Professional Sports

Saints elevated Beau Lowery to director of sports medicine


Article reposted from The New Orleans Advocate
The Saints apparently made some changes to their training staff this offseason that flew under the radar.

Beau Lowery was elevated to director of sports medicine after spending the previous two seasons as director of rehabilitation. Scottie Patton still remains as head athletic trainer.

In the team’s media guide, Lowery is listed as the first name under the heading of “sports medicine.” In the 2016 media guide, Patton had top billing under the heading of “athletic training.” Lowery was listed second.

This change happened before the misdiagnosis on Delvin Breaux’s broken fibula led to the firing of two team orthopedists.


Lowery spent two years as a physical therapist at the Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic before landing with the Saints and served as an associate athletic trainer/physical therapist at LSU from 2004-210, working primarily with the baseball team. He also worked with the men’s golf and cheerleading programs.

Prior to working with LSU, he spent three summers with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Professional Sports

Checking in on the Lakers Athletic Training Room


Article reposted from
Author: Mike Trudell

Marco Nunez took over the position of Lakers Head Athletic Trainer from Gary Vitti last season and completed a year of generally good health from a roster of mostly young players.

We sat down with Nunez at the tail end of the team’s Summer League experience in Las Vegas to discuss where he wants to devote more focus leading into the 2017-18 campaign, what areas of emphasis he’s circled for the players and how it’s going working alongside new management on the basketball ops side.

Below is a transcription of our conversation:

MT: Where are you at this point compared to when you took over the job from Gary Vitti last August?
Nunez: My role is still continuing as is it has for the last year. The one thing about this summer is it’s allowing me to get my head together and see what I want to implement and begin for the coming season. Last year I took the position in August, and I didn’t really have time to sit down (and think). Getting one year under my belt, I was able to see the ins and the outs, what I like and don’t like, what I want to change or implement. This summer is about seeing what new techniques, new modalities, new units, new programs, new nutrition … whatever it is, I’ll sit down with our staff and figure out what to improve for this upcoming year.

MT: Is part of that sitting down with the new front office and deciding where to put resources?
Nunez: We’ve already done that. We’ve had plenty of meetings with Luke (Walton), Magic (Johnson), Rob Pelinka. Last year when all the changes were occurring, we just wanted to get through the season. Then at the end of the season, it’d be time to figure out what we want to do moving forward. So I’ve sat with them a bunch of times to discuss a variety of things. For example, talking about where we want to add staff members and what we’d want them to focus on.

MT: What’s one area of focus?
Nunez: There are a couple areas we’re looking at, like hiring a nutritionist or a dietician full time. We’ve had somebody in the past that we’ve used that was great, but I know it was almost like a consulting kind of thing. I think we’re trying to decide whether we should make that position full time. I don’t know if that position would travel full time or not, but having them right there at the practice facility where guys can ask questions, and our chef, Sandra, can work with them closely and try to see what we can create for the players could really help.

MT: How about dealing with and anticipating injuries, which is something I know is always on your mind…
Nunez: Exactly, we’re looking at different companies right now. There’s one company we tried out at summer league, keeping track of guys exertion levels, exhaustion levels, sleeping patterns and stuff like that. Everything is going towards technological (advancement), so we’re looking at a company that’s more of an app. These players will go right on their phones the minute a game is over. So the app would ask some simple questions that gives us feedback about how the players are feeling and where they’re at from that perspective. The other thing we’re doing focuses on hydration. In the past, it’s always been, ‘Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of electrolytes.’ Traditionally there’s the, ‘Hey when you use the restroom, check your urine color, and if it’s dark red or orange, it means you’re dehydrated. If it’s a light color, you’re good’, but we can go deeper than that. I know we’re working with GSSI, Gatorade Sports Science Institute; they came last year and tested most of our guys as far as sweat analysis and to try and create a hydration program for the guys. We’re testing that out in summer league to see how it works. Whether it’s advising how much water and electrolytes to drink six hours before a game, how much during a game and more importantly, after a game this is specifically how much water and Gatorade a specific player needs to consume. Especially on the road and for back to backs. We have to really focus on how our guys are recovering.

