A group of York College students are in New Orleans for the Super Bowl.

But they're there to work, not watch the Baltimore Ravens battle the San Francisco 49ers.

Ten York College sport management students left York Tuesday heading to New Orleans, where they are volunteering at several football-based programs.

"I'm learning about organizing," said Ryan Highlands, 26, a York College senior from New Oxford. "There's a lot of work involved."

The students are volunteering at NFL Experience, a temporary football theme park that gives the public opportunity to do football drills and practice other skills done by NFL players.

They also will volunteer with NFL on Location and will serve as ushers and security at DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl. Then they will have a secret assignment with NFL on Location on Super Bowl Sunday.

After the game, they will help direct fans to the field to participate in NFL on Location activities.

Brendan McCaffery, a 20-year-old junior, said he'll be more focused on his duties than the game, though this is his first time at the Super Bowl, as it is for Highlands.

"I will be taking full advantage of the whole experience," said McCaffery, of Pennville, N.J. "I'm learning from the customer service, the structure, the security, the organization of the events, how everything has to be executed to a T."


Wills Stevenson, a 20-year-old junior from Collingdale, Delaware County, describes the Super Bowl environment as incredible.

"This will definitely go on top of my resume, will definitely boost it," he said. "I've never been to a Super Bowl. I will try to see a few plays, but just being in the building (is) fine with me."

The college group will return to York Tuesday.

The York College trip was coordinated by Dexter Davis, a visiting sport management instructor from Niagara University in New York. He started a year-long teaching assignment at York College in August.

Davis said this is his sixth time taking college students to the Super Bowl, but the first time with York College students.

The goals: Students were selected through an application process that started in October. He said 22 students initially applied for the Super Bowl trip.

"This trip is about students building a network and meeting people, making connections," he said. "The NFL is a pretty strong brand, and if you can put that on your resume that says a lot."

By volunteering at the Super Bowl, students are getting a unique experience to add to their classroom training, said Rich Achtzehn, a York College sports management professor.

"This is my first time at the Super Bowl, too" he said. "You won't get this type of experience anywhere else. It's the pinnacle of experiences for us to work at something like this."

--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.