#AT4ALLSudden Cardiac Death

Quick-thinking Maryland Athletic Trainer helps save a man’s life


Article reposted from Washington Post
Author: Scott Allen

It’s been an eventful few months for Anthony Benyarko since he became the Maryland men’s lacrosse team’s trainer in February. After the Terps captured their first national championship since 1975 on Memorial Day, Benyarko proposed to his girlfriend on the Gillette Stadium field. The intense emotions that Benyarko felt on that joyous day were rivaled by what he experienced on a lacrosse field in Lake Placid, N.Y., last Wednesday, when he helped save a man’s life.

Benyarko was in the trainer’s tent at the Lake Placid Summit Classic, a lacrosse tournament for men and women of all ages, when he received word that a player on the Ohio Wesleyan alumni team was experiencing chest pains. Before Benyarko and Penn trainer Anthony Erz, who also was working the tournament, started their 100-yard sprint toward Field 3, Benyarko thought to grab an automated external defibrillator.

“Something told me I should probably take the AED with me, just in case, because the group was 50-year-olds and up,” he said this week.

Benyarko and Erz arrived to find 54-year-old John Sussingham sitting up on the ground. While Erz called 911, Benyarko began talking to Sussingham, who said he felt tightness in his chest. About a minute later, Sussingham reported experiencing more intense chest pain and numbness in his left hand before losing consciousness. Benyarko did chest compressions and delivered a shock using the AED, which advised doing CPR.

“Halfway into my second cycle, his chest started to rise and he started breathing,” Benyarko said. “His eyes opened up again. We were pretty excited because your adrenaline is rushing, his wife was there, his son was there, all his teammates were there. That was a good moment, but we honestly celebrated too early.”

Sussingham’s chest pain returned and his arms went numb. State troopers told Benyarko and Erz that paramedics were on their way from Saranac Lake, which was 20 minutes away. Lake Placid volunteer EMT Mellissa “Missy” Furnia arrived on the scene and took over compressions after Sussingham had another heart attack and started to seizure. Benyarko worked to keep Sussingham’s airway open.

“You take the CPR course at the Red Cross and it’s nothing like the real thing,” Benyarko said. “People are screaming and yelling all around you. It’s really hard to focus. He started turning blue and I was getting a little bit worried and then the AED kicked back in. The AED advised a shock again. He had no pulse, so we started CPR, did CPR again, then it advised another shock. The third time we shocked him he started breathing again and his eyes opened.”

When the paramedics arrived, Benyarko said they gave Sussingham an IV and administered epinephrine. Sussingham started talking and was transported to a hospital, where the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported he had a stent placed in his artery.

“I’m feeling great,” Sussingham told the Daily Enterprise the following day. A teammate texted Benyarko a photo of Sussingham giving the thumbs-up sign from his hospital bed.

“It was a relief,” said Benyarko, who never experienced a similar emergency during his 10 years as an athletic trainer at the University of Albany before coming to Maryland. “People asked me how long it took. I couldn’t tell you. I lost all track of time really. You were just concentrated on one thing, and it was great having other people there to help.”

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Maryland Coach John Tillman arrived at the tournament a couple of days later and asked Benyarko why he hadn’t told him about his lifesaving incident.

“I was just like, I don’t know, it’s not something you brag about in a group of people,” said Benyarko, whose wedding is set for September 2018. “It just happened and you try to move on from it, you know? It kind of got bigger than I thought it would. … This summer has definitely been a roller coaster. I’m blessed.”

#AT4ALLSecondary School

Athletic trainers are first line of defense in heat-related illness for athletes


Article reposted from the hub

As Dallas ISD football programs welcome their student-athletes back onto the field, the district’s coaches and athletic training staff are working together to ensure student-athlete safety is a priority during the often  soaring summer temperatures.

Heat illness is the leading cause of preventable illness in high school athletics. And high-intensity outdoor sports during the summer months poses the greatest risk for these heat-related issues.

The Dallas ISD Athletics department has placed licensed athletic trainers (LAT) at each of the district’s comprehensive high schools to monitor the health and safety of the district’s estimated 10,000 student-athletes. A $3 million proposal approved by the district’s Board of Trustees in 2013 funded the athletic trainers.

The LATs have the ability to add water breaks at practices, call off practices due to extreme conditions, or recommend lighter practice gear during a workout session. In addition, the University Interscholastic League and the National Federation of State High School Associations have disallowed practices to take place between noon and 6 p.m. during the first two weeks of the high school football training season.

