Wilmington College’s presence in the big leagues continues as the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals selected two athletic training students to serve as interns during the teams’ 2017 seasons.
Chad A. Rairdon. a senior from Trafalger, Ind., is the Bengals’ new intern while Samuel T. Tedtman, a senior from Louisville, Ky., will work in that capacity with the Reds.
Wilmington College AT students have regularly held internships with the Major League Baseball franchise since the early 1990s, when 1994 graduate Nick Kenney worked with the Reds. He became a full-time assistant athletic trainer in Cincinnati and later with the Cleveland Indians. For the past seven seasons, Kenney has been head athletic trainer with the Kansas City Royals.
The college also has a longtime affiliation with the Bengals, which has hosted nearly 45 WC athletic training interns since 1981 graduate Paul Sparling became the team’s head athletic trainer in the early 1990s.
“When I have an athletic training intern recommended to me by (program director) 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.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” Tedtman said about his Reds assignment.
Said Rairdon, “I want to continue the excellence associated with Wilmington College students that have had this internship. It’s extremely humbling and a big honor to intern with a professional team in Cincinnati. We realize we have to maintain a high standard.”
Tedtman, who will start with the Reds Thursday, said his participation and continuing interest in sports initially got him interested in athletic training, “but, as I developed through Wilmington College’s program, my interest evolved into gaining an even greater appreciation for providing the best care possible.”
Rairdon, who also has a background in sports participation, said, through the AT program, he developed an “excitement and passion for learning. You have to be willing to learn and grow because, in athletic training here, you learn something new everyday.”
His internship with the Bengals starts April 18.