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Andy Duncan, president of NYSAA, presenting "Hall of Fame" award to Rick Zappala.

Port Washington's Paul D. Schreiber High School's athletic trainer, Rick Zappala, has been inducted into The New York State Athletic Trainers' Association's Hall of Fame. Zappala was honored for his contributions to the athletic training profession in New York, the northeast and nationally. He received his award on Jan. 8, 2006 at the NYSATA Annual Meeting, held at the EATA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

Zappala was a member of the 1992 United States Olympic Team Sports Medicine staff in Barcelona. He also served as the head athletic trainer for the 1985 US team at the World Games for the Deaf in Los Angeles. He is a former president of both the Eastern Athletics Trainers' Association and New York State Athletic Trainers' Association.

Rose Bonanno, athletic director of the Port Washington School District said, "Rick has always operated in the best interest of the students and demonstrated the best practices of his field. He is always knowledgeable about correct information in his field and has often intiated discussions. As an athletic trainer, there are few individuals at his level of expertise"

Upon returning to Schreiber after the exciting weekend, Rick said, "I am very proud to be recognized by my colleagues. I have done what I have in my career because I enjoy helping my profession. I was never looking for any award. It's turned out to be the icing on the cake. This is what I love to do."

High school student-athlete Erin Betsch said, "Coach Z is always there for me. He tells it to me straight like what I need to do to make myself stronger and never sugar-coats it. He gives me strength training exercises to follow up any weakness or injuries. I am a stronger and better athlete thanks to him."


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