In addition, LATs and coaches are educated on signs and symptoms of heat-related illness such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

#AT4ALLSecondary School

New Jersey ranks among safest in nation for high school athletes


Article reposted from

The New Jersey Scholastic Athletic Association is among the best in the country in the area of managing injury risk to high school student-athletes, according to the Korey Stringer Institute’s national ranking of statewide athletic associations.

The NJSIAA, which has long been a leader in implementing and adopting safety protocols, ranked fourth out of 51 statewide athletic associations, according to the institute’s Health and Safety Policy Ranking for High School Athletics, which was released during a press conference at the NFL’s headquarters in New York City last week.

North Carolina, whose state university runs the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, was found to have had the most comprehensive health and safety polices in place for secondary school athletics. Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Jersey followed.

NJSIAA officials, who have yet to issue a press release regarding their national ranking, may be reluctant to do so after National Federation of State High School Associations Executive Director Bob Gardner rebuked the institute’s report in defense of NFHS members who scored poorly.

Gardner alleged the institute’s assessment provided “an incomplete measurement of the efforts employed by states to assist their member schools with heat, heart and head issues” and claimed the rankings are “based on a limited number of criteria.”

A analysis of the NJSIAA’s policies as graded by the institute appear to corroborate the national ranking of the NJSIAA, which has long been regarded as a model for other statewide athletic associations.

Established at the University of Connecticut following the death from exertional heat stroke in August 2011 of former Minnesota Vikings football star Korey Stringer, the institute’s mission is to provide research, education, advocacy and consultation to maximize performance, optimize safety and prevent sudden death for athletes and others.

Gardner said NFHS members have “been promoting risk-minimization precautions in their schools’ athletic programs for many more years than the seven-year existence of the (institute)” and questioned why the institute “has proclaimed itself as judge and jury of heat-illness prevention and other safety issues.”

According to the institute, 735 secondary student-athletes died and another 626 suffered catastrophic injuries nationwide from 1982 to 2015 as a result of direct (athlete-to-athlete or athlete-to-object) and indirect (exertional heat stroke, sudden cardiac arrest, asthma) causes. The leading causes of death were sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries and exertional heat stroke.

The institute used a rubric to asses each statewide athletic association in five equally weighted areas including sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries, exertional heat stroke, appropriate medical coverage and emergency preparedness.

Current evidence-based best practices from the Interassociation Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics published in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2013 were used to create the rubric.

The NJSIAA received a perfect score on the sudden cardiac arrest section and a perfect score on the heat acclimatization portion of the external heat stroke section.

With 90 percent of its member schools having a certified athletics trainer on site, the NJSIAA scored well in the appropriate medical coverage section.

In the area of emergency preparedness, the NJSIAA received a high score for member schools’ emergency action plans and for the CPR/AED and first aid training coaches receive.

Despite the state legislature intervening in the area of concussion, the NJSIAA received just six of 20 points in the traumatic head injuries section, losing 10 points because coaches do not require certification in Heads Up Football training, a player safety program USA Football developed five years ago.

The NJSIAA would have fared better in the exertional heat stroke section had it predicted its policy regarding heat-related illness on the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) monitor, which experts believe is a better gauge than the heat index in determining potentially hazardous environmental conditions for exercise.

State Sen. Patrick J. Diegnan said earlier this month that he will introduce legislation mandating that all school districts purchase and utilize a WBGT monitor.

Diegnan has been a longtime supporter of student-athlete safety. He sponsored and authored legislation regarding the NJSIAA’s current concussion policy and the New Jersey State Department of Education’s current policy on sudden cardiac arrest in student-athletes.

The NJSIAA’s steroid testing policy – the first of its kind nationally and one that was implemented a decade ago – was not factored into the institute’s assessment of the statewide athletic association.

“Certainly, there is room for improvement, and the American educational system will continue to be resource-challenged,” Gardner said regarding the institute’s rankings. “Providing more research data, as well as funds to enact more prevention programs, would be much more useful than giving grades to these associations.

“Schools will need more funding, more defibrillators, more athletic trainers and more constructive legislation. With the assistance of everyone who cares about young athletes, including [the Korey Stringer Institute], we can keep getting better.”

The institute believes preparing for an emergency should be the top priority for schools to ensure the safety of their athletes. Through the implementation of required policies and procedures, schools can be well prepared in the unfortunate event of a catastrophic injury.

