Cedarville athletic training student, graduate help Bengals during championship season

A Cedarville University student and graduate have worked as athletic trainers for the Cincinnati Bengals during this championship season.

Alumna student Kelsey Howell and senior athletic training student Kurtis Gould have both worked on the sidelines this season with the Bengals team, according to the university.

Mike Weller, associate professor of athletic training and training program director, worked for the team as a certified athletic trainer from 2011-14.

Weller’s friend and colleague, Paul Sparling, the Bengals’ head athletic trainer, allowed Cedarville athletic training students to have a clinical rotation site with the team.

“Our relationship with Paul and the Bengals has afforded our students opportunities to work at the highest possible level,” Weller said. “It’s opened some doors professionally for our students. We’ve had three students go directly into the NFL.”

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Gould started in May and has spent this season with the Bengals on a clinical rotation, which will continue until after the Super Bowl.

Gould worked every day during training camp and works two to five days a week during the school year, the school said. He set up for practices and games to conduct rehabilitation with athletes to treat injuries and work on injury prevention.

“I’m very excited for the players and to be part of their success,” Gould said. “I’ve witnessed the hard work and hours they’ve put in this season, and they really deserve this opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. They’ve overcome a lot and taken the NFL by storm.”

Howell, a native of Detroit, Michigan who graduated from Cedarville in 2020, has been with the team for the past two years and is the first female staff athletic trainer in the organization’s history. She interned for the team in the 2019-20 season, then earned a fellowship with the team in 2020.

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“Kelsey’s a hard worker and was an excellent student,” Weller said.

The university’s athletics training facility normally selects top students from its program and sends them to the Bengals for interviews, the school said. The team then interviews those students and selects one for clinicals during the next summer and season.

“The student has to excel and be a high achiever, showing that they can handle more challenging situations and deal well with people and patients,” Weller said.

“The Bengals always say that our students work very hard, they’re respectful and that they exceed the ‘Cincinnati standard’,” Weller added.

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