For the second time this year, Scott Devore’s skill with young athletes has garnered a major accolade.
Devore, the athletic trainer at Bald Eagle Area High School, recently was named the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association certified athletic trainer of the year. In March, the National Football Foundation’s central Pennsylvania chapter chose him as its athletic trainer of the year.
During the NFF banquet, Penn State football coach James Franklin presented Devore, 47, with a lifetime achievement award for his 25 years in the field.
On Jan. 10, Devore will accept his latest honor, the Henry Schein Award, at the EATA’s annual meeting and clinical symposium at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. The award annually recognizes top trainers from a 10-state region.
“To be in the same company as those who have received that award is humbling,” Devore said.
According to the EATA, Devore was selected for his “outstanding dedication to the professional advancement of athletic training at the secondary school level and being a leader throughout” his career. He’s just the sixth recipient from Pennsylvania.
“He’s part of the community,” BEA athletic director Doug Dyke said. “He does a great job. He’s always looking out for the best interest of the kids.”
During his 22 years at BEA, the school won two state titles each in softball and wrestling and one each in baseball and track.
“He’s been very important because the parents trust him, the coaches trust him and the kids trust him,” Dyke said.
Devore grew up in Pittsburgh, earning an undergraduate sports medicine degree from Mercyhurst College and a master’s degree in athletic training from Western Michigan. Prior to coming to BEA, he worked at Juniata College.
When the EATA called him about the award, the news came as a surprise. He hadn’t known that two friends and fellow veteran head trainers — Larry Cooper, at Penn-Trafford High School, and A.J. Duffy, at Widener University — had nominated him.
“They’re guys I’ve known for a long time,” Devore said.
For Devore, his work at BEA combines two interests: facilitating sports and helping youth. Away from the school, he’s a licensed athletic trainer at the Drayer Physical Therapy Institute’s Spring Township office, spending his mornings there before tending to students in the afternoons and evenings.
A father of four, ages 17 to 22, he also serves as a youth leader at the Watermarke Church in Bellefonte.
He derives much of the same satisfaction from being a high school athletic trainer as he does from directing church youth activities and regional service missions.
“Working with the kids themselves keeps you young,” he said. “You try to be a mentor, set a good example for them. They also keep you on track.”
Over the years at BEA, he often has counseled young athletes about the risks of rushing back from injuries or playing hurt — that impatience could mortgage their future health and happiness.
“You’ve always got to do the right thing,” he said. “That’s the ultimate thing.”
Dyke said Devore regularly clocks long hours, beyond his contract requirements, in the training room dispensing treatment. He even advises school staff members, encouraging them to see doctors for medical issues.
It’s no trouble for Devore. He considers himself lucky to work with supportive coaches, administrators and families.
“I’ve had parents say thanks to me,” he said. “I’ve said thanks back to them for allowing me to be a part of their children’s lives.”