MT: How has the way you deal with these young players at Summer League evolved over the last several years?
Nunez: Back when I first started, we’d typically only have one or two draft picks at summer league because we were winning championships. This summer league team is different, with six draft picks that form part of the core of the roster (moving forward). So what we’re doing now and what Luke is trying to do is set a culture that will continue into training camp. Some of these one and done (in college) players aren’t used to having to come into the training room. Having to focus on stretching, on recovery, focus on hydration. We want to start those good habits now, not wait until training camp or the season to start.

MT: What kind of discussions did you have about how much to rest players in Vegas given that, on one hand, they’re young, but on the other, they aren’t used to playing so many games in so few nights?
Nunez: We had conversations about that with the coaches. Traditionally the mentality is they’re young guys, they can play as many minutes as you want. But that’s not always the case. These young guys aren’t used to playing this many minutes, especially on back to backs. You don’t play back to backs in college. Now they’re going to play back to back to back, exerting themselves? Personally I was a little surprised that we’d have guys playing back to backs. Ideally, it’d be nice if they got a Monday off and the game would have been Tuesday, but that’s a scheduling issue. From the sports medicine side, if you’re in the NBA Finals and it’s Game 6 or 7, and all your technology is showing you the player is in the red, are you really going to sit the guy? And there’s a difference between the NBA Finals and the Summer League. My job is to provide them the information and then as a unit, along with management and the coaches, we make a decision.

MT: How about in the example of Josh Hart, the rookie who sprained his ankle and didn’t get back onto the court?
Nunez: That’s my saying, ‘He isn’t really ready to play’ as much as the coaches or management would love to see him play. As much as a player says ‘I’m ready to go,’ it’s my job to hold a player back if I think he’s not. One, it’s summer league, so it’s a risk/reward thing. Does the risk supersede the reward? We’re trying to create a tradition of winning, but it’s still summer league. If it were the Finals, different story. He was doing a lot better after (a few days), and could he go out there and play some minutes? Probably. But the problem was, as far as rehab, there’s a progression that you want to see from 1-on-0, 1-on-1, 3-on-3 and eventually 5-on-5. Since we played so many games, we didn’t have a chance to practice, and Hart didn’t get an opportunity to play 5-on-5 in practice for me to be able to say, ‘He’s ready to go.’ The risk was higher than the reward.

MT: Lonzo Ball came into the Summer League out of his best basketball shape, as he played no 5-on-5 from the NCAA Tournament through the Draft. He said his legs felt heavy early, but he certainly looked better physically after getting the couple days between the second and third game he played. What have you thought of Ball’s physical progression?
Nunez: It wasn’t a surprise he’d be fatigued early after taking close to a month off. But I’m trying to get away from the whole cookie cutter program. Every player is slightly different, it’s never one size fits all. That’s something we’re looking for as we develop these programs and technologies to cater to the individual. You have some players like Kobe Bryant, who could generally play as many minutes as he wanted and be fine. There are others where you can’t make that same assumption.

#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.”

Professional Sports

Crewe a valuable part of Timberwolves’ crew


Article reposted from Kenosha News

David Crewe works for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He does not play for them, however — not that anyone confuses him as an NBA athlete.

“Not a chance,” he said. “I think I’m too short. I’m only 5-10. Guys used to give me a hard time when we had Luke Ridnour.”

Crewe, a 2004 Tremper graduate, accompanies the Timberwolves wherever they go as the team’s head strength and conditioning coach/assistant athletic trainer.

He’s in the locker room, sits courtside with the team and travels from city to city.

“Like anything else when you’re in the middle of it, you don’t really notice what’s going on,” he said. “You kind of live it every day. It’s definitely humbling when you think back to where you are, what you get to experience. … I told my folks before, it’s not like it’s happened by luck. There was a lot of time, there was a lot of effort and sacrifices that have been put into it. There’s days I definitely feel blessed and I know I’m lucky, but I also know what it’s taken to get there. I feel like it’s well deserved.”

NFL experience

Crewe, who played basketball at Tremper, enrolled at UW-La Crosse knowing he wanted to be in sports medicine. It was during his freshman year that he decided the field would be athletic training.

