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Florida Schools Commit to Sport Safety with Addition of Athletic Trainers

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Article reposted from Tampabay.com
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 jsolochek@tampabay.com. Follow @jeffsolochek.

Professional Sports

Lakers head athletic trainer Marco Nuñez did try this at home

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Article reposted from ESPN
Author: Andrea Canales

The Los Angeles Lakers head trainer grew up a huge fan . . . of the Dodgers.

Big dreams aren’t limited to the athletes on a basketball court. Sometimes the people on the sidelines, like Lakers head athletic trainer Marco Nuñez, have big aspirations.

“Being an L.A. kid, I thought, Why can’t I work for the Lakers?” Nunez recalled. “If I want to work with the best, that should be my ultimate goal.”


His roots

Nuñez was raised as an L.A. Dodgers fan, living with his family in a residence on the corner of Adams and Vermont, less than a mile away from the Staples Center.

“When I was young, all I knew was baseball,” Nuñez explained. “My dad wasn’t a basketball or football fan. He grew up in Mexico, played in the Mexican league.”

When the Nuñez family went to Dodgers games, Marco’s father had a certain tradition.

“My dad would always take his radio with him, and he would listen to [Spanish-language broadcaster] Jaime Jarrin while we were watching the game,” said Nuñez.

When young Marco reached his teens, the Lakers became the first team he followed after he started playing basketball.

“I decided to venture out and explore other teams,” said Nuñez, who promptly checked out the TV schedule for Lakers games and then set aside time to watch the team and learn the nuances of the game. “I knew the Lakers were a huge team in L.A.”

He became a fan of the Lakers, yet Nuñez stayed true to his first love of baseball, lettering in the sport at Bishop Mora Salesian High School in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of L.A.

“Basketball was a weekend-warrior thing,” Nuñez acknowledged.


His influence

When Nuñez started college at Cal Poly Pomona, he was motivated partly by representing his Hispanic roots in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field of civil engineering.

“There weren’t that many Latinos in engineering,” Nuñez pointed out. “I did it about a year and a half, and I didn’t like it. I was trying to figure out what else to do.”

Once again, Nuñez struck out on his own to discover what really appealed to him. He found it when he attended a lecture given by Ky Kugler.

“I give [athletic training talks] and do a lot of recruitment and mentoring,” said Kugler, now a professor of athletics training at Chapman University.

Nuñez was immediately intrigued by how Kugler described his profession, emphasizing that communication skills and empathy are as important as kinesthetic knowledge.

“The individuals that you work with have to know that you have a vested interest in their safety.” Kugler said. “People don’t care how much you know if you don’t care about them first.”

“[Kugler] invited me to shadow him for a week,” Nuñez recalled. “After that time, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Kugler, who noted he has also mentored Jasen Powell, the current head athletic trainer of local rival Los Angeles Clippers, says Nuñez was committed once he chose the career.

“I’m proud that I had a small investment in his future and that he recalled the talk that I gave,” Kugler said. “He stayed the course with the Lakers.”

Nuñez put in time as an athletic trainer for the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the D-Fenders, as well as the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League. Still, working for the Lakers remained the ultimate objective.

“My goal was the top professional level,” explained Nuñez. “Being from Southern California, why wouldn’t I want to work where I lived and grew up?”

“Everywhere we go, I try to find good Mexican food. It’s tough in Milwaukee.”

Marco Nuñez, head athletic trainer, Los Angeles Lakers

In the 2008-09 season, Nuñez joined the Lakers staff as an assistant athletic trainer, working under Gary Vitti. Vitti has a well-established reputation, serving as head athletic trainer for 32 years and recommending Nuñez as his replacement before departing last year.

“If you have longevity in a position, you develop relationships with people,” Kugler, a close friend of Vitti’s, observed. “Athletic trainers are a sounding board … a go-between [for] athletes and the coaching staff. They become a confidant. They do a lot of role-modeling. They do a lot of mentoring along the way.”


His trust

Players trust Nuñez to help whenever they need it. Lakers forward Julius Randle passed Nuñez the phone when his fiancée, Kendra Shaw, called after the pregnant Shaw felt faint one day while the team was on a road trip across the country. Nuñez, who has three children of his own, spoke to Shaw, calming her down by assuring her that dizziness was a normal symptom before labor. He then helped arrange a flight for Randle to return quickly to his fiancée’s side. A healthy Kyden Randle was born on December 23, 2016.

