Local News

Carrboro High to hire full-time athletic trainer

Posted August 16, 2009 1:19 p.m. EDT
Updated August 16, 2009 2:57 p.m. EDT

— A year after a Chapel Hill High School football player died after a pre-season scrimmage, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district plans to hire its first full-time athletic trainer.

David Mills, a member of the state Board of Athletic Trainer Examiners, said Carrboro High School will be the first school in the Triangle area with a full-time athletic trainer. Some other schools have faculty members who are certified as trainers.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro district wanted to hire a teacher who could double as a trainer but had little success attracting applicants because of the long hours involved, district spokesman Stephanie Knott said. District administrators might consider hiring full-time trainers at other local high schools if the pilot program at Carrboro High proves to be successful, she said.

Last August, Chapel Hill High lineman Atlas Fraley was found dead in his home hours after participating in a scrimmage. He called 911 after going home, complaining of severe cramping and dehydration, and a paramedic went to his home to check him out but didn't take him to a hospital for treatment.

Fraley's death and the deaths of two other football players last fall following concussions prompted the North Carolina High School Athletic Association to consider requiring all schools to have certified athletic trainers on staff, including teachers who doubled as trainers. Many schools statewide have first-responders at sporting events to handle injuries.

Funding concerns forced the NCHSAA to table the trainer requirement.

Carrboro High plans to pay its trainer out of the budget for coaches on teams that the school isn't fielding this year.

An autopsy couldn't determine the cause of Fraley's death.

State regulators cleared the paramedic, who resigned two weeks after Fraley's death, of any wrongdoing in the incident.