#AT4ALLProfessional Sports

Saints tab Make-a-Wish Recipient Athletic Trainer for a Day


Article reposted from WGNO

The Saints had a special guest at practice Wednesday, who got the chance of a lifetime to be out on the field with his favorite team.

Jetty Huish, better known as JJ, got to be a Saints trainer for the day, shadowing Saints Head Athletic Trainer Scottie Patton at practice. And, he got to meet his favorite player—Drew Brees.

“We played catch and we talked about how stuff goes at practice,” Huish said.

It was all made possible through the Make a Wish Foundation. They flew JJ and his family out to New Orleans from Sacramento, to make his wish of being a Saints athletic trainer come true. Now the question is, how do you become a Saints fan when you’re from California?

“I don`t know honestly, but one of the reasons was because I was really young and they were the same color as batman,” Huish said. “I’m a real Northern California rebel when it comes to sports.”

JJ just turned 13 years old and has already undergone 2 bone marrow transplants to treat a form of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). He is now currently going through gene therapy in Washington, D.C. But none of that has stopped him from keeping-up with the Saints, and knowing that his team needs to get-off to a good start if they want to have a good season.

“I just hope they beat the Browns in their first game,” Huish said. “Because if they don’t beat the Browns, then it’s going to go downhill from there.”

#AT4ALLSecondary School

Florida Schools Find Way to Pay for Athletic Trainers


Article reposted from Chiefland Citizen
Author: Sean Arnold

Levy County schools will have athletic trainers from the University of Florida on their campuses for practices and games starting this year, and activity fees and a percentage of gate revenue will fund the program.

<div class="source"></div><div class="image-desc">Matt McLelland, SBLC director of administration</div><div class="buy-pic"></div>

Matt McLelland, SBLC director of administration

The district is implementing a $50 fee for students playing sports – including cheerleading – or participating in band, starting this month. The remainder of the funding will come from a portion of ticket revenue.

Matt McLelland, the new director of administration for the School Board of Levy County, reported at the budget meeting Monday that the district is looking at collecting $1 from every sports event ticket sold to help fund the athletic trainer program.

School Board member Brad Etheridge raised concerns about potential losses in revenue for the athletic programs as they’re required to share ticket revenue.

McLelland replied that schools can raise their ticket prices to offset costs, noting that when he was an administrator at Chiefland Middle High School it hadn’t raised ticket prices for at least six years. He also said schools from nearby counties often charge more than the $6 that’s charged at football games in Levy County. He said the revenue generated from ticket sales already fluctuates significantly depending on the number of home football games a school has.

“I understand, being (the former principal at CMHS) how it is, managing the money,” McLelland added. “But if a trainer can prevent one child who gets a concussion from dying, to me it’s worth it.

“We’re not taking that money and buying golf carts and stuff like that. It’s going directly to the trainer.”

McLelland said students who play multiple sports will only have to pay the fee one time, so they won’t experience an additional hardship.

The activity fee invoice states that, “a UF trainer will be on site to assist in medical situations and serve as a go-between for your student and UF orthopedics. The trainer can also diagnose many issues such as concussions, heat exhaustion and sprained or torn ligaments. Trainers will also assist with rehabilitation necessary due to an injury in sports, cheer or band.”

In response to questions on fees from School Board member Rick Turner, McLelland said he found in his research that $50 is still lower than what’s commonly charged at schools from neighboring counties, citing examples of several athletic programs charging around $200, and one football program even charging $600 per student, unless they secure a sponsor.

“When you look at our surrounding counties,” McLelland said, “this is a big savings compared to Alachua or Marion County and places like that. And we feel the amount of safety that’s going to be administered by the trainer, whether it’s concussions, heat exhaustion, those sorts of things, it’s hard to put a price on that.

“By having a professional that can do that and be a go-between with the UF Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, they’re going to save parents a lot of time by being able to diagnose issues and coordinate with the UF Orthopedics, versus mom going at midnight to the immediate care center trying to get an x-ray.”

The trainers will cost around $80,000 a year for the county. McLelland said he projects revenue from activity fees to be around $30,000 this year.

Schools will arrange times for the trainers to be on campus, and they’ll be available for practices as well as games.

SBLC chair Chris Cowart suggested the district make trainers available for ROTC members who are training outside.

#AT4ALLSecondary School

ATvantage’s Work Leads to Creation of Full-Time AT Position


Article reposted from ATvantage
Author: Shae Olds

Northview High School has decided to create a full-time athletic trainer (AT) position for the 2017-18 school year. In 2013, Covina Valley Unified became the first school district client of ATvantage LLC when they agreed to allow ATvantage to provide contract athletic trainers for the athletes at Northview. The contract originally began with 200 hours of athletic training services for the school year. Four years later, Northview has proven they recognize the importance of an athletic trainer by creating a full-time position.