“The one big thing I learned from Gary was that you’re kind of a big brother to them,” Nuñez said. “The trust is there, not just for the medical, but with every aspect.”

Still, there are limits.

“As head trainer, I have to keep that professional distance,” explained Nuñez. “You won’t see me at the club.”

Instead, he usually bonds with players by sharing meals on the road.

“Everywhere we go, I try to find good Mexican food,” Nuñez mentioned. “It’s tough in Milwaukee.”

Though it isn’t easy being away from his family, especially on holidays, history buff Nuñez also appreciates the opportunities travel with the team offers.

“We go check out the local sites,” Nuñez noted. “In Philadelphia, I went to see Independence Hall.”


His profession

There’s a lot of pressure involved in any position of such a high-profile team as the Lakers, but especially on the person who often decides if the players can perform in a game or not. Too often, competitive players are willing to risk making an injury worse by continuing to play.

“The higher level an athlete is and the more money that is involved, sometimes they become their own worst enemy when it comes to health care,” Kugler opined. “They have high-level salaries and status in society, and they’ll do a lot of things to protect that.”

It helps Nuñez to have a good working relationship with Lakers head coach Luke Walton, one that goes back to Walton’s time as a player when Nuñez first joined the organization. In one of his first acts of employment, Nuñez taped Walton’s knee, which suffered from tendinitis. Nuñez never forgot Walton speaking appreciatively to him and welcoming him to the team.

“I was never good enough as a player to get Gary Vitti’s time,” Walton said on the show Backstage Lakers. “He was reserved for Kobe [Bryant], Pau [Gasol], Lamar [Odom]. So it was me and Nuñez grinding away in the training room.”

“He got the job as head coach before I got the trainer job,” Nuñez revealed, mentioning how knowing Walton would lead the team motivated him even more. “I thought, ‘I have to get the head trainer job.'”

Now the two interact on a daily basis, working together to get the most out of the Lakers roster.

“Every morning, we discuss the status of every player,” Nuñez said. “We’re in constant communication.”

“The travel, the hours, do they sometimes stink — yes,” Kugler said, before praising the perseverance of Nuñez as an athletic trainer. “Marco is a great example. He went through many, many stops and long hours. You have to have a passion for what you do.”

College and University

Creighton staff, faculty provide medical assist for visiting CWS teams

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Article reposted from Creighton University
Author: Creighton University

As hosts of the NCAA® Men’s College World Series®, Creighton University does its best to ensure teams, fans and officials play and enjoy the old ballgame in a friendly and exciting atmosphere.

Some Creighton faculty and staff volunteers go so far to see that in all the fun, nobody goes home hurt. While each team travels with its own athletic training and medical staff, Creighton practitioners are helping provide a full-throated — if often behind-the-scenes — response to various needs.

For the past 10 years, Curtis Self, MA, ATC, the athletic trainer for Creighton’s baseball team, has served as the medical coordinator at the CWS, organizing the sports medicine volunteers who flock each year to the event. Athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons, internal medicine physicians, chiropractors and rehabilitation experts from across the country converge on Omaha to contribute to an effort that Self says leaves the players, coaches and team medical staffs with only one concern: winning ballgames.

“We take care of any needs that might have and we’ve seen the full gamut over the years,” Self said. “It’s a whirlwind to get here and play in a national championship, so we see our job as doing whatever we can to make sure everything is taken care of, across the spectrum. We’re here to help players, coaches, the team medical staff, NCAA officials, umpires, CWS Inc. officials, you name it. Anything we can do to make sure they are taken care of and can concentrate on the games, we’ll do it.”

Self said the CWS effectively turns TD Ameritrade Park Omaha and the team hotels into medical triage stations, making sure that all but the most major issues can be tended to without traveling far. The stadium has on-site X-ray and other diagnostic capabilities, as well as intravenous equipment. Therapists and chiropractors make housecalls at the hotels for players who might need pre- or postgame attention.

In addition to player injuries and illnesses, Self said over the years, the medical personnel he oversees has treated a coach’s child with an ear infection and diagnosed a broadcaster with a ruptured Achilles tendon, working to coordinate surgery with a hospital near his home.

