When a player is suspected of having a concussion, he can’t go back into the game unless cleared by a trainer or physician.
“That’s normal, whether it’s that injury or any other injury,” said Anderson County High School football coach Mark Peach. “And that’s why I do like having an impartial third party where you’re trying to coach the game and you have someone that can medically diagnose and figure out what’s the next best step to take for that player.”
This is the first year Anderson County has had a full-time trainer. While the KHSAA recommends schools have a trainer at games and practices, it is not required.
“We have a team physician that’s always at our games. We do not have an athletic trainer,” Belfry High School (Pike County) football coach Philip Haywood said. “Some rural areas have it a little more difficult. We’re pretty fortunate to have a team physician come to our game.”
University of Kentucky’s Division of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine provides full-time trainers to Woodford County and to Fayette County’s five high schools. UK also provides part-time outreach training services to some high schools in the area.
Certified trainer Walker Terhune has worked with Woodford County for 10 years.
Anderson County High School junior center Jacob Brady is helped off the field by a trainer
and coach after injuring his knee against Woodford County on Oct. 9.
“It’s an advantage because we’re there every day, not just for games,” Terhune said.
Terhune said he works with the athletes before the game to help with injury prevention and is the first responder if a player is injured during a game. He also works with players to rehab injuries.
“Obviously from a liability standpoint it helps the school having us there; from a financial standpoint it helps as well,” Terhune said. “There’s a lot of education to be done of how much money we can save people by being on site.”
Terhune said it can lower a school’s liability insurance and also save money being billed to the parents’ insurance and the school’s secondary insurance.
“Surgery costs, doctor’s visits, physical therapy visits. If you’ve got an athletic trainer on site, they can help defer a lot of those costs,” Terhune said.
“Also the athlete’s getting better care because we’re continuing that care and we’re getting them better as far as that rehab,” he added. “You’re not just trusting a teenager to go out and do some work on their own, so you’re able to increase the level of care they’re getting but also you’re decreasing those insurance bills.”