With Trainer, Stevens Fills a Longtime Void

Claremont — For a long time, a critical position in the Stevens High School athletic department has gone unfulfilled. As best as anyone can remember, in the 100-plus years of the school’s existence, there has never been an athletic trainer. There is one now, and her name is Ashley Cail.

In the past, there have been times when doctors would be on the sidelines for football games and EMTs from Golden Cross readily available for some varsity and junior varsity events. But starting this fall season, Stevens will have a certified athletic trainer at all practices and interscholastic contests.

After meeting with an athletic trainer at Keene State College last spring, Stevens Athletic Director Aaron House came away knowing that his school was in real need for someone to fill that position in Claremont. But while the need was obvious, the funding was not.

Enter Valley Regional Hospital.

House, after discussions with the Stevens administration, thought perhaps Stevens could enter into a partnership with Valley Regional to share the services of an athletic trainer.

“This was absolutely the right thing to do,” Valley Regional Hospital CEO Peter Wright said. “It just made sense for two of the larger institutions in the city sharing this responsibility that will benefit the children in this community.

“This is just a feel good program,” Wright added. “It’s not something you see in a lot of communities. I understand Aaron House has been involved with a lot of good things since he arrived at Stevens High School, and this certainly in one of them.

“Once I met and listened to Aaron I knew I wanted the hospital to be involved in this program. This just feels right.”

Cail, 22, and a recent graduate of the athletic training program at Colby-Sawyer College, can’t wait to get started

“I’m honored and very lucky and thrilled to get this position,” said Cail, who will begin work at Valley Regional on Aug. 19.

The schedule will find Cail at the hospital in the mornings and whenever she is needed at Stevens during the rest of the day. She will be at practices, games and do some traveling with the teams. “Ashley is a very high energy person and can’t wait to get going,” House said of Cail.

Even before she has officially started her job, Cail has designated “prevention” as one area she will immediately concentrate upon.

“That’s one of the key areas she will be involved in,” House said. “Prevention is so important.”

Cail will have an office near the gym and will be supplied with pretty much whatever she needs for a medical budget. Stevens principal Frank Sprague, who was an accomplished long-distance runner during his high school career at Stevens, recalls running in his Converse All-Star sneakers instead of wearing proper foot gear.

“Now we’ll have someone to give advice and make recommendations in situations like that,” said Sprague. “This is a huge step forward for Stevens and I tip my hat to Valley Regional’s Peter Wright. We absolutely have the right person for the job in Ashley Cail.”

Cail also sees how her position at both facilities could be beneficial in the rehabilitation area.

“If an athlete needed rehab I could keep in touch with that athlete when he is rehabbing at the hospital as well as watching his progress at the school,” she said.