“Creighton is the host institution and we take pride in being the best hosts we can be,” Self said. “The people who come to help us are the best in their fields with a phenomenal willingness to help out and make the College World Series® the showcase event that it is.”

Terry Grindstaff, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, is one such volunteer, working with the eight teams who descended on Omaha this week to ensure the health needs of players and other on-field personnel are being met.

“We try to fill in as much as we can to make sure the individual student-athletes and teams are taken care of,” said Grindstaff, who has volunteered at the College World Series since 2011. As an example, we may be asked if we can make a quick run to the pharmacy. Another role that sounds small, but is greatly appreciated, is at the bottom of every even inning, we make sure the umpires have enough water so they do not become dehydrated. These little things can make a big difference.”

For Grindstaff, up until recently, most of the help has been minor. But in the opening days of this year’s CWS, Grindstaff helped a player who needed dry-needling for an arm injury. It’s not a procedure an athletic trainer can perform, but a physical therapist like Grindstaff is well qualified to do so.

“The player had an arm injury and dry needling was performed by a physical therapist at home before he came to Omaha, so this was just a continuation of his care,” Grindstaff said. “It is a team effort and we help out whenever and wherever we can.”

Volunteers work in shifts during games and practices, but Self usually finds himself putting in full days at the ballpark. But, he said, it’s a dream job for a baseball fan.

“I love baseball, I love being around the game,” he said. “And these are the up-and-coming best baseball players in the country, playing at the highest level, so what more can you really ask for? It’s work, but it doesn’t feel like work. We’ve got a front-row seat to a premier sporting event and an opportunity to help both medically and to broadcast that Creighton name. We work hard, but we have a lot of fun doing it with great people.”

Awards

Shenandoah University to honor athletic trainer Mandy Carter

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Article reposted from Fauquier Now
Author:  Fauquier Now

Liberty High School athletic trainer Mandy Carter this fall will receive the 2017 Shenandoah University Distinguished Alumna Award for Young Career Achievement.

The university will honor Ms. Carter and other award recipients at a banquet Friday, Oct. 13, during homecoming weekend in Winchester. SU also will honor them at halftime of the Saturday night football game.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education at SU in 2009 and her master’s in athletic training the next year.

Ms. Carter played softball as an undergraduate and one summer in the Dominican Republic before graduate school.

She has served as the LHS athletic trainer since 2010 — five years after she graduated from the high school in Bealeton. She teaches physical education and sports medicine at Liberty.

“It has been a pleasure to work with such great, young individuals at Liberty High School and see them excel in the classroom as well as on the field or court,” Ms. Carter said. “I have officially been teaching long enough to where some of my former high school athletic training students is now a certified athletic trainer.”

Liberty received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Schools Sports Award for 2013-16 and 2016-19.

Shenandoah University’s athletic training program is ranked number two in the nation.

“It’s an honor to be selected for the 2017 Distinguished Alumna Award for young Career Achievement,” she said.

PreventionSudden Cardiac Death

Tennessee Athletic trainer, defibrillator saves man at baseball game

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Article reposted from WKRN.com
Author: Adam Snider

A day at the ball park nearly turned to tragedy – if not for a quick thinking athletic trainer and a life saving device.

It was a box on the wall that tends to blend in – to which Thomas Hobson owes his life.
“Yeah I’m feeling good today,” said Hobson, relaxing outside his home. “Last few days, I’ve been feeling pretty good.”

One night last month, while catching his grandson’s baseball game at White House Heritage High School, Thomas took a dive.

“My head started spinning real fast,” he explained. “I looked down, looked like the sidewalk was coming up to me, but I was falling, that’s the last thing I knew.”

Thomas came to on a stretcher, being whisked away to a nearby hospital.

Officials explained he just suffered a heart attack. Hobson was still alive thanks to a nearby defibrillator, and a fully prepared athletic trainer.

Andrea Gowan is a trainer with Heritage High. She and Hobson met for the first time since the incident Friday afternoon.

“I got a call from a parent, and then I heard them call for me over the PA system,” said Gowan. “I ran from soccer, down to baseball.”

She soon spotted a collapsed Hobson, a crowd of people, and a defibrillator ready to go.

