Maryville High School recently won the Safe Sport School award for its outstanding athletic training program.

Adam Becker gets his knee inspected by Maryville High School Athletic Trainer Paul Snow.

Adam Becker gets his knee inspected by Maryville High School Athletic Trainer Paul Snow.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has been campaigning for school districts to employ their own trainers. One of the organization’s incentives is the Safe Sports School award. Athletic trainers can apply and their programs must meet determined qualifications.

The criteria includes submitting the school’s emergency action plan for basic injuries to major traumatic events. The plans detail procedures for initial treatment, contacting parents and transportation. They also include inclement weather plans such as procedures and alternatives for practices and games when weather does not comply. Trainers also include details about their working relationship with area nurses and paramedics.

Paul Snow became a certified athletic trainer in 1991 and has been the athletic trainer for the Maryville R-II School District for 17 years. Previously, he worked in Joplin at a sports medicine clinic.

Maryville is the only school district in the area that has its own full-time athletic trainer on site.

Other Nodaway County schools contract through SSM Health St. Francis Hospital for athletic trainer services. Snow said Kansas City is the closest school district with its own personal trainer on staff.

“Maryville High School has been very fortunate for the support from the community to have this program available for their student athletes,” Snow said.

  The program began when Dave Colt, Northwest Missouri State University athletic trainer, and Dr. Jim Redd, Northwest coach and Maryville School Board member, saw a need. A graduate assistant university student first filled the role and it evolved into a full-time position. Snow is the second full-time employee to assume the duties.

Snow begins his day at 7 am with morning treatments. Depending on the season and the sport, he treats up to 20 kids each morning. They work on range of motion, ultrasound treatments that help the body heal, conditioning and electric stimulation therapy, injury prevention services and rehabilitation. He assists students with many services, from taping of thumbs and daily physical therapy exercises to recovery after surgical procedures.

During the day, Snow teaches Spoofhound Academy, a credit recovery class that helps students catch up on their classes.

After school, he performs pre-practice and pre-game taping and a second round of rehabilitation sessions and treatments. Snow attends high school home games and travels on Friday’s with the varsity football team.

Snow earned his bachelor’s in secondary education with an emphasis in athletic training from Northwest and his master’s in secondary education with an emphasis in athletic training from Iowa State.

“Paul does a fantastic job with our kids. He puts in a tremendous amount of time. He comes in early to put in time with our kids. We are very lucky to have a guy like Paul with his expertise,” Mat Beu, Maryville R-II activities director, said.