one day in training camp and was able to get the people in it closer to the players,” he said. “After the practice was over, the players signed merchandise for them, and it was nice to see how excited they were. A girl in a wheelchair asked me to sign her football, and I didn’t want to wreck its value. But both she and her father told me that what I’d done was great, so I signed. It gave me a warm feeling that I was a able to make someone’s dream come true.”
Much, it would seem, like the Jets have done for Pristash.
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