(Photo: WKRN)
“Hooked the AED up, cleared everybody back,” said Gowan. “It delivered one shock, and we restarted CPR, and luckily after that first set of CPR he actually came back.”

Andrea had been properly defibrillator trained, but most of the devices are made to be used by all, with clearly marked instructions, or even voice commands.

“So having them available for people to use, to help save people, it makes a huge difference,” said Gowan.

“I’m glad you were there,” added Hobson. “Yeah I’m glad you were there, ‘cause if you hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Hobson now has a pace maker. He’s taking it easy at his doctor’s request, but says he’ll be back out watching baseball in no time.

Anyone interested in CPR, or defibrillator training, can visit the American Red Cross, or the American Heart Association.

A day at the ball park nearly turned to tragedy – if not for a quick thinking athletic trainer and a life saving device.

It was a box on the wall that tends to blend in – to which Thomas Hobson owes his life.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Yeah I’m feeling good today,” said Hobson, relaxing outside his home. “Last few days, I’ve been feeling pretty good.”

One night last month, while catching his grandson’s baseball game at White House Heritage High School, Thomas took a dive.

“My head started spinning real fast,” he explained. “I looked down, looked like the sidewalk was coming up to me, but I was falling, that’s the last thing I knew.”

Thomas came to on a stretcher, being whisked away to a nearby hospital.

Officials explained he just suffered a heart attack. Hobson was still alive thanks to a nearby defibrillator, and a fully prepared athletic trainer.

Andrea Gowan is a trainer with Heritage High. She and Hobson met for the first time since the incident Friday afternoon.

“I got a call from a parent, and then I heard them call for me over the PA system,” said Gowan. “I ran from soccer, down to baseball.”

She soon spotted a collapsed Hobson, a crowd of people, and a defibrillator ready to go.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Hooked the AED up, cleared everybody back,” said Gowan. “It delivered one shock, and we restarted CPR, and luckily after that first set of CPR he actually came back.”

Andrea had been properly defibrillator trained, but most of the devices are made to be used by all, with clearly marked instructions, or even voice commands.

“So having them available for people to use, to help save people, it makes a huge difference,” said Gowan.

“I’m glad you were there,” added Hobson. “Yeah I’m glad you were there, ‘cause if you hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Hobson now has a pace maker. He’s taking it easy at his doctor’s request, but says he’ll be back out watching baseball in no time.

Anyone interested in CPR, or defibrillator training, can visit the American Red Cross, or the American Heart Association.

Awards

New Jersey Athletic Trainer Winner of Newell Regional Award

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Article reposted from Hopatcong Lake Regional News
Author: Hopatcong Lake Regional News

Roxbury High School Athletic Trainer Joe Koch has been named the winner of the 2017 Newell Regional Award.

The Newell National Athletic Trainer of the Year Award recognizes athletic trainers for the service and leadership they provide local athletic communities.

Koch is now eligible for the National Award which will be determined by The Newell Award National Committee and announced in May 2017.

More about the Newell National Athletic Trainer of the Year Award

The Newell National Athletic Trainer of the Year Award recognizes athletic trainers for the service and leadership they provide local athletic communities.

In partnership with leading orthopaedic practices, one local athletic trainer from each participating region is selected to be considered for The Newell National Athletic Trainer of the Year Award.

Based on examples of service, leadership, and shared experiences from community members, The Newell Award National Athletic Trainer of the Year will be determined by The Newell Award National Committee and announced in May 2017.

The winner of The Newell National Athletic Trainer of the Year Award will win $2,500 for their school and $10,000 as the National Award recipient.

College and University

Oakland athletic trainer Tom Ford steps away after ALS diagnosis

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Article reposted from Oakland Press
Author: Oakland Press

Oakland University Associate Athletic Trainer Tom Ford announced on Saturday that he is stepping away from his duties due to being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Ford has spent 30 years at Oakland providing outstanding treatment to thousands of student-athletes during his tenure.

“This illness came to me and my family as a complete surprise,” said Ford in a press release. “The athletics department identifies each area with the person’s fathead and favorite movie quote. My quote is from the movie Forrest Gump and it is ‘My Mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ How ironic is my movie quote now.

