Peterkin Leaves Positive Mark on PHS, SCC
The state playoff loss to Terry Sanford was not only the last Pinecrest basketball game for nine senior players, but also for student trainer-manager Chris Peterkin.
The January graduate didn’t score a basket for the Patriots, but he has left a positive mark on athletics at Pinecrest. Now a student at Sandhills Community College, he also served as the trainer for the Flyer basketball team, which recently completed its season.
“I think in his heart Chris wanted to be a Pinecrest basketball player,” Patriot coach Mike Apple says, “but it didn’t work out for him on that end. He has been invaluable to our program over four years. He knows as much about how to get ready for a game at this school as anyone. He’s done an excellent job at whatever he’s done and he’s going to be sorely missed next year.”
With a smile and handshake always at the ready, Peterkin’s social nature has helped him build strong mentoring relationships with teachers and coaches at Pinecrest. A member of the football team, he mentions head coach Chris Metzger, Apple, former assistant basketball coach and trainer Nick Boney and James Baldwin (Pinecrest pitching coach) among those he has learned from.
Peterkin became a student manager at the suggestion of Metzger. He later took a couple of sports medicine courses, allowing him to increase his responsibilities with the basketball team and opening the door to the opportunity at Sandhills.
During the Holiday in the Pines basketball tournament held at Pinecrest in December, Peterkin met Sandhills athletic director and head basketball coach Aaron Denton. Except for a Pinecrest game he missed because of a trip to Oxford, Ga., with the Flyers, Peterkin was able to cover the unique dual responsibilities. The college season ended two weeks ago with a loss in the championship game of the Region X tournament held at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory.
“It was a job,” he says of the position with the college team, “but I was so into it, and enjoyed it so much, it didn’t seem like a job.”
During a fiercely fought game against Davidson County Community College in early February, Peterkin was a busy man.
“Chris has been absolutely great,” Denton says. “He knows how to do so much stuff. I thought the other night was a great example. We had so many things happen that hadn’t happened all year. We had to change a guy’s jersey (blood) and we had to stop a guy’s bleeding. It was a madhouse for a trainer and just having him there was a huge help.”
The son of Chris Peterkin and Shalester Tupaz, Peterkin spent most of his childhood living in Pinehurst with his father, but lived with his mother in Virginia Beach for part of his junior year. He considers Pinecrest a home away from home.
“Honestly, I’m looking forward to coming back to Pinecrest next year to help Coach Metzger coach freshmen football,” he says. “He taught me that in whatever you do, give 110 percent every time, every day. I live by that. I don’t take life for granted because you only live once.
“Now I know what it takes to be the best you can possibly be. I just want to share that. I think I can touch a lot of people and help them be successful in life.”
Damion Pride, a football teammate, and one of the seniors on the basketball team, describes Peterkin as one of the most unselfish people he knows and a person who would do anything he could to help someone.
“I haven’t been that way all my life,” Peterkin says. ”When I was young, it was just want, want, want. But as I got older, I pretty much had to grow up pretty fast.
“I just look at everything both ways — not one way. Being able to be positive and open-minded has helped me grow in many ways.”
Peterkin is continuing to work in the athletic department at Sandhills. His goals are to finish college at East Carolina and go on to become a trainer for a professional sports team.
Based upon his experiences at Pinecrest and Sandhills, he is a good bet to be a big asset to any team.
Contact Charlie Bergmann at email@example.com.
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