Mike Mosciano keeps Cavaliers fit for the fields

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 23, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

You won’t see Mike Mosciano running touchdowns, dunking home baskets, or smacking homers out of the park for Lakeland High School.

But the 32-year-old Northbrooke, Ill. native may be the most important person in the school’s sports program. Since 1998, he has been training, rehabilitating, hydrating, taping, and helping heal injured Cavalier athletes.


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Mosciano was a defensive back for his high school football team until an injury sent him on the training trail. &uot;While I was on the sidelines, I decided to be involved in sports training,&uot; he said recently, casting an eye over the Lakeland football team during practice on a sweltering 100-degree afternoon.

Combining his interests in anatomy, physiology and other types of physical science, Mosciano majored in biology and athletic training at Iowa’s Lores College. Then he headed to Malaysia.

&uot;I worked for the National Sports Institute over there,&uot; the trainer recalled. &uot;I worked with their international teams in field hockey, karate, gymnastics, swimming, and even badminton.

&uot;No one really believes that professional badminton exists, but it does!&uot;

After a year overseas, Mosciano plotted his course back to the States.

&uot;I was sending applications out,&uot; he said. &uot;I didn’t like the cold, and I wanted to be near the ocean.&uot;

Luckily, Suffolk fit the bill and had an opening. Former Lakeland trainer Jessica Simpson gave him a job.

Mosciano’s day often begins as the sun rises.

&uot;I’m usually (at Lakeland) between 6:30 and 7 in the morning,&uot; he said. &uot;The first kids that are hurt come in before the morning practices for their rehab. From 8 a.m. to just after noon, I do paperwork, and try to keep an eye on each practice site.&uot;

Lakeland’s football, field hockey, golf, girl’s tennis, and volleyball are currently in session.

After lunch, Mosciano and his trusty golf cart head right back to work keeping the Cavaliers healthy.

&uot;I make sure the football team has enough water, and just work with whatever comes my way.&uot; With the heat on in full force, the water is imperative to high school athletes’ health.

Even after he leaves school, Mosciano stays on the run. Six days a week, he trains for the Virginia Beach Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon, which is being held at the Oceanfront next Sunday.

Come November, he plans to take part in the Richmond marathon.

Name? Mike Mosciano

Age? 32

Hometown? Northbrooke, Ill.

Family? Single

Education? Bachelor of science from Lores College in Iowa; Master’s degree in physical education from Indiana State.

Career/occupation? Lakeland High School sports trainer

Volunteer activities? Athletic trainers coordinator for the Portsmouth Invitational Basketball Tournament

Favorite thing about Suffolk? The friendly people

Describe your vision of downtown Suffolk five years from now? I think it will look something like Olde Towne Portsmouth, with more restaurants and attractions. People will have many new reasons to visit downtown Suffolk.

Why did you pursue your chosen career? I have always loved sports, but I realized in high school that I didn’t have much of a chance of competing. So I looked for other ways to stay involved with sports, and athletic training was a perfect fit for me. Every day I go to work, I’m involved with sports.

Favorite thing about your job? To see kids grow up over the four years, and when they come back to visit. Being able to joke about the &uot;old days&uot; with them.

Least favorite thing about your job? The hours, but I knew about that going into the job. Parents joke me at times if I ever go home.

What accomplishments are you proudest of? Being a regular contributor to the &uot;U.S. Field Hockey Quarterly&uot; magazine. Running the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon.

Who or what motivates and inspires you? My dad has always been a big influence. But also the people I work around. If you don’t get tired just from watching (Lakeland athletic director) Ed Smither work, you’re not working hard!

Favorite way to spend free time? Relaxing, spending time with my friends. Watching football on Sundays. Go Bears!

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others? All you can ever do is your best.

What ingredients are in the recipe for a good life? Family, friends, faith, hard work, and a little luck.

We all have our 15 minutes of fame in this life. How would you spend you time in the spotlight? Possibly running from it. I think as much as we all want those 15 minutes, when we finally get them we don’t know what to do. I get a bit embarrassed at each awards assembly when I get thanked by the coaches. I guess I’m just a little bit shy.