For three years in college, Crewe had an internship with the Kansas City Chiefs, including one after he graduated as their assistant athletic trainer for the entire 2008 season. He worked with the running backs and wide receivers, and became friends with Larry Johnson.

“For whatever reason, he took a liking to me,” Crewe said. “We had a connection. He took good care of me, looked out for me, was delightful to work with. He was a pro and it was fun to be around him.”

After the season, Crewe returned to UW-La Crosse to take some more courses and worked in the athletic training department for about a year.


In 2010, he was hired by Minnesota as an assistant athletic trainer. The title of assistant strength and conditioning coach was added in 2013, and last year be was promoted to his current position.

“I try to tell our guys to be the MVP of their day,” Crewe said. “If it’s a lifting day, they need to be the best they can be in the weight room that day. If it’s a game day, they need to be MVP on the court. My message that I drive home every day is you need to get better one way or another in the facility today. Maybe the focus shifts from basketball to strength training, or maybe it shifts from strength training to some small rehab exercises. No matter what we’re working in that day, they need to try to be the MVP of that day.”

Crewe must practice what he preaches, since he was named the 2016-’17 NBATA David Craig Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year recently.

But do the millionaire professionals listen to him?

“I think just like in any work setting, you’ve got some push and some pull in every direction,” Crewe said. “A lot of times we’ll rely on our veterans or our starters to really help facilitate the message we’re driving across. We typically get pretty good buy-in. It comes down to educating the player what we’re trying to do for them and show them you’re there to help them. You’re not trying to take anything away from them; you’re trying to make them the best basketball player they can be.”

Which includes making sure they eat the right foods, even if that includes octopus for some of the European players. So what does Crewe know about octopus?

“Not much,” he said. “One of the things we like to do because the NBA is an extremely global game — every year it seems like players are from different countries — we sit down with them and ask our nutritional team to find out things they do enjoy eating and are used to having, so we can make it available to them. We don’t want them worrying about their food, we want them worrying about basketball.”

There has been less worrying about basketball in Minnesota since the team acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler from Chicago in the offseason. Crewe, who enters his seventh season with the Timberwolves, has already had a chance to meet Butler.

“Telling him I’m from southeastern Wisconsin, he got excited since he went to Marquette,” Crewe said.

No favorites

Perhaps Butler will become Crewe’s next Larry Johnson. Just don’t ask him who his favorite NBA player to deal with so far is.

“I would like to, but I can’t say any names to show favoritism right now,” he said. “One day when I’m done working with the Timberwolves, we can have that conversation. How’s that? Otherwise that gives guys too much ammunition if they ever read the article or anything like that. They’ll give a hard time too much.”

Another thing Butler and Crewe have in common is the Bradley Center. Butler played there for Marquette and Crewe watched the Golden Eagles and Bucks while growing up.

Crewe joked it’s a family reunion when Minnesota visits Milwaukee, and he usually has around 30-40 relatives and friends in attendance.

“It’s special because we only play once a year,” he said. “It makes it that much more fun. Growing up in the area, being on the court in warmups, sitting on the bench with our team … it’s a lot of fun. It’s a very humbling experience.”

Professional Sports

Hurt? Pour some Sugar on it


Article reposted from Eyewitness 5 News
Author: Eyewitness 5 News

Eric Sugarman was busy in Mankato on Monday. That is nothing new. He will not have a day off until the Vikings’ season is over.

That’s why Mike Zimmer had him out to his ranch in Kentucky just weeks before training camp began.

“When I went through all these eye surgeries and appointments, Eric Sugarman took me to every one of them,” Zimmer told KSTP’s Joe Schmit. “When I was getting a needle in my eye – he was there watching it.”

That’s the kind of loyalty that builds trust, but so does being one of the best in the business.

“The way he reacted when Teddy got hurt – he may have saved the guy’s leg,” Zimmer says. “That’s how important it was. If we didn’t have a staff that was quality, that was taking care of these guys the right way, a lot of bad things can happen. That’s why I feel so good about the players. They’re in such good hands.”
Eric Sugarman was busy in Mankato on Monday. That is nothing new. He will not have a day off until the Vikings’ season is over.

