Jan 29, 2015
ATCs in the News: No Ordinary Summer

By R.J. Anderson

From world travelers to proud mentors and recent honorees, this installment of Athletic Trainers in the News has a little bit of everything. Check out what your colleagues are up to this summer with these headlines we found from across the country.
In what has become an every-four-year occurrence, Dave Andrews, Athletic Trainer at Gig Harbor (Wash.) High School, will again join the United States men’s soccer team in a few weeks as it competes in the World Cup in South Africa.

It is Andrews’ third consecutive World Cup. He will lead a four-person athletic training team.

“It’s what you work for your whole career,” Andrews told the Peninsula Gateway. “It’s a pretty special feeling. Not very many (athletic trainers) have done three in a row.”

In 2008, T&C interviewed Andrews about his World Cup experience.

Rob Frost, Athletic Trainer for the Portland Pirates, minor league hockey affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, will also be giving his passport a workout this summer as he spends two weeks in August traveling through Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda with Athletes In Action, a Christian sports ministry group consisting of high school and college basketball coaches. It will be Frost’s second trip to Africa with Athletes In Action.

“I’ll be teaching sort of the ABC’s of athletic training, things they can apply,” Frost, who recently completed his third season with the Pirates, told Portland Press Herald. “Maybe I’ll teach them how to tape an ankle and show them how to treat injuries in game situations. As an athletic trainer, I have this vehicle that can get me involved with Athletes In Action to take me all these places.”

Casey Paulk, Head Athletic Trainer at Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School, recently became a very proud mentor. This spring, four of his student athletic trainers received Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association (OATA) scholarships to hone their craft at the next level.

Jim Bui, Jasmine Weir, Jade Zoller and Allye Evans spent a combined 10 years in Paulk’s BAHS student athletic trainer program. Bui and Evans will attend Southwestern State University, while Weir and Zoller are have signed on at Northeastern A&M University.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Paulk, 27, told the Broken Arrow Ledger. “Their scholarships are rewards for the their dedication and hard work.”

Contra Costa College Athletic Trainer Brian Powelso and Los Medanos College Athletic Trainer Annie Martin were honored as “Athletic Trainers of the Year” by the Commission on Athletics/ California Community College Athletic Trainers’ Association (CCCATA). The pair was recognized for their efforts in saving the life of Contra Costa football player Wali Wright last September.

Wright, a defensive back, had a head-on collision with a Los Medanos running back, leaving him unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing. Martin and Powelson worked quickly to remove Wright’s facemask and open his airway. They then stabilized his cervical spine and administered rescue breathing while waiting for the ambulance.

“Knowing the potential seriousness of the injury, we put our education into play and got (Wright) stabilized, which was most important,” Martin told Contra Costa Accent-Advocate. “Our field of work leaves no room for panic. We do our jobs very professionally.

“It feels great to be recognized for our work. It’s been very surreal,” Martin said. “We were just doing our job. Fortunately we did it well.”

This fall will be Cooper City High School Athletic Trainer Bob Fleischer’s last on Cowboy sidelines. After 40 years, Fleischer will leave behind a legacy unmatched by many in the profession.

“Bob always puts kids first,” Hollis Coleman, who spent 33 years at the school as a football coach and athletic director, told the Sun Sentinel. “And Bob is always in charge. Parents and administrators did not have to worry because he would know exactly what was going on, and he could make that judgment call. If he said a player needed to go to the hospital, that would happen. If he told everybody that they had to get off the field because there was a lightning threat, everybody would.”

A melancholy farewell goes out to former BYU Athletic Trainer Gaye Merrill, who passed away in May following a valiant fight with breast cancer. During her nearly 30 years at BYU, Merrill was a leader in the classroom and touched the lives of hundreds of student-athletes.

In addition to serving as an athletic trainer, Merrill was the undergraduate athletic training curriculum director from 1995-2000. In the 2002, she worked for the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, serving on the Organizing Committee as the athletes’ medical care coordinator. In 2005, Merrill was named the BYU Director of Sports Medicine.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague Gaye Merrill,” BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe said in a press release. “We will miss her and the wonderful contributions she made to our department, our teams and especially the lives of our student-athletes.”

R.J. Anderson is the Online Editor at
Training & Conditioning. He can be reached at: [email protected].

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