BOURBON — The Triton School Board heard the annual report on Triton athletics from Mason McIntyre, director of athletics, during its first meeting of 2011.
McIntyre began his remarks saying that he added a phrase to the Vision and Mission Statement. The addition reads: The Trojan Way: 15 Sports, ONE team.
McIntyre said 15 years ago, Triton had 13 varsity sports and now they have 15. He also explained that 15 years ago, coaches served as trainers with very little supplies. Now, the school has a full-time certified athletic trainer on site with needed supplies.
He said budget goals include the following: “Spend according to safety first, develop a uniform and equipment rotation so that money is spent equally between all teams and both genders, and purchase according to priorities.”
According to McIntyre, the athletic program is self-funded except for staff coaches that are paid through the schools. He reviewed the condition of the facilities and major purchases. Future planning includes replacing press boxes at the football and baseball fields, adding an outdoor cage at the baseball field, repainting the gym floor, putting in new baskets in the high school gym, and erecting new scoreboards in the gym and at the football and baseball fields.
McIntyre said they started an athletic club this year.
He said, “We need to increase membership and funding.”
Additionally, they put the Triton Leadership Academy into force at the high school level to improve leadership skills among athletes.
McIntyre told the board that they will be announcing the names of those being inducted into the Triton Athletic Hall of Fame shortly. He said, “They have done a lot of things for Triton. We want to take time to honor them.”
It was also explained that Triton Jr.-Sr. High School athletes will now be included in a program designed to provide data that can be accessed when there is an incident that leads to a concussion.
Athletic trainer Eric Callahan said, “Concussion is a hot topic in today’s athletic word. Ninety percent of what we know about concussions has been learned in the last 10 years.”
The program known as IMPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) will be purchased from Kosciusko Community Hospital.
Athletes will be administered a computerized pre-test to provide a standard against all post tests for assistance in determining an athlete’s safe return to play should they suffer from a concussion.
The test tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed and concentration. Callahan said, “Basically it is a preseason physical of the brain.”
Triton will be provided with 150 pre-tests and 30 post tests in the first year. In consecutive years, they will receive 75 pre-tests and 15 post tests at no cost. The tests would be given every two years to participating athletes.
“The only cost to the school would come if more post tests are required,” Callahan said.
According to Callahan and McIntyre, Triton has had 13 diagnosed concussions by a physician this year. The 13 concussions involved only 10 students.
Superintendent Carl Hilling endorsed the program saying, “I’m glad to know our athletes are in good hands and we’re taking proactive steps.”