Moffat County High School’s sports teams enjoyed a great 2012-13, and much of their efforts are owed in part to the team trainers and managers who sacrificed time to support the players and squads throughout their seasons.
Every year, students get involved with managing the teams and taking care of all sorts of behind-the-scenes work. For the past four years, the football and basketball teams have had it good with Erica Dilldine as their trainer and manager.
“She’s a young lady of high character and moral values and just wants to serve other people. She does a great job,” Moffat County High School football coach Kip Hafey said.
Dilldine, who just finished her senior year at MCHS, was a four-year trainer on the football team and spent two years with girls basketball before becoming the boys basketball trainer in her junior and senior years. She was named the 2012-13 Moffat County Manager/Trainer of the Year at the school’s athletic awards ceremony Thursday.
She decided to be a manager upon entering high school because she had seen her older sister enjoy the duties during her high school career. Dilldine had so much fun participating in a full season of football that she decided to get involved with her fellow trainers on the basketball team.
Four years later, she admits that some parts were challenging — especially when the team lost — but the majority of the time, the team’s successes and morale were enough to keep her coming back.
“For me, I always got to cheer on my teams,” Dilldine said. “Sometimes it’s not so fun riding the bus when (the teams) aren’t happy, but there are other times it’s great. After the basketball teams both did well at districts, the bus was so rowdy and full of energy.”
Most sports followers know how important trainers are to a team, but the extent and time of their responsibilities often go overlooked. As a trainer, she had to show up early and leave late, making sure water, tape, ice and equipment were always on hand.
“The time commitment, people don't realize,” Hafey said. “She's there before anyone else gets there, and she's there after everyone else is gone. In between, she does everything she can to make our athletes succeed and help our school.”
For Dilldine, being a manager often was challenging work, but she always had her friend, fellow senior Kristina McLeslie, along for the ride.
McLeslie managed with Dilldine on the football and basketball teams as well as the girls soccer team.
“She’s a lifesaver, and I couldn’t do it without her,” Dilldine said. “She was there with me if coaches or players were in a bad mood. She helped me out with homework. If we were out eating, I was never alone with the team. I always had someone with me.”
“You couldn’t do it without them,” boys basketball coach Eric Hamilton said. “There are just too many little things that they take care of. It allows a coach to coach, and they take care of all the work behind the scenes.”
Sometimes, the most important message one can give is the message of appreciation.
“If you mess up, you're going to hear it,” Hafey said. “If someone doesn't have water, someone isn't taped or you run out of tape. If any of those things happen, people let you know right away, but people don't always say thanks. That's why it’s such a tough job. She did a great job.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com