“I believe the overall purpose of ATvanatge is to provide high schools with ATs in hopes of the schools creating full-time opportunities for the profession,” Daniel Rangel, the ATvantage contract athletic trainer placed at Northview High School, stated. “I can say with confidence that the company did fulfill its purpose.”

ATvantage’s work may be finished at Northview, but the company moves forward with its mission to make this a reality at more school districts. “Our passion for athletic training is why we do what we do and helping to create positions that did not exist prior to our involvement is a true testament to that,” Alisha Pennington, owner of ATvantage, said.


ATvantage Athletic Training, a service of ATvantage LLC, is leading the way in athletic training contract services and providing a risk management solution for school athletic departments. ATvantage works alongside their clients to provide uniquely catered packages to place certified and verified athletic trainers to their site(s) based on their needs and compatibility. ATvantage, LLC promotes athletic trainers as health care professionals and educates clients about their expertise. In doing so, ATvantage encourages clients to provide proper compensation and healthy work environments.

Follow: @theATvantage Like: Visit:

Press Contact:

Shae Olds

ATvantage LLC

Phone: (213) 373-4282

#AT4ALLSecondary School

Florida Schools Commit to Sport Safety with Addition of Athletic Trainers


Article reposted from
Author: Jeffrey S. Solochek

With concerns mounting that student athletes won’t get proper treatment if injured, Pasco County School District leaders have decided to pay for athletic trainers at all high school sports events during the 2017-18 school year.

The move could add about $125,000 to the district’s anticipated funding shortfall, which was listed at $627,855 on June 20, the most recent estimate available. But superintendent Kurt Browning said Tuesday that the expense is worth it.

“We are going to fund athletic trainers,” he said. “I’m going to find (the money), and we’re going to make it work. I think it’s important.”

Browning has assigned district athletic director Matt Wicks to work with a different provider to bring the trainers to the schools. The district had worked with Florida Hospital, which paid for the service until canceling its contract at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

Parents got word of the loss and recently began a campaign to reinstate the trainer program. Browning initially told each person who wrote that he was looking for a way to pay for the service, but that the tight budget would make it tough.

He decided late Monday to prioritize the item and fit it into the budget, even if it means cutting in other places. He stressed that the money would not come out of instructional expenses.

“If I had to choose between teachers and athletic trainers, I’m going to choose teachers every day,” Browning said.

REZONING BATTLE: Lawyers for a group of west Pasco parents who are fighting the school district’s attendance zone revisions won the right June 20 to continue their latest case in county court.

Judge Kimberly Sharpe Byrd ruled against a school district motion to dismiss the complaint, which alleges some members of the superintendent’s rezoning advisory committee privately discussed boundary-related matters that should have remained public.

District officials told the committee when it first convened that it must follow Florida’s open meetings laws.

The parents argued that Facebook conversations among committee members indicated they had discussed some of the issues among themselves, outside the sunshine. They questioned whether a “full, open and independent” review took place.

The district contended that nothing inappropriate occurred.

“Even if the stuff they alleged in their complaint is true, it does not constitute a Sunshine violation,” School Board attorney Dennis Alfonso said.

But Byrd gave the plaintiffs the room to make their case in court. Depositions are scheduled, with a hearing set for July 21.

The plaintiffs also have appealed a Division of Administrative Hearings ruling against their complaint that the School Board did not follow proper rule-making procedures when setting the new attendance zones. That case is pending in the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Jim Stanley, one of the complaining parents, said in an email that he would like to see the district improve its processes before it faces another boundary revision.

“No system or process can be perfect, but when the process the District used failed to achieve any of their stated objectives, then undoubtedly we could have done better,” Stanley wrote. “Furthermore, we warned the District that unless they came up with a better plan, their errors were likely to be repeated, so this was as much about the future as about boundaries for 2017/18.”

CONTRACT TALKS: Hoping for a quicker resolution to negotiations than in 2016-17, representatives for the Pasco County School District and employees have returned to collective bargaining, with the aftermath of the legislative session in Tallahassee in full view.

Issues the United School Employees of Pasco had pursued before, such as job protections for well-evaluated teachers on annual contract, no longer will come into play as the Legislature outlawed the practice in HB 7069. Hope for another round of pay raises also faded with a state budget that district officials said accounts for growth but not inflation.

