Ten years ago, Larry Nottingham accepted the position as athletic trainer at Edison High School. There was no pay, but Nottingham, a science teacher, became the pioneer for the sports trainer program in Fairfax County.
"Emery Chesley, who was the principal at the time, was a sports enthusiast and made the position available for me," said Nottingham, now the trainer at Robinson. "I know I was the first certified trainer and had to take care of both teams. It was interesting."
Nottingham doesn't have to worry about taking care of both teams anymore. Mary Cestone recently accepted a trainer position at Madison and now all 23 schools in Northern Virginia have full-time certified trainers. All also are full-time teachers in the school system.
"I don't know of any other school district in the country that has full-time paid trainers at every school," said Bill Savage, coordinator for athletics in Fairfax County. "I really feel confident that all of our athletes are getting the best health care on the field. I hope this program catches on in the rest of the country. This is a needed program."
Cestone is one of eight women trainers in Fairfax County. Savage said the trainers are paid approximately $4,200, about the same as an assistant coach.
"We started getting supplements about six or seven years ago and each year it got larger," Nottingham said. "A few years ago, there was a big push to hire trainers and the school board increased the supplements. You work all year and sometimes leaving school (with the teams) creates a slight problem with classes. But no more than any other coach.
"It's a needed program. Trainers take a lot of pressure off the coaches," he said. "A coach doesn't have the time or the training in most cases to deal with the kids who may get hurt in a game."
Elsewhere in the area, there are a few full-time and part-time trainers. But it's not uncommon to see an athletic event where no trainer or medical person is present. Those schools that do have trainers have started a student trainer program.
"I have about five or six students who assist me," Nottingham said. "I hope all the area schools really start to go into this direction (getting full-time trainers and student trainers). What it comes down to is an administration decision. If a school system wants them, they can get all the trainers they want because they're out there. It depends on what administrators feel is important."
O'Connell's Eric Metcalf, the son of former Redskins running back Terry Metcalf, scored three times in his team's 33-3 victory over Yorktown last week and now has seven touchdowns in two games, giving him the scoring leadership in Northern Virginia and the area with 42 points. Five other players in Northern Virginia have four touchdowns.
Returning recovered fumbles was a popular way to score last week; 13 touchdowns were scored in that manner . . . Hayfield's modest one-game winning streak was broken by Stuart, 14-7. Hayfield ended a 27-game losing streak with a 14-6 victory over Langley two weeks ago . . . Home fields are no advantage these days; visiting teams won 17 of 28 games last week.
Top individual performances: Langley's Ken Smith with 133 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 17-8 victory over Washington-Lee; Herndon's Jeff Roberts with three touchdown passes in 20-0 victory over Chantilly; Oakton's Casey Beathard, son of Redskins General Manager Bobby Beathard, with three touchdown passes, two to Jimmy Jauch, the son of the Federals Coach Ray Jauch, in a 21-19 victory over Madison; Bethlehem Baptist's J.D. Gibbs, son of Redskin Coach Joe Gibbs, with four touchdown passes in a 26-12 win over Quantico.