Ashland’s Stone earns induction into national athletic trainers’ hall

Stone to join hall
for athletic trainers

His road to selection to the hall of fame for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association started more than 40 years ago, from the trunk of Joe Apicella's Chevy Impala.

Apicella coached the freshman football and junior varsity teams at Ashland High, and Jeff Stone was his student manager.

Apicella “taught me how to tape ankles, basic first aid, and fitting helmets,” said Stone, a lifelong Ashland resident who will be inducted into the hall June 28 in St. Louis during the NATA’s annual meeting. “He kept the medical supplies in his car and he saw something in me.”


Head trainer at Suffolk University since 2004, Stone said that by his sophomore year at Ashland High, “a lot of coaches were adopting me as a manager and trainer, and so I took a correspondence course in athletic training.

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“By my junior year I was awarded a varsity jacket even though I had chosen training over playing, and by my senior year I had outgrown it,'' added Stone, a 1976 grad of Northeastern University's athletic training education program.

Now 70, and residing in Milford, Apicella said: “Stoney came up the hard way, learning as he went along. He's definitely a success story and well deserving of his honor.”

Stone helped pay his way through college working as a sports writer and editor at the Framingham News.

Through the years, he was a trainer, teacher, and track coach at various times at Ashland High, Marian High in Framingham, Natick High, and the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Natick, the latter from 1994 to 2004.


“I'm very proud that when I taught health and physical education in Natick, my final exam would include each student successfully demonstrating CPR and the Heimlich maneuver,” said Stone.

In the fall of 2004, he was in the right place at the right time when he was watching a junior varsity soccer game between Natick and Framingham, waiting for the varsity match to start.

“One of our Natick players, Nate Raider, collided heads with an opponent and went into a seizure,’’ recalled Stone. “I opened up his airway. His breathing was labored and he was MedFlighted to Boston Medical Center and came out of it fine.”

Raider, who went on to play baseball at Franklin and Marshall University and now works in commercial real estate in Baltimore, said that if not for Stone's quick response, “the outcome could have been a lot different.

“Stoney had a rapport with players and coaches that was second to none, and I remember he had a system where he had everyone's medical records with him in a golf cart as he drove from field to field.’’


Stone, who lives on Route 135 at the 3-mile marker of the Boston Marathon route, with his mother, Carolyn , and Zeus, his rescue Doberman, has been a member of the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts organization since its inception in 1981. He served as its president from 1994-1996.

“I still have fun going to work at Suffolk every day,” said Stone, the region's representative to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association board of directors from 2004 to 2010.

“The athletes keep me young. I've always been the kind of guy who just rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done, so it means a lot to be recognized for my abilities as a trainer and my organizational work on a state, regional, and national level.”

His numerous honors also include induction to the halls of fame at the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts and the Bay State Games.

“Jeff's eager willingness to extend his professional services and expertise far beyond normal scheduled hours and days is respected by me, our student-athletes, coaches, and parents,’’ said Suffolk’s athletic director, Jim Nelson. “His personal attention and contact with family members of our student-athletes whenever an injury has occurred is extraordinary.’’

Nessa hits stride
for lacrosse squad

Concord resident Jon Nessa powered the Roger Williams University men’s lacrosse team to its first victory over Commonwealth Coast Conference foe Endicott since 2002 with a career-best 4 goals and 4 assists Saturday.

The 6-foot-4 Nessa, a sophomore transfer from Eastern Connecticut State, was leading the team with 27 goals, 15 assists, and 42 points prior to Tuesday’s game at Gordon College, a big reason the Hawks were 7-5 overall and 4-1 in the conference.

At Concord-Carlisle Regional High, Nessa was the Dual County League MVP and team captain in hockey and was also a league all-star who set a school single-season scoring record in lacrosse.

“It took Jon some time to adjust to his teammates, and they to him. But he has gotten more comfortable each game and it has showed in his all-around play,’’ said head coach Marty Kelly, whose roster includes juniors Ian Powers, a Shrewsbury High grad who had 14 goals and 9 assists, and Kirby Sundquist (Concord-Carlisle), who had 3 goals and 2 assists.

Bullitt earns role
as team cocaptain

Brookline's John Bullitt, a junior at Connecticut College, has been named men's basketball cocaptain for next season by head coach Tom Satran.

The 6-foot-5 forward is a graduate of the Rivers School in Weston.

“John is a perfect example of being coachable,’’ said Satran, “and he's an ever-improving performer on the court. His attitude and effort are perfect”

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.