That’s why Mike Zimmer had him out to his ranch in Kentucky just weeks before training camp began.

“When I went through all these eye surgeries and appointments, Eric Sugarman took me to every one of them,” Zimmer told KSTP’s Joe Schmit. “When I was getting a needle in my eye – he was there watching it.”

That’s the kind of loyalty that builds trust, but so does being one of the best in the business.

“The way he reacted when Teddy got hurt – he may have saved the guy’s leg,” Zimmer says. “That’s how important it was. If we didn’t have a staff that was quality, that was taking care of these guys the right way, a lot of bad things can happen. That’s why I feel so good about the players. They’re in such good hands.”

Higher EducationProfessional Sports

UNLV Athletic Training Graduates Populate the Professional Ranks


Article reposted from UNLV

Think of athletic trainers as the team behind the team. When a baseball player turns an ankle on a hard slide into second base or a football player has a neck spasm after a hard tackle, they turn to their team’s athletic trainers. Their job: Get players back into the game.

Seattle Mariners assistant athletic trainer Rob Nodine, ’92 B.S. Athletic Training, summed it up this way: “If the players are doing well, that means we’re doing well.” Trainers, he added, “don’t like to be in the limelight.”

Nodine, and several other trainers in professional sports, learned how to do just that through UNLV’s athletic training program, which has seen at least 10 graduates hired by professional teams in the last 12 years.

Dallas Cowboys physical therapist/assistant athletic trainer Hanson Yang, ’09 M.S. Kinesiology, most commonly helps players come back from the collarbone fractures and shoulder dislocations. Neck injuries, he said, are the most challenging.Hanson Yang, ’09 Kinesiology, is an assistant athletic trainer for the Dallas Cowboys, where he helps keep players on the field through collarbone, shoulder and soft-tissue injuries.

“There’s not a lot we can immediately do with a neck injury, so we make sure the player is OK first,” Yang said. “But what’s most gratifying is when I work with a player who has experienced a soft-tissue injury before halftime, then I get him into the locker room for some work and 15 minutes later, he’s able to go out and play again.”

Likewise, Boston Red Sox assistant athletic trainer Masai Takahashi, ’99 B.S. and ’03 M.S. Sports Injury Management, is familiar with the aches and pains a hurler can experience over the course of a 162-game season. He was a pitcher on his high school baseball team in Japan.

“Most of the injuries I see are overuse injuries — stiffness in the shoulders, back strain — because the muscles get tight,” he said. “I try to catch tightness before it becomes an injury, so I do a lot of soft-tissue work on players to keep their muscles loose.”

Pitchers are always his biggest challenge. Almost no starter makes it through a season of 35 to 40 appearances throwing a baseball more than a hundred times a game without feeling some muscle fatigue, Takahashi said.

“If we can help them get through the season without going on the (disabled list), that’s very satisfying for us.”

At UNLV, they all became well trained in manual therapy, a technique in which they probe for and treat injuries with their hands. “There are things you can feel by hand that you won’t pick up in an X-ray or an ultrasound,” Takahashi said. “Every athlete is different, and it’s important to not only learn the difference between each athlete, but how each athlete’s body feels from day to day. That way, you can be proactive and prevent injuries.”

“Every player has his own driving force,” Nodine said. “We pay attention to players’ needs on a daily basis because knowing how injuries play into their psyche is very important. Athletes want to keep playing at a very high level of performance, and they like it when we explain things to them.”Rob Nodine speaks with a player in the dugout.

Seattle Mariners assistant athletic trainer Rob Nodine, speaks with pitcher Felix Hernandez during a game.

Nodine, who served on the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society’s executive committee from 2010-15, credited Kyle Wilson, UNLV assistant athletic director for sports medicine, for teaching him about the emotional component of athletic training.

Athletic training students typically spend mornings in the classroom learning the fundamentals of health care, then work with university teams in the afternoon to get invaluable real-world experience. The regimen has led to a first-time pass rate average of 98 percent on the national certification exam since 2010 – well ahead of the three-year national average of 81 percent.

