Penfield grad doing athletic training internship with Bills | News
An injury suffered on the baseball diamond sparked Billy Langston to decide he wanted to become an athletic trainer.
“My junior at Penfield, we were on a spring baseball trip and I suffered a high ankle sprain,” he said. “It’s one of the more severe ankle sprains you can have. You can be out for a couple of months.
“I was really interested to understand how everything worked, what can I do to heal myself faster. I wanted to understand why this happened and what I could do to prevent it.”
Langston will be a senior at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA., this fall, and plans on attending graduate school after graduation.
Langston recently received a scholarship from the Professional Football Athletic Training Society, in conjunction with NFL Charities Minority Scholarships, which is how he ended up doing an internship with the Buffalo Bills at St. John Fisher College.
Since 1993, PFATS and NFL Charities have worked together to sponsor annual scholarships for ethnic minority students. The scholarship program is open to undergraduate and graduate ethnic minority athletic training students who possess a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5 on a four-point scale. In addition to receiving a financial grant, each student selected will have the opportunity to work at an NFL summer training camp.
The Penfield grad described a typical day at training camp.
“My day usually starts a little bit earlier than what I would like,” he said with a smile. “We get up about 6 a.m. and get to the training room about 7. We go out to the field and do treatment for all the players before we do a walk-through session.
“We break for lunch around one, and then we’re back at it. It’s a long day but it’s definitely worth it. I enjoy it because for athletic training this is the top.”
Langston works with the defensive backs, i.e. Terrence McGee, Leodis McKelvin, Aaron Williams, and George Wilson, to name a few.
“I was a little bit star-struck,” Langston said about working with the pros for the first time. “They’re still athletes. Athletes are athletes. I’ve gotten over that, it’s been a couple of weeks now and I’m starting to get better acquainted with these guys.”
For day practices the Bills use the grass field, and the Growney Stadium turf field is used for the night practices. However, in case of rain during a day practice, it is moved to Growney Stadium as it was last Sunday afternoon.
Langston can be identified as he always be sporting a black bag on his back with a white bills hat, blue bills athletic shorts, and a blue or red bills shirt, depending on the day.
His duties include setup and breakdown of practice, and treatments and taping.
“You’re either inside for an extra hour or outside for an extra hour,” he said. “You rotate every couple of days so you get a feel for everything.”
All four athletic trainer interns will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the exhibition games. They report to head athletic trainer Bud Carpenter. Each intern also will have the opportunity to travel to an away exhibition game.
“I don’t know yet which game I will be going to,” said Langston, who lives in the residence hall with the other interns.
“I stay on campus. Everything is great here at Fisher. They treat us very well, the food is great, the dorms are excellent," he said.
“There is no curfew, as long as we’re there on time. There are times when I can go home. Usually I save the laundry for home so I can see my parents.”
Langston spends much of his free time catching some winks.
“From the start of this I find myself sleeping a lot more,” Langston said with a laugh.
“There are nine interns and most of us are 21 so we all can go out together, but we always accommodate for the guys who aren’t 21, so we always hang out with them and stay back here.”
Langston added, “I really would like to come back and intern here again if possible, but some of the grad schools I’m looking at start their classes in June and July, so we’ll see.”