Although the 2007 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas won't announce its player rosters for another two months or so, one Rocky Mount High student knows that he will be on the field at Wofford College's Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C. on Dec. 15.
Rocky Mount senior Braden Langston is one of two high school student trainers in the state selected to assist the North Carolina squad in the 71st edition of the contest. The son of Joe and Brigitte Langston, the 18-year-old has been a student trainer under longtime head Gryphon trainer Bernie Capps for four years.
Langston, who was born and raised in Rocky Mount, will join Wilson Hunt student trainer Pam Hughes on the North Carolina sideline.
"This is such an honor because I was one of two out of 95 in the state to be chosen for this opportunity," said Langston, who has narrowed his college choices for next year to East Carolina, Barton College and Elon University. "It really feels good to know that I was chosen to be one of two students that gets to take care of the best high school football players in North Carolina. I just hope we don't have any serious injuries."
Fellow RMHS student trainer Addison Teachey got Langston interested in being a student trainer.
"Addison called me up one day before we started our freshman year to come out with him to the football field, and out I came," said Langston, who professes a love for not only football, but golf and track, too. "We fell in love with student training and Mr. Capps has been a wonderful role model for us."
As a N.C. Athletic Trainer associate, he has attended training camps in Greensboro the last four summers. Of the eight who were in the camp's advanced class, Langston and Hughes were ranked as the top two.
He was also chosen to serve as a student trainer at this past summer's N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Football Game. Nothing could have been better for him than to work with the East team where fellow Gryphons Kendall Noble and Nazir Levine were starters.
But as luck would have it, he was assigned to the West squad instead.
"The first varsity sport I ever watched was Rocky Mount football," said Langston, who will likely take his skills to the college football sidelines.
"The team was pretty good, but when I saw guys getting hurt, I wanted to be on the sidelines and help them out. When I was asked to come out and work on the sidelines, it was like I had found my career in athletic training."