“It’s common sense to know that everyone handles pain and healing different,” Wilson said. “Two different baseball players might have the same injury, but they’ll respond to treatment differently. That’s why it’s important to interact with athletes when they’re not injured.”

After NFL Draft Day, Yang spent the summer immersing himself in learning about Taco Charlton and the Cowboys’ new recruits. He and his fellow trainers developed exercise regimens for players at a series of mini-camps that will help the coaches winnow down the aspiring NFLers to a final roster of 53 players before the season kicks off.

The camps also give Yang a chance to build trust with the athletes he’ll be caring for all season. He asks about their families and lives outside of sports.

Yang had planned a career in engineering until he shadowed a family friend tending to a sports team. “I never believed I’d get to this professional level,” Yang said. “I appreciate my instructors, who taught me how to develop a good rapport with athletes, and to really understand that they are individuals, not just protocols. They gave me the opportunity to assess and develop treatments for patients, and then give me the confidence to use those skills on my own.

Professional Sports

Ed LaCerte Retiring after 30 Years with the Celtics


Article reposted from Boston Herald
Author: Mark Murphy

Ed Lacerte, the longest-tenured trainer in the NBA, dating to 30 years ago when he was responsible for the health of players like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, is stepping down.

The Celtics are revamping their sports science and training operation, and, in addition to strength coach Bryan Doo choosing to forgo an altered role, the club is parting ways with Lacerte.

The longest-serving trainer in franchise history will not be back for a 31st season. In addition to numerous honors within his profession, Lacerte was notably the trainer for the U.S. Olympic Dream Team in 1992.

Doo announced his departure Friday via Instagram. He was with the Celtics for 14 years, and with the coming restructuring elected to step away from the club to focus more on family (he and his wife have five children) and the company he founded, Optimal Fitness.

The Celtics are about to move into a new training facility in Brighton, with the targeted opening of June 2018, and have already expanded their operation in that regard. Johann Bilsborough was added to the staff two years ago as the team’s director of sports science, after beginning his career working with rugby and Aussie rules football teams in his native Australia.

Several teams have gone in this direction, including the Philadelphia 76ers, who have entrusted their entire fitness and training operation to David Martin, a product of Australia’s acclaimed institute of sports science.

Professional Sports

Nate Kees is Crabs’ injury-fighting ‘cowboy’


Article reposted from Mad River Union
Author: Rick Macey

Nate Kees has a hands-on job as athletic trainer for the Humboldt Crabs.

At the Arcata Ball Park on a recent game day, pitcher Matt Richardson is stretched out on  a folding table. With his fingertips, Kees is probing carefully along the player’s neck, massaging gently, twisting Richardson’s head from side to side.

“On days he throws, the pain spikes a bit,” Kees said. “We’re working to keep up his range of motion.”

For players like Richardson, it’s personalized therapy that makes a difference. “It helps big time,” he said.

With a shaved head, sunglasses, earrings in both lobes, Kees does not look like a typical sports medicine professional. He admitted he’s not the stereotype of a trainer – khaki pants, polo shirt, or with a manner that is overly “polite and proper.” He embraces his cowboy image.

When he talks, his hands constantly gesture. It’s a trait he inherited from his father. Both parents were Division I coaches in Montana, and his mom in California. Kees moved to Humboldt at age 19 in 1998 to attend HSU. He met his wife Amber here. They have three boys – Tanner, 8, Rylan, 6, and infant Jayon, barely 10 weeks old. They live in McKinleyville.

Kees is his ninth year of a regular gig as the athletic trainer for College of the Redwoods.

Andrew Aiello, the recruiting coach for Corsairs football program, was sitting eld side counting pitches for the Crabs. During the fall season, he coaches CR’s defensive line and special teams.

Aiello has coached professionally for 10 years. “Nate is one of the most knowledgeable trainers I’ve been around, but what separates him is how personable he is. From the moment you meet him, he makes you feel like you’re part of his own family. As a coach who is new to this community, that’s definitely a big deal. Every day I’m thankful we have Nate.”

