Athletic trainers to be added at all Hillsborough high schools following athlete death


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County School Board is expected to vote Tuesday to put certified athletic trainers in all high schools.

According to the agenda, certified athletic trainers from the University of South Florida SMART Institute, Select Physical Therapy and PT Solutions Holdings, LLC. will be utilized to provide the trainers.

This comes several months after an incoming Middleton High School freshman died during football conditioning. Hezekiah Walters, 14, overheated and collapsed during preseason conditioning back in June.


An investigation revealed there were several lapses in procedure.

Since the tragedy, Superintendent Jeff Eakins called for athletic trainers at all high schools.

Schools Board members are expected to move forward with the plan at their Tuesday meeting.

Eakins also recently announced he removed an assistant principal and the head football coach from the school.

“The head coach was not there the day of the incident. However, he had been there on previous conditioning days. He has been transferred to another school. He will no longer be a coach. From our investigation into what happened at Middleton on June 11th, we know the athletes were given water breaks beyond what’s recommended by the Florida High School Athletic Association,” said Eakins, who would not answer questions about the incident due to the pending lawsuit.

The plan to add athletic trainers at every high school would cost $270,000.

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