“I’m currently on ALS information overload. I’m trying to learn like everyone else about this disease. I knew about Lou Gehrig and the Ice Bucket Challenge which the Athletic Training staff took part in a few years ago. But other than that, I’m learning. Unfortunately this disease cannot be treated with ice, rehabilitation and tape.”

Ford came to Oakland in 1988 and immediately began working with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with the day-to-day duties of the athletic training office as the university’s only athletic trainer. In June 2012, Ford was recognized as the Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Society’s (MATS) Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award honoree for his superlative service to the field. He has worked with men’s basketball ever since his arrival, finishing his 30th season on the bench for the Golden Grizzlies. This year he also primarily worked with women’s soccer, as well as the men’s and women’s golf teams.

“Tom has been with me for 30 years, he is part of the fabric of not only the basketball program, but the athletic department,” said men’s basketball head coach Greg Kampe. “Wherever I go, athletic alums are always asking how T Ford is doing. He is a legend among the student-athletes, and is someone who they believed in, confided in and used as one of their biggest mentors as they progressed through their athletic careers.

“Tom spent his life keeping our athletes healthy, and now it’s on us to help him as he goes through this health issue. As a coach, colleague and friend, I am indebted to him for his service and will always be there for him. He will always be a part of our program.”

A Rochester Hills resident, Ford was recently inducted into the Ball State University Cardinal Sports Medicine Society Ring of Honor in 2016. He worked at the United States Olympic Sports Festival and Olympic Training Center with men’s hockey, and with the speedskaters at the Winter World University Games in Bulgaria.

Ford received a bachelor’s degree from Ball State in 1981 and went on to earn a master’s degree in health/athletic training and sports medicine from the University of Arizona in 1982. After he graduated from Arizona, he worked as an assistant athletic trainer for the Dallas Cowboys (1982) and spent six years as head athletic trainer at Cypress Creek High School in Houston, Texas before coming to Oakland University.

“Lou Gehrig once said in a speech that he considered himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” said Ford. “Well I’m here to tell you that I feel equally lucky. I could never have done this without the support of my family and for that I’m very grateful. The university, the athletics department and the tremendous student-athletes that I have had the pleasure working with have made it fun to come to work every day. That will be the thing I miss the most, the relationships that have been built over time.”

In honor of Ford’s service, the Golden Grizzlies will change the Black and Gold Spirit Award to the Tom Ford Black and Gold Spirit Award and present it at the Black and Gold Awards inside the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit. More recognition opportunities are being planned for Ford within Athletics.

“Tom Ford is an institution at this university,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Konya. “He is always welcome within these walls and we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude.”

Ford would like to spend time as a volunteer with the ALS Foundation. He will continue to live in Rochester Hills with his wife Kathy. They have three children, Tom, Travis and Keriann and one granddaughter Elleanna.

The Golden Grizzlies will host Tom Ford Day on Dec. 9 when Oakland takes on Chicago State in men’s basketball. All former student-athletes are encouraged to attend to celebrate Ford’s tremendous accomplishments.

“I’m not going anywhere and I plan on battling this difficult disease with every challenge it gives me,” said Ford.

Awards

Far West Athletic Trainers Association Awards Night

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Article reposted from PR Web
Author: 

The Far West Athletic Trainers Association held their Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada April 27th-29th. This years events offered something for everyone, including EBP educational sessions, feature presentation labs, NATA workshops, student sessions, meetings, and social gatherings honoring the FWATA Hall of Fame Members and 2017 Award Winners.

This year’s convention attendance reached over a thousand, which includes registered attendees, guest and exhibitors, setting a new record for the FWATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium. With a variety of events, including EBP educational sessions, feature presentation labs, NATA workshops, student sessions, meetings, and social gatherings, FWATA offered something for everyone.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 was “FWATA Hall of Fame Day”. The day started with the Hall of Fame Breakfast where eleven HOF members joined to welcome Carolyn Peters to this prestigious group of FWATA members. “FWATA Hall of Fame Day” concluded with the 2017 Awards Banquet. During the banquet, over 500 attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner while the 25 year members, 50+ year members, FWATA Student Scholarships and Research & Grants Awardees were recognized.