Underrated asset for Crabs

Athletic trainers were underrated for decades. The American Medical Association recognized the importance of the role in 1990, but even today, therapeutic injury prevention and rehabilitation are often overlooked in the world of sports.

Aside from his unconventional – if definitely Humboldt – appearance, it’s not easy to overlook Nate Kees, even if he is not listed on the Crabs official roster.

Kees gets to know the guys on the team in ways no one else does. “It’s knowing what they’re feeling, what they like, what they don’t like, what they need before starts,” Kees said. “It’s getting to them know personally, so it’s borderline friendship but still professional. They can be candid with me because I don’t control their play time, I don’t control how many innings they throw.”

Sometimes players tell him things they don’t want anyone else to know. Other times, Kees is the intermediary between players who don’t want to be regarded as a crybaby or lacking in team spirit, and the coaches they do not want to disappoint.

“That way they’re not coming out in a way where they appear weak or giving up on the team or shying away from the pressure,” Kees said.

That bond of trust creates lasting friendships. “I still have guys, coaches and players, on the speed dial on my phone from years past. You’ve got to help somebody in one of their weakest moments.”

Kees has been an athletic trainer for the Crabs for a decade and half. He is in his ninth year with College of the Redwoods. He works with (or has served) Humboldt Roller Derby, Team USA Judo and Humboldt State University football. He can also be found taping the hands of the Lost Boys, the local mixed martial arts guys who participate in casino bouts.

Crabs baseball summer season is his opportunity to work with higher level athletes; Division I, Division II, and top level junior college ball players. During those 10 weeks, he can usually be found working on pitchers. “Pitching is one of the most violent sequences that a body can do,” Kees said. The duel with batters is the central element of the game, and that puts a uniquely heavy burden of pressure on pitchers – physically and mentally. When Kees observes a problem – a hitch in a throwing motion, a grimace of pain – he takes the initiative. “I’m a bit of a cowboy. They know that. I don’t wait for permission.”

Proud to pamper

It can be difficult for an athlete to admit being in persistent pain, so his assertiveness is appreciated by the Crabs. Kees regularly checks on players with aches and pains, and he follows his instincts if he thinks someone is silently hurting.

The athletes come from collegiate programs but usually do not get such pampering. With the Crabs, there is less pressure to hide injuries for fear of losing playing time or jeopardizing a scholarship.

Out of hundreds of Crabs players he has treated, Kees said he can count on one hand those who did not follow through with a specific treatment.

Kees is particularly happy to be working for first-year Crabs general manager Robin Guiver. They enjoy a close working relationship. “Robin is 100 percent behind me because he knows that coaches who send their guys here to play a position or as pitcher, those coaches know their guys are going to get taken care of.”

The 2017 season marks a maturation of Kees’ role with the Crabs. For his first five years with the ball club, he was the only athletic trainer. This year he enjoys a staff of two assistants.

He persuaded Lisa Martinez, a Sacramento State graduate, to help him for a year at College of the Redwoods. “She decided to stay,” he said, and she now contributes to the Crabs, as does Erica McMullen, a recent Humboldt State graduate in kinesiology and soccer player who is considering a master’s program in athletic training. It’s not com-monplace to see young women on staff as athletic trainers, and that is a source of satisfaction for Kees.

He also enjoys a close relationship with the local rivals of the Crabs, the Humboldt B52’s, and has recommended qualified trainers to that squad. But his heart and soul in summertime is with Arcata’s baseball bunch.

He is happy to be part of the Crabs 73-year tradition, especially his role in contributing to the positive relationships with colleges that act as feeder programs. “Summer after summer, we are getting guys who want to be here because of the Crabs reputation. Pitchers that work with me, they go home and tell other guys, ‘We get pampered, we get almost anything we want whenever we need it.’ Over the years, having those relationships has been really nice.”

Coaches will visit Arcata to see their guys play, and that includes checking on their health. Kees is involved in that conversation. And as the Crabs will sometimes get a ball player for more than one season, Kees has time to make a difference.

