Hello Mark — you might be interested in this Reds/Bengals-related story.
April 12, 2016
Wilmington College’s presence in the big leagues continues as the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals selected two athletic training students to serve as interns during those teams’ 2016 seasons.
Logan Chaffin, a senior from Milford that is on track to graduate in May, is the Reds’ intern while Karl Knutsson, a junior from Sweden, will work in that capacity with the Bengals.
Both students expressed their pleasure upon receiving such competitive and much sought-after internships.
“Wilmington College has great connections with the Reds and Bengals,” said Chaffin, who plans to enroll in physical therapy school in January. “Growing up in Cincinnati, I’ve always been a Reds fan, so this opportunity really means a lot to me.”
Wilmington College students have regularly had internships with the ball club since the early 1990s, when 1994 graduate Nick Kenney worked with the Reds before becoming a fulltime assistant athletic trainer in Cincinnati and later with the Cleveland Indians. For the past six seasons, Kenney has been head athletic trainer with the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.
Knutsson, who played the fast-growing sport of American football in Sweden, came to WC to play football and selected athletic training as a major when he learned about its outstanding reputation.
“Ever since I heard about the College’s relationship with the Bengals, it was my goal to have this internship,” he said. “I can’t describe how excited I am. When I started watching football years ago, I never dreamed I’d be working with such a top-level team in the NFL. This will be an important milestone in my career.”
Chaffin spoke of how “it means a lot” that (program director) Larry Howard recommended him for the Reds internship.
Howard’s recommendation also goes a long way with influencing Bengals’ head certified athletic trainer Paul Sparling, a 1981 graduate of WC’s program that, in his 25 years as the Cincinnati team’s head trainer, has brought to the Bengals some 40 interns from Wilmington College.
“When I have an athletic training intern recommended to me by Larry Howard, I know they’re going to be top-of-the-line,” Sparling said during a recent visit to WC in which he presented a Bengals injury case study to athletic training students.
“With their education and experience, I get the cream-of-the-crop,” Sparling added. “The hands-on learning experience as part of Wilmington’s fine program allows those students to separate themselves from athletic training students at other institutions. It makes it an easy choice for me to bring Wilmington College students on board the Cincinnati Bengals medical staff.”
With that kind of history, both students feel pressure to perform at the highest levels during their time with the teams.
“I want to maintain the high standard and live up to the excellent reputation Wilmington College has with the Bengals,” Knutsson said. Chaffin added, “There’s some pressure because you’re responsible to the athletic training program and to yourself — you want to work hard and shine.”
One WC Bengals intern with the drive to “work hard and shine” was 2014 graduate Trevor Hooker, who the team recently named to a fellowship position as an assistant athletic trainer.
“Trevor was an intern for me and, as I worked with him, it became clear to me that he would be a good candidate for the fellowship,” Sparling said, noting that, after he graduated, Hooker gained experience working at a community college and physical therapy clinic in Florida.
Sparling said that Hooker would work all games, including the team’s first-ever match-up in London.