“We understand the fallout from 7069 is going to hamper some of the financial obligations of the district in regard to how they divvy money our to schools and support programs,” USEP president Don Peace said. “We’re going to have to take a look as to what that means to the bottom line.”

Peace said the union wants to preserve jobs and programs, and protect student learning.

“In a year that’s not going to reap enormous financial benefits, we want to make sure we take care of our people in a way that is promoting the best opportunities for them to benefit,” he said.

On the school-related personnel side, that means working out some of the details on job transfers that the sides aimed to settle through impasse talks. For teachers, the attention will likely focus on evaluations.

As part of HB 7069, the Legislature ended the mandate that school districts include a state-approved, value-added model for student data in teacher evaluations. It did not eliminate the requirement that student performance be included in the mix, though.

The administration already has begun conversations on its use of district-created final exams for evaluations. But the entire model is up for review.

At their first sessions, the sides brought forth a handful of measures for consideration. Most were simple renewals of long-standing agreements, updated to reflect changing costs or dates. The issues that might prove more hotly contested will wait.

“Our goal is to get it done before May 2018,” Peace said, making a pointed reference to the late conclusion of this year’s contract, for which employees are still awaiting back pay. “The sooner we get a contract done, the better. But we don’t want to rush it.”

Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at (813) 909-4614 or Follow @jeffsolochek.

#AT4ALLSecondary School

Oklahoma School District Awarded NFL Grant


Article reposted from The Purcell Register
Author: The Purcell Register

Purcell is among 150 school districts across four states selected to receive an athletic trainer grant through the NFL Foundation.

Superintendent Jason Midkiff announced the 3-year award at Monday’s school board meeting.

The district asked for $48,100 and will receive $36,000.

The award will pay $20,000 the first year, $11,000 in year two and $5,000 in the final year.

Midkiff and Tim Arnold worked together on the grant application.

The grant will enable Purcell Schools to “expand the care we give our student athletes and also help and students who might be interested in going into the (athletic trainer) field,” the superintendent explained.

The pilot program targeted just four states – Oklahoma, Arizona, Illinois and Oregon.

The grant program is administered by the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut, which will research the program’s impact and impact of athletic trainers on the health outcomes of student athletes.

The institute is named for a  former Minnesota Viking professional football player who died from exertional heatstroke in 2001.

“The massive responsibility of keeping many hundreds of athletes safe at a particular high school should never be the responsibility of a sport coach or the athletic director, they have no training to properly handle this task,” said Douglas Casa, chief executive officer of KSI . “We  are very proud to partner with this grant program that has a primary goal of increasing the number of schools serviced by an athletic trainer and to enhance the amount of medical care for those that already have some.”

In its application, Purcell Public Schools reported high school enrollment of 320.

Of that number, 150 students – or 46.9 percent – participate in sports.

There are 10 sports offered at the high school.

Co-sponsors with the NFL Foundation and KSI are Gatorade, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society.

Expenditures from the initial $20,000 will include an ice machine, $5,000; automated external defibrillators, $3,500; ellipticals, $2,000; upper extremity bike and treadmills, $1,500 each; electrical stimulation, treatment tables (football), and hydro collator, $1,000 each; equipment/supply bags, $750; baps board, $650; locking cabinets (football), $600; and foam rollers, TheraBands and airex pad, $500 each.

In the second year, the grant allocation is ice machine (baseball, softball, track complex), $5,000; AED machines, $3,500; water bottles/stands/jugs, $1,000; crutches/splints/braces, $900; and locking cabinets (basketball), $600.

The totals for year three are AED (baseball/softball complex), $2,900; training tables (basketball/baseball-softball complex), $1,500; and locking cabinets (baseball-softball complex), $600.

According to KSI, an athletic trainer is a licensed medical professional who has specific expertise in preventing, recognizing, treating and rehabilitating athletic injuries.

However, nearly two-thirds of high schools across the country lack a full-time athletic trainer and almost 30 percent of high schools do not have any athletic trainer at all.

#AT4ALLSecondary School

30 years of tears, triumph for Massachusetts athletic trainer at Boston Marathon


Article reposted from The Enterprise
Author: Anna Burgess


After 30 years at the Boston Marathon, it’s impossible for Brockton trainer Jeri Connor to summarize the collapses, comebacks, breakdowns, and victories she has seen.

Connor, who was at the marathon finish line Monday morning waiting for the first wave of runners, said Patriot’s Day always stirs a lot of emotions.

