Beyond the Badge

Flag football offers balance for Officer Vogt

Officer Preston Vogt, a range safety officer at California State Prison-Corcoran (COR), finds balance between work and life through flag football.

As of October, Vogt has been with CDCR for four years. He started his career at Salinas Valley State Prison, and transferred to COR where he has been ever since.

Vogt is a range safety officer and recently received his Training-for-Trainers certification. He is a central valley local. His flag football team, the Small Town Ballers, is based out of Tulare.

Meet Correctional Officer Preston Vogt

What are your best memories/greatest accomplishments from your football career?

I have been playing football since I was in elementary school. I have done a lot and seen a lot on the field. My flag football team is currently ranked 23rd in the world for our division which is a big deal to me. We play international teams from China, Italy, and Mexico. Some of the teams we play have former NFL players on their roster. I am the tallest player on our team at 6-feet 2-inches.

We are never the fastest team on the field or the biggest, but we are generally the smartest. It doesn’t matter the size of the other opponent or how athletic they are. At the end of the day, we are still able to get a win with the IQ we have. I am extremely proud of my team and the way we work together. We have earned the ranking we currently hold.

What outlet does flag football provide for you?

Working at an institution, some days can be good, and some days can be bad. When I am on the field, all that gets lifted off my shoulders. I don’t have to worry about work, I don’t have to worry about anything other than my team versus the team across from us.

All my focus goes to doing what I love: I get to go to the field. When I am on the field, I know the next play is generally predictable.

Everyone has an outlet. For some people, it is video games and for others it’s riding horses or shooting guns. I think everyone should have an outlet or hobby so their minds can be free and not worry about the stressors of work all the time. It is nice to have a release.

What aspects of flag football do you bring to being a correctional officer?

I bring a lot of communication skills from the football field to work. Sports are such a big team bonding aspect. Growing up, it helped me vibe and find communication skills with people. I still use these to this day.

If a new correctional officer starts, I don’t know what to say to them. I usually open with, “Do you watch football?” and go from there. It is something immediate to have in common with someone.

From coast to coast, sports are something that everyone can watch, including the incarcerated population. If we are together for a long amount of time, it’s a good conversation to pass the time. If a member of the population is agitated, I use that to break the tension. It brings people together, no matter what their background may be.

Fun Facts:

In his free time, Vogt coaches youth flag football teams. The under-8 and under-12 flag football teams he has coached both went to playoffs. He also plays basketball with his friends. Vogt is a die-hard Los Angeles Chargers fan. At the end of the day, he likes to watch SportsCenter or ESPN to catch up on any football highlights he may have missed.

Story by Quinn Sheppard, AGPA

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