The FWATA Honors & Awards Special Recognition Awards were awarded to Ginger Lei Salera Ehrke, LAT, ATC and Ruem Malasarn, MA, ATC. Presenter Todd Hamburg had this to say about Ginger: “Ginger Lei Ehrke is one of the hardest working individuals I have been around. She has worked tirelessly to help to promote the profession of athletic training. I have been fortunate enough to work beside her in a number of settings and it is a pleasure to call her my colleague and my friend.” Kris Boyle-Walker presented the award to Ruem and commented “Ruem has taken the Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium to the next level providing attendees with a meaningful educational opportunity as well as, a memorable positive experience. His work on behalf of the FWATA Convention Committee has been tireless and his impact far reaching.”

The evening continued with Kris Boyle-Walker presenting Kavin Tsang, PhD, ATC, FWATA’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. “Kavin’s service to FWATA has been extensive and he has represented FWATA on the District and National level with integrity and distinction,” Kris said. “I respect and admire Kavin tremendously. He is a very humble man and serves his profession and professional organization as he feels it is his duty as a member.” “My sincerest mahalo to everyone in D8 for the MDAT recognition. It is truly an honor to serve and represent our membership; I hope to continue with this privilege as we move forward as a district in advancing and promoting our profession. Aloha” states Kavin.

The highlight of the evening was the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction of Carolyn Peters. Carolyn Greer presented Ms. Peters the award after viewing an induction video. HOF Carolyn Greer said “I was honored to present Carolyn Peters with the FWATA Hall of Fame award. Her selfless commitment to the NATA and FWATA is unparalleled. In addition, her daily commitment to excellence in her work and personal life exemplify the basis for the award.” Carolyn Peters’ induction to the Hall of Fame was emotional, heartwarming and well deserved. Hall of Famer Peters said “I cannot express what an amazing and emotional moment this was for me and my family. Thinking about the moment Bill put the Hall of Fame ring on my finger still chokes me up. I wear it and share Bill’s thoughts, ‘it’s a career, not an event.’ Thanks again to the members and volunteers for attending and arranging a most memorable evening.”

Thank you to all of our on-site convention volunteers for making this year’s Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium a success! This event would not be possible without each of you and your willingness to donate your time and efforts. We had over 75 onsite volunteers and session moderators assist the Convention Committee in preparations and daily operations during convention week, many of whom signed up for multiple shifts. We would like to thank Dennis Goebel, his staff and the tee, title and tournament sponsors who successfully raised $13,832.46 during the FWATA Annual Student Scholarship Golf Tournament.

For more information please visit http://www.fwatad8.org

Awards

Longtime Athletic Trainer Cantu To Be Inducted Into VATA Hall Of Fame

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Article reposted from The Brownsville Herald
Author: Roy Hess

As an athletic trainer, Jimi Cantu is living out the promise he made to himself after his best friend was injured while playing football and subsequently died in 1972.

Cantu, currently the Lopez Lobos’ athletic trainer, has spent 36 years in his chosen profession. He traces his career path back to a single tragic and impactful event as a student at Harlingen’s Vernon Middle School.

It was 1972 when Cantu’s best friend suffered a serious head injury while playing in a freshman football game. When no one else immediately reacted to help, a parent came out of the stands to perform CPR and keep the player alive.

The player was hospitalized, but never regained consciousness and died three days later.

“We were like brothers,” Cantu said of his friend.

“(With no trainer there) no one knew what to do for him, not even the coaches,” added Cantu, a 1976 Harlingen High graduate who received his college degree in 1981 from Pan American University. “I made a promise that I would never (again) be a spectator (in a situation like that) and watch someone die.

“The reasons are personal and different (as to why someone becomes a trainer). For me, that was it. I know I may not be able to save everyone, but I want to do what I can.”

Cantu has worked as an athletic trainer at every one of Brownsville’s six public high schools plus he had a 10-year stint at Los Fresnos. In 1979-80, he spent two summers in Florida as the trainer for a baseball team in the Houston Astros’ minor league organization.

He is considered one of the Rio Grande Valley’s leading athletic trainers.

Cantu, 58, will be among the inaugural class of inductees at Saturday’s Valley Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame banquet at Edinburg Event Center. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with a ceremony to follow at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event were pre-sold and no longer are available.

VATA has existed 16 years and this will be the organization’s first hall of fame class.

Also to be inducted is the late Larry Lohr, who is regarded as the Valley’s first athletic trainer. Lohr worked at high schools in Donna, Weslaco, McAllen and La Feria.