Throughout the day, Connor finds the marathon inspiring, sad, interesting, and exhausting — but in a good way.

“It’s just a fun day,” she said. “The mood, the whole atmosphere is fun. There are so many positive things you see.”

Connor has been an athletic trainer at Brockton High School for more than 20 years, and has been volunteering for the marathon even longer.

She was at the finish line in 2011 when Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon ever, she was there in 2013 when the bombs went off, and she’ll be there next year, for the five-year anniversary.

On Monday morning, as the wheelchair participants zoomed across the finish line and the elite runners approached their halfway point, the temperature climbed into the 70s and the sun beat down.

Connor said she was most worried about treating heat exhaustion on a day like Monday.

“The finish line is pretty hot,” she said.

The worst conditions Connor has seen were about five years ago, when the temperature neared 90 degrees.

Connor’s status as a medical volunteer at the finish line is now coveted–there’s a long wait list.

Connor won’t be giving up her seniority for a long time, she said.

“I don’t plan on not doing it anytime soon.”

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Sedona Red Rock High School to Add Athletic Trainer


Article reposted from Sedona Red Rock News

Beginning in the 2017 academic year, there will be a new addition to Sedona Red Rock High School’s group of Career Technology Education courses: Sports medicine.

Adding a full-time athletic trainer and a sports medicine program was not a new idea, but with newfound funding from Northern Arizona Healthcare and the willingness of soon-to-be instructor and athletic trainer Andrea Bagnell to take the position, the stars seemed to align.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity for the kids to take that and grow through that program, and equally happy about having Andrea Bagnell as the instructor,” Sedona Red Rock High School Principal Darrin Karuzas said. “It’s almost a win-win-win situation, because we’re getting funding from [Valley Academy Career Technology Education], we’re working with NAH to get some funding … and it’s giving kids an incredible opportunity.”

Before the first notes are taken and tests handed out, Bagnell will welcome any interested students to help during summer football, with preparations set to begin June 5. Bagnell will talk about heat-related illnesses, basic life support and splinting in order to get the newcomers ready.

Getting students involved, and excited, about athletic training is not the most difficult thing to do, according to Bagnell.

“They love it and are hooked on it right away,” Bagnell said. “They love the action on the field.”

The program will start out with one class of about 25 sophomores and juniors, with the exception of a few seniors, that will cover the basics. Bagnell will acquaint the students with the background of athletic training, the process behind becoming one and what types of careers or schools a student with athletic training experience can get into.

She will then go on to talk about lower extremity injuries, being that they are the most common. In the later courses, she will talk about the legalities of athletic training and how a trainer protects himself, and will also cover upper body injuries.

The students will attend home contests throughout the year to be Bagnell’s “eyes on the field,” where she will also explain what she does in preparation and during games.

Ultimately, Bagnell wants the program to compete with that of the other area school that has an established program already: Mingus Union High School.

“We want to make it big, we want to make it something very popular,” Bagnell said. “We want Sedona Red Rock to have the same type of program with a full-time athletic trainer. I can’t see why Red Rock can’t do the same thing.”

Karuzas, along with former Athletic Director John Parks and Sedona-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Dave Lykins, had all looked into the prospect of starting a sports medicine program, but it was never attainable due to budget problems. Budget cuts at Northern Arizona Healthcare also took away the part-time trainers that it provided to the school, forcing the school to find replacements.

But during the last year the school and NAH reached an agreement where NAH will pay the majority of the costs.

The school also applied for an NFL grant that would supplement the remaining costs, making the program free for SRRHS. With the program run through CTE, additional money would be generated through the registered students.

Jon Cook, manager of the EntireCare Rehab and Sports Medicine department at the Verde Valley Medical Center, facilitated the agreement and made the call to Bagnell.

“As I did the background check I’m like ‘We’ve landed a rockstar, this lady is incredible,’” Karuzas said. “She started and is running the program at Eastern Arizona College, and it’s flourishing.”

Bagnell has an extensive background that includes working under the late Pat Summitt as the athletic trainer of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball program. She also worked at Auburn University and gained experience in a clinical setting at a clinic in Athens, Ga.

Currently, Bagnell runs her aforementioned program, the only one accredited in the state, through the Gila Institute For Technology, where students from six nearby high schools attend, too.

Ultimately, Karruzas has the idea of incorporating more levels to the program, much like taking a foreign language, and eventually getting the students into a dual enrollment program. With that, they would gain the credits and hands-on experience to head into a job in the industry or an appropriate school upon graduation.