It’s a challenge he absolutely loves, not least because it forces him to continually learn and improve his craft. “Our bodies are very similar, but how we deal with the stress of our position, how we move, and the tendencies and patterns we fall into, those are different. It’s never going to be a textbook example of the same thing from person to person.”

Kees is always looking for insights – what he calls “pearls of information” about the human body. “The education process is never over.” With that, Kees moved on to work with another Crabs player, another hands-on experience for Humboldt’s uniquely qualified athletic trainer.

Professional Sports

Bob Tarpey to Serve as Head Athletic Trainer for Double A All Star Game


Article reposted from

The Eastern League Double-A all-star game is Wednesday night in Manchester, N.H., and Bob Tarpey, a 1999 graduate of York High School, will be right in the middle of the action.

Tarpey is currently in his eighth season as athletic trainer of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, and will serve as the head trainer for the mid-summer classic at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

“It’s going to be awesome,” said Tarpey before Tuesday’s Home Run Derby. “We hosted this game back in 2011, that was good, and I am sure this will be just as good.”

The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m., while a pre-game autograph session is scheduled from 4 to 5:45 p.m.

“I am pretty excited for (the game),” Tarpey said. “It will be pretty neat to see the players from around the league. Some people would love a three-day all-star break, but you never know how long you’re going to be doing this and you can’t take it for granted. It’s pretty neat to see that level of talent get together on the field.”

This is Tarpey’s fourth all-star game he has been a part of. His first was in 2008 in the Midwest League, and then the Double-A game in 2011, and most recently, being part of the 2015 Futures Game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“I’ve had some pretty good experiences with all-star games,” Tarpey said. “I am looking forward to this one, it’s nice to have it back at our home ball park. We’re going to get a lot of people at the stadium and a big crowd will be rocking, it should be a lot of fun.”

Tarpey, who played football, hockey and baseball at York, said being involved in the Futures Game and the Fisher Cats winning the Eastern League championship in 2011 are his career highlights.

“Two years have flown by (since the Futures game), that was an amazing experience in a great city with great people,” Tarpey said. “It’s certainly an elite memory that I hold a special place in my heart for.”

Rafael Devers, 20, is the top-rated prospect with the Boston Red Sox and is the youngest player in this year’s all-star game.

Tarpey and Devers shared a dugout two years ago in the Futures Game.

Tarpey will also be reunited with Jairo Labourt, a left-handed pitcher with the Erie SeaWolves of the Detroit Tigers organization. The Blue Jays dealt Labourt to the Tigers as part of the David Price trade in the summer of 2015.

Tarpey and Labourt were the lone Blue Jays representatives in the Futures Game; Labourt was traded about three weeks after the game.

“To be able to see (Labourt) go out there and dominate in Cincy was pretty special,” Tarpey said. “It will be fun to see him compete in another all-star game.”

Tarpey was voted the Midwest League athletic trainer of the year in 2008 when he worked with the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts. He is in his 10th year in the Blue Jays organization, the last eight with the Fisher Cats.

“The last eight years that I’ve had in New Hampshire have been nothing short of perfect,” Tarpey said. “I love working with the Fisher Cats, and have loved every minute here. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Blue Jays organization.

“If I get to the big leagues great, if not, then I am very glad I’ve been able to spend so many years with the Fisher Cats,” Tarpey continued. “They have been a first class organization and being able to spend eight years with one team, I am glad it was with the Fisher Cats, for sure.”

Professional Sports

Portland Timbers Head Athletic Trainer Resigns


Article reposted from Oregon Live

Portland Timbers Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Sports Medicine Nik Wald has resigned his position with the club.

The club did not announce the reason for Wald’s departure.

The resignation comes on the heels of a handful of injuries to key Timbers players, including Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell, who re-injured his quad last week in his first training session after missing three weeks with the same injury.

Wald had worked for the Timbers since 2007.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank Nik Wald for his many years of service and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Timbers General Manager and President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson in a prepared statement.

T2 Head Athletic Trainer Taichi Kitagawa will join the Timbers first-team medical staff. The Timbers first-team medical staff also includes Director of Sports Science Nick Milonas, Athletic Trainer Alex Margarito and Performance Analyst Nick Lewis.

— Jamie Goldberg |