North Texas Daily

Student juggles school, work and paintball

Student juggles school, work and paintball

Student juggles school, work and paintball
October 29
14:50 2013

Mollie Jamison / Staff Writer

When she isn’t waiting tables overnight at IHOP or working the zip lines at DFW Adventure Park, UNT entrepreneurship sophomore Dralia Tulley-Patton spends her free time dodging and shooting paintballs.

This season, Tulley-Patton became the first female on UNT’s club paintball team.

“The average person would probably look at you like you’re a crazy person when you tell them that you love paintball,” Tulley-Patton said. “They’re like ‘Why do you love it? You’re getting hurt, you’re spending money and you’re getting dirty.’ I’ve had girls look at me and say ‘Are you dumb?’”

Tulley-Patton said she has not been able to participate in the past two paintball tournaments this semester because of the cost.

“Paintball is an expensive sport,” Tulley-Patton said.  “I have two jobs now so I’ll have enough money to play events and play in practices more. I’ll be out there a lot more.”

She said each tournament costs anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on travel costs.  Each player is also responsible for buying at least one case of paint, which she said is about $70 to $80 per case. A lower grade of paint can be used during practice and costs about $50.

“It’s expensive for practices alone, because you’re paying your entry and for paint, then you’re also taking off work to come out here and play,” Tulley-Patton said.

Tulley-Patton started playing paintball after she got the job at DFW Adventure Park in March.

“You can’t get this feeling anywhere else,” Tulley-Patton said. “No matter what you do, you can’t get that feeling of a triumphant victory when you shoot a person out that’s across the field or when you shoot them straight in the face and scream across the field, ‘get a tooth brush.’ The cost of it doesn’t matter at some point.”

Tulley-Patton said she doesn’t see many women come out to play paintball and is only one of two women that work at DFW Adventure Park who play.

“Whenever I wasn’t sure of myself with paintball, I would get a lot of crap for it,” Tulley-Patton said. “They would give me crap for not being good or just being a girl out there on the field holding a gun.”

She said she spends most of her time working the zip lines, but also does concessions, referees and is a certified paintball gun technician.

“She’s crazy,” said DFW Adventure Park Building Manager Brandy Briggs. “When she first started working here she reminded me a lot of me. She wanted to do everything. It’s ridiculous, I don’t know how she does it.  She does everything but laser tag and she’s wants to learn that now, too.”

Tulley-Patton said she is also starring in a play this semester through the UNT communications department.

“I have classes from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., then I’m in rehearsal from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., and then I’m at work from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.  I sleep probably at about 5 a.m. till about 9 or 10,” Tulley-Patton said.  “And then I do homework and go to class. On the weekends I don’t work at IHOP, so I just do all my work when I can fit it in.  It’s just time management.”

The UNT paintball team was founded in February 2005. The club team currently has more than 20 students and has three lines, or teams.

Advertising senior Justin Willingham, director of the South Central Collegiate Conference, said the first line is composed of older and more experienced members.

“Second and third lines are members we have recruited from UNT that we are working with to improve and become better players,” Willingham said.

Willingham said the team gets $2,000 a year from the university and that most of that money usually goes toward the trip to nationals in Florida.

For now, Tulley-Patton is on the third line.

“Once somebody is sure of themselves when they’re playing, you get no crap,” Tulley-Patton said. “You take no crap – you give it at that point.”

Entrepreneurial sophomore Dralia Tulley-Patton walks off the field after a quick match with DFW Adventure Park patrons on Saturday. Feature photo by David Halloran / Contributing Photographer 

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