Rabun Gap expands Athletic Training Services

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School has expanded its sports medicine staff and space to enhance services for the growing number of student-athletes on campus.  Jackson Roper will begin as assistant athletic trainer this year alongside Head Athletic Trainer Mark Green. A native of Franklin, North Carolina, Roper graduated this spring with his master’s degree in exercise science from Liberty University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Western Carolina University. He has been a certified athletic trainer since 2017 and completed internships that placed him in the college and high school athletic settings, as well as performance centers and industrial settings.  While at Liberty, he worked with athletes in the university’s Division 1 football, cross country, and track programs. Roper took his athletic training skills abroad this summer, covering the World Universiade in Naples, Italy, an international event with Olympic caliber athletes. “I’m very excited to be working with Rabun Gap Nacoochee School,” Roper said. “I personally look forward to sharing in and contributing to the Rabun Gap experience. This is a truly wonderful place that I look forward to serving this year. I hope that I serve well with Head Athletic Trainer Mark Green in helping to make the Rabun Gap experience as excellent as I can.”  Roper will work extensively with Rabun Gap’s varsity teams, in addition to serving student-athletes from all levels and sports. He will also teach weightlifting classes during the school day. Together, Roper and Green will provide coverage at all home athletic events. Green has a history of working with Roper and even served as his athletic trainer while Roper was a student-athlete at Franklin High School. “We are blessed to bring Jackson to Rabun Gap! Jackson has a great demeanor and positive attitude. He desires to get students back to the activities they are passionate about and enjoy doing,” Green said. “Having worked Division I athletics for the last two years, Jackson has gained some experience and knowledge that will be beneficial for our students and sports medicine program here at Rabun Gap.  By him being here it will allow us to improve and broaden our care and coverage for our students.” In addition to the new hire, Rabun Gap has also expanded and renovated its athletic training facility to allow more space for athletes to receive treatment and rehab services. This new space will provide a better environment for sports medicine services. The athletic training facilities are located in the Andrew Ritchie Gymnasium on campus. “Having an additional athletic trainer in Jackson and an updated facility, we will have greater opportunity to serve the students here at Rabun Gap this year,” Green said.