MANISTEE COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Helping student athletes perform at their best is athletic trainer, Kevin Kott's goal.
"I'm a medical professional. I specialize in treating, preventing and rehabilitating all athletic injuries," says Kott.
Kott works for West Shore Medical Center in Manistee and as of last August became the first full time athletic trainer for five schools in Manistee County. His focus goes from the sidelines to helping students like Carter Eckhardt at Manistee High School prepare for track and field at Saginaw Valley State University.
"I try to spread it out evenly among the county schools, helping out at events where injuries might be more prone to happen such as contact sports," says Kott.
Kott graduated from Michigan State University and has a direct connection to the student athletes in Manistee.
"Being from the area, kind of knowing parents and people in the community, it's been great to come back and work with these kids," says Kott.
When it comes to working relationships, Dr. Mark D'Angelo with West Shore Medical center is able to work hand in hand with Kott.
"It's been a good symbiotic relationship. We stay in close contact. He's really on the front lines. He's there everyday. He'll run things by me. We'll consult about these patients," says Dr. D'Angelo.
Dr. D'Angelo is an orthopedic surgeon with a fellowship trained in arthroscopy and sports medicine so for him it's a perfect match.
"I wanted to be in a community with high school athletes. It's been a way for me to stay in touch with athletics and sports and try to help young athletes," says Dr. D'Angelo.
It's a team effort with the 100% of the focus on the students.
"As an athletic trainer there's no better feeling to see a once injured athlete get back on the field and succeed in a way he could. Knowing I played a huge part in that is very humbling. I think it's great for the students and community," says Kott.
Since Kott and Dr. D'Angelo are together on the sidelines during school sporting events they're able to provide immediate medical attention if an emergency happens.
The five schools using their athletic training services include Bear Lake, Brethren, Manistee High School, Manistee Catholic and Onekama.