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SPORTS

“Always the First Ones There”: Inside the Athletic Trainer’s Office

“Always the First Ones There”: Inside the Athletic Trainer’s Office

“Always the First Ones There”: Inside the Athletic Trainer’s Office

ASHLEY OPDYKE '26

From left to right: Mrs. Danielle Turner ’03, Mr. Darren Yoos, and Mr. Jon Russillo work in the school’s Athletic Training Office.

Staff Writer

February 1, 2024

Jackson Grace '26

The athletic training staff at the school plays an indispensable role in caring for the school’s student- athletes. Head athletic trainer Danielle Turner ’03 and assistant trainers Darren Yoos and Jon Russillo provide care to injured students and help students recover from injuries and get back to play. 


Athletic Director Mr. Dempsey Quinn said, “Our athletic trainers play an important role in keeping our students safe during practice and competition. They are always the first ones on the scene should a student need assistance.” 


Mrs. Turner, who holds a master’s degree in education with a concentration in sports medicine from the University of Virginia, previously worked as an athletic trainer at the college level at Vassar College and Bard College. In describing the role of athletic trainer, she said, “Our goal is to prevent, evaluate, and rehabilitate injuries and keep our student-athletes healthy.” 


Mrs. Turner decided to become an athletic trainer after taking part in a training co-curricular while she was a student at the school. She said, “When I was a student I loved sports, but I was not very athletic. I did a co-curricular in the athletic training room with Mrs. Pat Kelly, the head athletic trainer at the time. I loved being part of the medical aspect of sports.” 


Mr. Yoos, who is from Watertown, Connecticut, holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Southern Connecticut State University. After graduating, he worked as an athletic training intern for the Boston Red Sox for a year before spending seven years with the Washington Nationals—a professional baseball team. His role included working with star pitcher Stephen Strasburg as he rehabbed multiple serious injuries throughout his career. 


Mr. Yoos pursued sports medicine after suffering an injury on his college football team. He said, “In my first year of playing college football, I hurt my knee, and that injury helped spark a deeper interest in sports medicine. I started working in the field at school, and soon after that I knew that sports medicine was what I wanted to do.” 


Mr. Russillo is from Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and worked at the Frederick Gunn School, formerly known as The Gunnery, for over 20 years before coming to Hotchkiss. 


When asked why he became an athletic trainer, Mr. Russillo, who has a master’s degree in Teaching and Arts with an emphasis on exercise science from Sacred Heart University, said “I liked athletics and wanted to be part of a team environment. Early on in my career path, I knew that I wanted to work closely with student-athletes in this role.” 


All three trainers pursued rigorous certification processes on top of their school programs to accumulate hundreds of training hours. Mrs. Turner said, “It was challenging balancing a full academic course load while also completing the required clinical training hours. Managing your time is the hardest part.” 


Mr. Yoos said, “My college athletic training program took up most of my time—between classes and working without pay with sports teams to complete the required hours. It was very difficult to balance everything.” 


When asked about his favorite part of working at the school, Mr. Yoos said, “I really enjoy the sense of community and the interactions we have with students. It feels like a big family here.” Mr. Russillo said, “My favorite part of working here is seeing student-athletes compete and overcome injuries.” 


Mrs. Turner said, “My favorite part is building relationships with students, getting to know people from different places, and helping them recover and return to the playing field.” 


Mr. Quinn said, “We are fortunate to have athletic trainers who enjoy their work, look forward to interacting with students, and value building relationships within our community.” 


Outside sports medicine, Mrs. Turner is a passionate “Swifty” and Disney fan. Mr. Yoos teaches fly fishing at Hotchkiss in the Summer Portals program. Mr. Russillo is a self-described “dog person,” who has owned three English bulldogs and a French mastiff.

Jackson Grace is a staff writer for The Record.

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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