Austin Price was on the Devola Soccer Complex practice pitch Monday, working out and helping his dad Jeff Price, who coaches the Marietta High girls' soccer team.
This fall, the younger Price will be back at the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. There, he'll resume working and finishing his masters degree.
At Pitt, he will be focusing on international development, with a minor in human security and a regional concentration in Francophone Africa.
Price actually has become kind of a world traveler since graduating from MHS (2004) and Transylvania (Ky.) University (2008). After college, where he majored in French and anthropology, with a minor in business administration, he spent the summer completing an internship through the Sister Cities Commission, working at a non-government agency in France dealing with immigrant issues.
"Unless you have to talk about plumbing or something obscure like that, I'm pretty much fluent (in French)," said Price, laughing.
For the past four months, Price had an internship in Cameroon in West Africa. He just arrived back in the states last week.
Not too surprisingly, Price, while abroad, has had an opportunity to play and observe others playing soccer, or "futbol," as it's called outside of the United States.
"It's always served me to play futbol," Price said, "because no matter where I go, I have people I can play with. They call it futbol in France and West Africa, and I've kind of got used to it now."
"It's really a great way to get integrated into society," he continued. "It's even helped me form some of my work relationships that I needed, too. So, it's always beneficial."
France won the FIFA World Cup in 1998 for the first time, blanking Brazil, 3-0.
Cameroon has qualified for the FIFA World Cup five times - in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002 - more than any other African nation.
"They (Cameroon) have historically performed really well in the World Cup," Price said. "They always have a strong side."
Price is from a soccer family. He and his two younger sisters -Whitney and Casey -were all Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) Players of the Year. Whitney and Casey currently are attending and playing soccer at Transylvania.
When Price played at Transylvania, he started "on and off," he said.
"I had a lot of injuries," he recalled. "I had shoulder surgery, split my quad, and got hit by a truck."
Hit by a truck?
"It was ups and downs in soccer at Transylvania," said Price, laughing.
Reflecting on his prep career, a Marietta Tigers-Parkersburg Big Reds match comes to mind.
"We were down, and I got a late goal to tie the game," Price said. "It was fun, because I had a bunch of friends on the Big Reds team. It was always a good rivalry."
Sounds like Price has a lot of friends - all over the world.
"Futbol's been a great way for me to meet people and network," he said. "Everywhere I go I have friends to stay with."
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441, or at firstname.lastname@example.org