Summers begins ninth year of caring

Published 7:29 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nine years and counting.

That is how long certified athletic trainer Chris Summers has taken care of the health and injury needs of Bainbridge High School Bearcats football players.

For the first seven of those years, Summers worked for Memorial Hospital and Manor, which provided his services to the Bainbridge High School athletic department free of charge.

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He is beginning his second year as a health education teacher at Bainbridge Middle School.

Summers, who takes care of the training needs of all Bearcats and Lady Cats athletic teams, worked with coach Greg Guy’s Bearcats football team for five years and coach Ricky Woods Bearcats football team for one year.

He is in his third year taking care of the training needs of coach Ed Pilcher’s Bearcats.

Summers has extensive athletic training experience at the high school and collegiate levels.

After graduating from Port St. Joe, Fla., High School in 1994, he went on to Florida State University where he served the athletic training needs of the football, track, tennis, golf and swimming teams.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in health education and community health administration with a specialty in sports medicine and a master’s degree in sports administration at Florida State.

While at Florida State, Summers was athletic trainer for coach Bobby Bowden’s 1999 Florida State Seminoles undefeated national championship football team that defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 47-29 in the Sugar Bowl.

From 2000 to May 2002, he was athletic trainer at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Fla., and was on the staff of Tallahassee Orthopedic Sports and Physical Therapy.

When injuries are of a serious enough nature to require a visit to the hospital or the office of an orthopedic specialist, or other doctors for treatment, Summers stays with the player or players until he is sure they are all right.

During early practices in the heat of spring and summer, Summers, coach Pilcher and his coaching staff provide the players with frequent water breaks.

With the assistance of local physicians and other health care professionals, Summers puts together a day of free physicals for BHS athletes in all sports each spring. Athletes must pass a physical examination before being allowed to compete.

Coach Pilcher praised Summers for caring both for and about his Bearcats players.

“Chris is very thorough in everything he does.”