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Athletic Training Students Land Internships with the Big Leagues

Reds, Bengals and Royals Hosting WC Interns

May 15, 2014

From the left, Luke Teeters, Nicholas Brannon and Joseph Brown are working as interns with the Kansas City Royals' AA club, the Omaha Storm Chasers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds, respectively.

From the left, Luke Teeters, Nicholas Brannon and Joseph Brown are working as interns with the Kansas City Royals' AA club, the Omaha Storm Chasers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds, respectively.

Three Wilmington College students are joining professional sports teams now that school is out for the summer.

WC’s acclaimed program in athletic training/sports medicine placed three of its top students in internships with major professional sports teams.

Seniors Nicholas Brannon and Joseph Brown are joining the Cincinnati Bengals and Reds, respectively, while 2014 graduate Luke Teeters will be an intern for the Kansas City Royals’ AAA Club, the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Brannon’s appointment in the National Football League renews a now 37-year tradition of WC having at least one intern annually with the Bengals. This started when Paul Sparling, the Bengals’ long-time head athletic trainer, was an athletic training student at WC.

Larry Howard, professor of athletic training and director of the College’s program, said Sparling went from studying athletic training at Wilmington to becoming one of the National Football League’s most highly regarded head athletic trainers.

“Paul’s been with the team for 36 years,” Howard added. “We’ve sent him such outstanding athletic training students that he’s kept taking them.”

Brannon, a resident of Wilmington, started with the Bengals in April and will continue throughout the NFL preseason, regular season and “ideally into January,” he said.

“Growing up in southern Ohio, I always liked Cincinnati teams,” Brannon added. “I realize I have pretty big footsteps to fill considering how long Wilmington’s sent interns to the Bengals, but I feel well prepared. This is a great opportunity for me — my dream job is working in the NFL.”

Howard said WC “got its foot in the door” with the Reds when WC alumnus Nick Kenney had an internship with the ball club in the 1990s. Kenney went on to become assistant athletic trainer with the Reds and Cleveland Indians, and, for the past four seasons, has been the Kansas City Royals’ head athletic trainer.

Kenney, a 1994 graduate, was named baseball’s top head athletic trainer after the 2011 season. The Reds’ medical staff was selected as the 2012 season’s best.

Brown, a Dayton resident, is interested in ultimately practicing medicine. Now that school is out, he will work every home game throughout the Reds’ season, which he hopes will last well into October.

“I’ve been following the Reds for a long time,” Brown said. “I don’t think there’s a better internship than working with a professional sports team. I feel ready.”

Brown is the 11th WC intern with the Reds since Kenney held that position.

Teeters, a resident of Waverly, is no stranger to pro sports, as he had an internship last year with the Reds. Unlike the Cincinnati teams, the Royals’ organization prefers its interns to be freshly minted college graduates. In Teeters’ case, he enters the internship with the letters ATC after his name. This spring, he passed the national athletic training certification exam.

Going into the internship as an ATC provides Teeters with an opportunity to engage in higher-level athletic training activities.

“I hope to have a lot of responsibilities,” he said. “I should be able to do a lot of hands-on work and get more experience.”

Howard said, “Luke, Joey and Nick all possess a good work ethic and represent the College well. They’ve been great students.”