The Claiborne County School Board will decide next month whether to renew its sports medicine contract with its existing provider or go with a Morristown-based therapist.
Both high schools have been served the last year by Mara Brock and Sarah Bean, who are athletic trainers with the Harrogate-based Pinnacle Performance.
Heather Smith, who is the owner and a physical therapist at the facility, spoke as a representative for the two women.
“They’ve done a lot in the last year and I think they really deserve a big applause. They’ve done a lot for all the sports. They did a part-time contract that enabled them to be at all the home football games and most of the home games for all the other sports,” said Smith.
The primary goal, she said, is to get the athletes quickly back on the field.
“Next year, we’re planning on doing more case studies so that we can really track how much faster they got them back,” said Smith.
Athletic trainers are what you want on the sidelines – not a physical therapist, she said.
“They’re trained to be that emergency responder. They’re trained to do a spine board, they’re trained to assess concussions – which, a lot of laws are coming into the state. I think, in the next few years, this will be mandatory for all impact sports – that there is an athletic trainer, on staff, with the athletes,” said Smith.
She reminded the board of recent liability issues that nearby county school systems are dealing with in regard to concussive injuries and how it will affect future games.
The board also heard from D. Scott Thomas, a Morristown-based physical therapist. Thomas said he had bid for the Claiborne High School sports medicine contract.
He said he had been in healthcare, sports medicine and orthopedics for over 25 years and that he holds licenses in orthopedic sports medicine. The licenses, he said, allows him a wide range including the evaluation of injuries and the assessment of corrective measures for prosthetics.
According to Thomas, he is also qualified to train others in his field.
He admitted not being certified as an athletic trainer. However, he said he carries the same experience and work ethic.
Thomas says he would like to enhance the sports program by enlisting student athletes in performing ‘extra activity’ with the coaching staff. He suggested possibly adding an educational element in the classrooms.
Those working toward a career in the healthcare industry would be given a chance to work ‘on the sidelines.’ Those aiming for a job as a physical therapist, an athletic trainer, a doctor or a nurse could be given extra instruction during after-school classes or during the summer, he said.
Thomas, who works out of his home, is contracted with a Memphis-based medical company.
In other action, the board approved the appointment of Tiffany Pace as a volunteer assistant for the Cumberland Gap High School girls’ soccer team; Lorri Kimbrough remains as the head coach.
Former coach Shawn Peters, who recently retired, will be replaced as head of the Claiborne High School boys’ soccer team by Jason Mustard. Jeff Sorke was appointed the CHS girls’ soccer team coach.
The three appointments are pending appropriate background checks.
Peters, who created the soccer program at CHS, will be sorely missed, said Connie Holdway, director of schools.
The board honored Michelle McGeorge for earning a spot in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference. McGeorge will be representing the state in the Career Investigation STAR events competition.
The student submitted a 25-page portfolio and presented a ten-minute oral speech as part of the first trials. McGeorge placed first in the regional conference, held in Chattanooga, earning an impressive 96 percent out of a 100 percentile grade.
It appears the three-month standoff for the coveted attendance plaque has come to an end. H. Y. Livesay Middle School earned the highest attendance for the month and managed to snag the ‘bragging rights’ from Clairfield Elementary, who had held the title for three months in a row.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.