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Sports Center

Dec 8, 2014 4:10 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Leogrande Is A Stalwart In Westhampton Beach School Community

Dec 10, 2014 9:58 AM

This month, the Press is talking to the certified athletic trainers responsible for diagnosing and treating injuries for student-athletes at local high schools. This week we focused on Scott Leogrande of Westhampton Beach High School.

Scott Leogrande has seen almost every type of injury on the field or court, from severe fractures and dislocations to student athletes being knocked unconscious.

None of it fazes him.

Leogrande has been the athletic trainer in the Westhampton Beach School District for 19 years, and his value is not something that the community takes for granted.

“He means everything to us,” Westhampton Beach Athletic Director Kathy Masterson said of Leogrande. “Knowing he’s on the sidelines makes my life so much 
easier, and I know I never have to worry about anything.

“He always goes above and beyond,” she added.

Leogrande is passionate about his profession. An athlete in high school himself—he graduated from Miller Place in 1991—the 41-year-old Manorville resident said he grew interested in sports injuries and wanted to learn more about them. He eventually received his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and health from Ohio Northern University in 1995 then, a short time later, started working at Westhampton Sports Rehab, located in the North Mall on Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton Beach.

Later that same year, Leogrande was hired as a part-time athletic trainer at Westhampton Beach and eventually decided he wanted to become a teacher. He received his master’s degree in physical education in 2002 from Adelphi University in Garden City and he’s been teaching within the district since that time.

He’s not only a physical ed teacher, though; he also instructs CPR/first-aid classes at the school, as well as an introduction to sports medicine class, an accredited college course that’s offered through Adelphi.

“I was working full-time at the rehab center, but I enjoy working with the student athlete,” Leogrande explained. “I love being on the sideline and seeing an athlete overcome an injury. It’s very satisfying to see an athlete get back on the field and knowing you had some input on it.”

Due to state restrictions, Leogrande can only do so much in the trainer’s room at Westhampton Beach, such as giving ice to an athlete in need or taping an ankle. So, for those athletes who need more, Leogrande takes them to the rehab center a few nights during the week.

Nick Einstman, a junior, dislocated his right shoulder in a football game in late September, nearly tearing his labrum, and has been seeing Leogrande since then. Einstman, who also plays baseball, goes to the rehab center three nights a week to work on his shoulder.

And Leogrande is not just a trainer to Einstman, but also a friend and role model.

“He brightens my day,” Einstman said. “He’s a trainer, but he’s also a friend to me. He’s also an inspiration because I also want to be a physical therapist. I see what he does and how he helps people, and I want do that like him. He’s definitely influential in my career goals.

“He knows how to associate with the students,” he continued. “He makes us laugh, have a good time, have a nice conversation. He’s always there for you, whether it is taping you up or just to talk.”

Leogrande said the rehab center is for student athletes with more serious injuries and who need the extra work.

“Westhampton gives me what I need,” he said. “Kathy [Masterson] has always been a great supporter in what I do. She’s great to work with and the coaches here are as well. The coaching staff here has always supported me. They’ve always listened to me and always respected my opinion.”

Citing Leogrande’s experience and close working relationship with students, Masterson said everyone respects his opinion.

“When he says to a kid, something’s wrong, he’s very rarely been wrong with his diagnostics,” she explained. “He always errs on the side of caution, which parents want. He’s not a afraid to tell a coach something he doesn’t want to hear, even if that coach gets mad.”

Leogrande and Masterson can be seen driving from field to field in a cart in the fall and spring months, watching a game and making sure everyone is alright. In the winter months, they can usually be found in the gym taking in a basketball game or wrestling match.

Masterson said the two have a brother/sister relationship that has been forged through the 16 years she’s been in the district.

“Our relationship would be miserable if we weren’t as close since we have to spend so much time together,” she said. “Beside him being an incredible athletic trainer, he’s an incredible man. And we at Westhampton are very fortunate to have him.”

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The whole community has benefited because of Scotts dedication, the students patients, parents, and friends. Thank you Scott 16 years of being a patient, friend, and a member of the village. Chip
By LawrencePorter (5), Miami Beach, Florida on Dec 10, 14 7:57 AM
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