As a psychology major at Waynesburg University, Cheyenne Wasko spends a lot of time thinking - thinking and analyzing what others might be going through.
Right now, however, Wasko is doing more thinking than ever. Her final season as a Yellow Jacket was cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, the starting infielder for the Yellow Jackets’ softball team maintains a positive outlook How? Her major helps, but her sport further supports it.
“It helps you grow as an individual in terms of figuring out how to schedule things and how to do things on time,” Wasko said. “It makes you more well-rounded, dealing with the challenges that come along with being a student-athlete.”
“We only had 13 players on the roster, [and] it was a reflection of her attitude that the team was positive,” second-year coach Brett Shimek said. “It was such a close-knit group, and it was because of Cheyenne. She’s a very caring individual and wants to help people.”
The returned favor of support from coaches, family and professors have helped Wasko work through these times.
[Through] relationships and friendships I’ve created through the team, I’ve met some of the best people I know through Waynesburg and the softball community."
Being involved with psychological work, she said the Coronavirus outbreak can be troubling, but people should use it to look at life from a new perspective.
“This is a good time to self-reflect and sit back, think about who you are and what’re you’re doing,” Wasko said. “It slowed the world down for a lot of people. We’re used to being busy and on the go, so it’s a good time to just focus on what comes next, what we can do after this and trying to find that positive outcome of what’s going on right now.”
On the field, Wasko started 23 of 26 games in 2019, and on the 2020 Myrtle Beach trip in March, found stability in the field.
“I feel she settled into her true position at first base,” Shimek said. “Fundamentally, she improved tremendously on picking the ball and making strides defensively. Her biggest contribution to the team, she’s a middle of the order bat - driving in runs and coming up clutch in big situations.”
Wasko reflects on her time at Waynesburg as a positive experience, and one she’ll always have with her.
“[Through] relationships and friendships I’ve created through the team,” she said, “I’ve met some of the best people I know through Waynesburg and the softball community.”
In the fall, she’ll commute to California University of Pennsylvania for graduate school to study school psychology. Then, she’ll head to the education field as a school psychologist.
Coaching softball, preferably at the high school level, isn’t out of the question either.
“It’s something I’d be interested in,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to since I was young. I’ve helped out with some teams already in my hometown. I’d want to work with high school level kids when I go into my career, so I’d want to stick around that level [to coach].”
Her positivity on and off the field will continue to push Wasko forward and serve her well in the future.
“She missed maybe a couple practices because of class, but typically [she is] the type of leader you want,” Shimek said. “First one to practice and [kept] herself prepared and in shape. I feel she really bought into our condition program. She prepared herself for a big senior year.”
A senior year that didn’t get played is only one a positive attitude can fight through.
This article originally appeared in Waynesburg University's student newspaper, "The Yellow Jacket."