Fred "Jersey" DeMarco
Practicing ATC: 22 years
Current Position: Head Athletic Trainer at McCallie High School
What you love about athletic training: the connection between sports and medicine. "I love being the hub of communication between athletes, parents, doctors, coaches and outside medical providers. I love helping athletes overcome injuries and get back to the level of performance they want."
Favorite aspect of athletic training: "Seeing kids grow and mature through athletics and when they come back after graduation."
Awards: Sandy Sandlin High School Athletic Trainer of the Year 2018
Favorite Movie Quote: "Life ain't all sunshine and rainbows" (Rocky VI)
So how did you become an athletic trainer anyways?
Jersey began college in the fall of '89 with hopes of becoming a cornerback at East Stroudsburg University. He quickly decided the academia route would prove to be more successful and put his efforts into his passion of personal health.
Jersey transferred to Rutgers in the fall of '90 and started the internship athletic training program. This gave him the opportunity to work with Football, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, and Men's Track and Field.
After graduating in '94 he entered the graduate athletic training program at Old Dominion University. While there he found a strong appreciation for serving the community in the secondary school setting, even though the kids called him "Andy" for a year.
The Journey to McCallie
Jersey took an outreach ATC job with the inner city schools after graduation. Six years later, he transitioned into strength and conditioning, personal training, and contract ATC work.
In 2008, Jersey hear the NATA Hall of Famer, Doug May, was retiring from McCallie. Although initially hesitant, he applied, giving himself "the opportunity of a lifetime". Ten years later, you can still find Jersey serving with the same passion to those student-athletes at McCallie High School.
When Jersey is away from his phone, the doctors and the athletic training room, you can bet he is outdoors sharing stories of new "projects" on the 5.12 climbing scale or planning the next adventure around a nicely made fire.
Jersey lives the "chaco life" with Sundays reserved for outdoor church, aka hikes, climbs and walks with Sadie (the best crag dog EVER).
For Jersey, that is a perfect day - one spent in fellowship and mindfulness. A Tremont burger at the end of a Sunday escapade wouldn't be so bad either.
His Impact on the Community
"Jersey is a great mentor, both to his students at UTC and at McCallie. He's very laid back, which makes him much more approachable. He genuinely cares about others and has a passion for his profession."
"Jersey has changed the culture of the secondary schools by providing the utmost care for any athlete whether it is 6th grade Ultimate Frisbee or 12th grade Varsity Football."
"Jersey has made himself an irreplaceable asset to our school when it comes to student health here at McCallie."