Red Bank High Wants To Keep Its Athletic Trainer - And Response

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Red Bank High School is facing a situation we didn't see coming... at the start of the school of all times.  We are in danger of losing our athletic trainer, Molly Thomas.  The company she works for decided for whatever reason that her time with us is up.  To do this at the beginning of the school year is perhaps one of the dumbest decisions to make, and certainly shows us that the best interests of our student athletes is not one of their priorities.   The students, staff, and parents are very upset at the possibility of losing their beloved athletic trainer, and this is not the way we wanted to start our school year. Unprofessional is the only word I can use to describe this situation. 

But that is not how I would describe Molly Thomas.  Molly has been with Red Bank High School for several years.  She is closely connected to the students and staff, as well as the parents.  She is a vital part of the Red Bank High School family and we do not want to lose her!  Molly goes above and beyond her duties as an athletic trainer.  She is at every practice, every game, every tournament for every sports team at Red Bank High School.  She provides clinics over the summer for student athletes in the pre season.  These clinics greatly help the student athletes prepare for their seasons, both physically and mentally, which in turn has drastically cut down the injury rate at Red Bank High School.  

She puts in way more hours than what she's paid for, and she treats every student athlete that walks through the Red Bank High School doors as her own, whether they are a part of Red Bank High School or from another school.  She is the perfect combination of professional, caring, motivating, inspiring,  while at the same time helping our kids grow in strength and self confidence and showing them that they are capable of more than what they maybe realize.  She provides a safe, healthy, and nurturing learning environment for our kids.  She is also a great example of a smart, successful, happy, healthy woman... something many teenage girls need today.  One student has even said that they were considering dropping out of high school... but that was before they talked to Molly.  She has inspired them to stay in school, and now that student hopes to one day become a physical therapist.   Kids today are growing up in such a tough, cruel, cold world.  They need as many positive influences as they can get. 

Neither the parents, nor students, nor staff at Red Bank High School are taking this situation lying down.  We have "gone to the mattresses" as they say.  The students themselves have started a petition to keep Molly as their athletic trainer.  We parents and staff are writing letters of support for Molly.  She is far more than an athletic trainer to us, and we will do whatever we have to do to keep her at Red Bank High School.  

Given that Molly wants to stay at Red Bank High School as much as we want to keep her, it begs the question to the company: why mess with a good thing? We want Molly as our athletic trainer, period.  She wants to be our athletic trainer, period.  So where exactly is the problem?  If you really do have our best interests at heart as you claim,  you will not take her away from us.  The kids especially are very upset about the possibility of losing Molly.  This is not a great way to kick off the school year....so I suggest you let her remain where she belongs, which is Red Bank High School.  

Mariah Smith 

* * *  

Mariah Smith wrote a great article about Molly Thomas and the schools desire to keep her as our athletic trainer at Red Bank High.  Like Mariah, I don't know exactly what the issue is with her employer wanting to take her from us.  It may be money, may be something else.  I just can't say.  But, what I do know is that two football seasons ago, after a tough home game, someone from the visiting team was having what was thought to be chest pains in the south end zone as the visiting team was huddling.  We have several EMT's and firefighters in our fanbase but when the dust settled it was Molly Thomas in the visiting teams huddle administering aid.  Thankfully, it was not serious; but at the time who knew?   

I can't tell you over the last two years the number of times an opposing team had a player get hurt and they did not have their own athletic trainer.  With the health of young men's lives on the line our coaches never hesitated to shout for "MOLLY" only to see her already kneeling across the field over the injured player.

What's the problem, money?  Are they cutting back their staff to save money?  Are they losing their community spirit of support in order to keep more money?  We have sponsors every year that eagerly support our community sports programs at Red Bank, just as most of our communities support their local schools.  We're not talking about money in this case but a sense of Red Bank community pride.  If this goes through and we lose Molly and I ever need physical therapy you can bet I will insist my doctor not send me to see them.  I'll let you figure of who "them" is. 

Greg Tate



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