Kurt Flathers received quite the surprise earlier this month.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association will recognize the long-time Clinton High athletic trainer with the Sports Medicine Award, which he will receive during halftime of the Class 3A football championship game on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
Flathers got a letter from the IHSAA office in Boone, and he thought it was for body fat testing since those tests are usually done this time of the year. Well, this time, the letter brought better news.
“I open it up, and it was from (IHSAA Executive Director) Alan Beste saying that I had won, and I had to fill out the form, and it caught me off guard,” Flathers said.
Flathers is honored that he’s being recognized later next month in Cedar Falls, but he’d just like to think of it as “doing his job.”
“It’s nice to have my peers recognize me for all I do,” Flathers said. “I’m just telling people that I’m doing my job, that’s all I’m doing. It tells me that I’m doing a good job; I’m taking care of the kids.”
Flathers has been on sidelines, benches and near finish lines for 29-plus years at Clinton High. He’s now experiencing his second generation of student-athletes.
“It’s starting to get surreal that I’m starting to get kids of kids,” Flathers said. “It’s real funny because I know a lot of kids from my first year here because they’re teachers in the district, and it’s like, ‘Have I really been here that long?’ ”
“For me, it’s going to be thrilling because I have never been to the UNI-Dome for the playoffs,” Flathers said. “I’ve never been able to do that … I’ve been there before, but never for the playoffs, and the closest we got was in 2009.”