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Student trainer program successful

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Where there is, a sport there is bound to be injuries, and it is the responsibility of a sports trainer to handle them.

Encore sports trainer John Hammontre has been handling Hartselle sports since 2006, and coaches have been pleased with his work year in and year out. However, it has always been a hectic schedule, so the idea was brought to him to have student trainers. In 2013, he accepted.

“Technically I don’t work for Hartselle; I work for Encore,” Hammontre said, “but they kept asking me, so finally I said I would take a few.”

This program isn’t a class the students take where they sit in classrooms, learn and take tests. All the training the students do is hands-on as they help the professional trainers with taping, icing, wrapping and mending all the bumps and bruises the athletes take. The program started out in 2013 with four students, before it increased to six in 2014 The program now has nine students helping Hammontre.

So far the program has been considered to be very productive.

“It helps a lot,” Hammontre said. “There are more people to help me get the things done that I need, and they get to have hands-on experience.”

Head student trainer Matt McKissack has been doing it now for three years, which is longer than anybody else in the program, and he thinks the program was a fantastic idea.

“I love it,” McKissack  said. “Sports medicine is the career that I want to go into, so I love being able to get this early experience.”

While there are nine students in the program, only six will be handling football, which is considered to be the top priority for sports trainers because of its full contact nature. However, out of those six only one has done it before. There will be five new faces on the sidelines for the Tigers.

The young students are excited and nervous as they finish their first fall camp and prepare to make their first road trip. Head trainer John Hammontre thinks they can handle it.

“They handled their first two weeks well,” Hammontre said, “so they should be alright.”

The Hartselle Tigers will travel to Pinson valley Fri., Aug. 21, to take on the Indians at 7 p.m. and the student athletic trainers will be right on the sidelines with them.