Saturday’s other inductees include Raul Zamarripa (Harlingen High, retired), Jim Lancaster (UTRGV), Cathy Gilberto (San Benito), Dennis Walker (La Joya, retired) and James Meguire (Rio Grande City).

Bob Aparicio Jr. (Mission, retired) is scheduled to receive the VATA Dedicated Service Award.

Jason Starkey, Lopez’s football coach/athletic coordinator, said Cantu is well-deserving of Saturday’s recognition.
“We’re super blessed to have Jimi in the Brownsville school district,” Starkey said. “There’s a reason he’s being honored.

“While Jimi is an outstanding athletic trainer, he does so much more for our campus than just tape ankles and treat injuries,” the Lopez coach added. “He’s helped transform a lot of our students (with his strong faith). He brings the spiritual aspect to our campus. His faith, his marriage and his leadership provide an example for all of us.”

Starkey said Cantu is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor at Lopez who has organized before school gatherings for students, including the football team, plus a Bible study for the coaches.

“I wouldn’t be the coach that I am without Jimi Cantu on our campus,” Starkey said.
Cantu said his role as a trainer has changed over the years to include teaching and mentoring students who want to someday enter his field as a profession.

“I have no plans to stop now,” he said. “I love what I’m doing. It’s been a great (school) year here at Lopez and I’ve had a great career. I don’t feel that God’s done with me yet.”

 

Awards

Casey Northcraft Honored With Drug Free Sport Continuing Education Award

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Article reposted from Go Creighton.com
Author: Go Creighton.com

Creighton University Assistant Athletic Trainer Casey Northcraft is one of five recipients of  the 2017 Drug Free Sport Continuing Education Award.

In honor of the work that high school and collegiate certified athletic trainers perform to prevent drug abuse, in correcting dietary supplement misinformation, and as safeguards on the front lines of preventing addiction, The National Center for Drug Free Sport® (Drug Free Sport®) established the Drug Free Sport Continuing Education Award. In partnership with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the 2017 award winners of $1,000 grants are as follows:

– Tandi Hawkey, Senior Athletic Trainer; University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA).
– Chris Lacsamana, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine; Jacksonville State University.
Casey Northcraft, Assistant Athletic Trainer; Creighton University.
– Mike Van Bruggen, Head Athletic Trainer/Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine; Carson-Newman University.
– Joe Whitson, Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Training Services; Bradley University.

“From a major California metropolis to a rural Alabama college town and points in between, these award winners represent some of the best in their field,” said Chris Guinty, President/CEO of Drug Free Sport. “We are impressed by their commitment to ensuring fair and safe sport. In a highly competitive field of applicants, these five men and women stood out. It’s an absolute pleasure to be a small part of continuing their education and work in sports medicine, along with bettering student-athletes.”

Drug Free Sport is the industry leader in sport drug testing and sport drug education, with its staff, technology, experience, client base, and field collectors being key assets to our success. Since 2013, Drug Free Sport has granted more than $28,000 in continuing education funds toward certified athletic trainers in high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States.

Northcraft is finishing her first full year at Creighton, where she works with the Bluejay volleyball and rowing teams.

The judging committee for the awards is comprised of a diverse group of sport drug testing professionals and certified athletic trainers, including a former award recipient.

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ABOUT DRUG FREE SPORT: The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc. (Drug Free Sport®) is a world-wide leader in the sport drug-testing industry. Drug Free Sport administers comprehensive drug-testing programs, manages national and international collections, develops drug-testing policies, and provides educational services to a wide range of clients in sport, including MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA, NBA D-League, PGA Tour, LPGA, USGA, CrossFit Games, NCAA, the Big Ten Conference, NAIA, World of Outlaws, and more than 300 colleges, universities, and amateur athletics organizations around the world. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code-compliant testing for performance-enhancing substances and industry-innovating sport drug testing collection and education technologies are part of the comprehensive and confidential total solution Drug Free Sport provides for drug prevention needs. Drug Free Sport boasts a highly educated, experienced and diverse staff that is committed to technical innovation and maintaining the most extensive network of highly-trained certified sport drug-testing collectors in the industry. Drug Free Sport is based in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, visit drugfreesport.com or find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.