Athletic Trainer
Posted on 09/10/2019
Collin Sorrels

Athletic Trainer
Story and photo by:  Chris Floyd

 It took him awhile, but Colin Sorrels has finally come home.

The 2013 Parry McCluer graduate has returned to his alma mater after six years, hired this summer to serve as the athletic program’s athletic trainer. 
“I can’t put it into words,” Sorrels said. “As soon as I walked into the school for the first time, I was like, ‘Man, this is home.’ It’s awesome.”

Folks at Parry McCluer probably feel the same way. For years, the sports teams in Buena Vista have had to make do without an athletic trainer, a burden on everyone involved with the athletic program. Now, for the first time ever, Parry McCluer has its own, working exclusively for Buena Vista City Public Schools. 

“When a school does not have an athletic trainer, it’s a real liability issue,” Sorrels explained. “This takes some liability away from the school and away from the coaches, and it lets the coaches do what they are there to do, which is coach. It takes a lot of responsibility away from coaches and administrators and people who didn’t go to school for that.” 

Sorrels earned his degree in athletic training from Radford University, but the road to earning that degree was not an easy one. After three semesters of slogging through prerequisites, Sorrels had to apply to enter the program, and he was one of only 20 accepted. By the time he was ready to graduate, only 10 of those students remained. The others had dropped out because of the demands or had not maintained the necessary grades to continue. 

“Once you get into the program, it’s a lot of injury evaluation, emergency preparation, everything you can possible think of in the medical field,” said Sorrels. “One top of the classes, there are a lot of clinical hours.” 

Sorrels did many of his hours at Christiansburg and Radford high schools. He also worked with the men’s soccer, women’s lacrosse and baseball teams at Radford University, as well as putting in hours with doctors and physical therapists.

After graduation, Sorrels spend two years at Eastern Montgomery High School before fate brought him back home. But it almost didn’t happen. 

His journey back to Buena Vista began with a casual conversation with PM principal Melissa Cobb. From there, it moved to more formal conversations with Cobb and BVCPS Superintendent Dr. John Keeler. Sorrels was offered a position; the problem was that he had already accepted a job elsewhere. Thankfully, for Sorrels, who was a captain on the PM baseball team as a senior, and Parry McCluer, that job fell through. Thus, he packed his bags to move back home. 

Now that he is here, Sorrels has spent much of his time setting up concussion protocols with all of the fall athletes. He has also begun putting together emergency action plans, neither of which had been given much attention prior to his arrival. 

“It’s been a lot of set-up, ordering stuff and getting some policies and procedures put together,” Sorrels said. 

“I’m here to have [the athletes] play and to play safely,” he added, “to keep them from getting injured, to educate them on how not to get injured. I’m here to help.” 

Here, of course is Parry McCluer, and for Colin Sorrels, that means home.

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