WHS needs a new trainer

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

Washington High School began searching for a new athletic trainer about six months ago. They have not any applicants. They are required by the state to have a trainer on staff, but not having one hinders what their sports teams can do for practice.

“The football team cannot put pads on unless we have a trainer on staff,” athletic director Lane Raper said. “We are hoping that by mid-July we can practice with pads on but we need a trainer first.”

Raper said part of the problem is the fact that it is lots of hours and working Friday nights for football games. He also said the pay is not where it should be. They are offering $37,000 as a base and it can be negotiated based on education or previous experience.

Raper said bigger schools near Raleigh and Charlotte offer their trainers closer to $50,000. This is what happened to the previous trainer at WHS. Kiersten Smith had the job last fall but left for a better opportunity in Charlotte. Raper said she was amazing while she was at WHS.

They are looking for someone who can stay there for multiple years. “We want longevity,” Raper said. “We had one trainer that was here for 25 years and he was great. Ever since he retired, we’ve had three different trainers in five years. We want someone willing to stay for the long run.”

They are also looking for a full-time trainer instead of a first responder. The difference between the two is a first responder is trained in CPR and basic first aid. A full-time trainer undergoes more in-depth training with an online course and certification. The full-time trainer would be required to attend all practices and home games for the football team and home games for every other sport. The position would require the candidate to be able to treat minor injuries that occur on the field.

Raper has contacted ECU for interns for potential credit hours. This did not work out, as Raper said ECU has a contract with Pitt County that states students looking for credit hours have to remain in the county to get credit hours. This means that ECU students cannot get credit hours at WHS. “The worst case scenario is I will have to take the training and fill the position myself. I really hope it doesn’t come to that but we need this position filled as soon as possible,” Raper said.