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Growing up in Waupun, a small Wisconsin town, Matt Guth did not have a lot of opportunities to play sports as a child.
"I was not very athletic, and the coaches in my school suggested that I attend an athletic training camp because they knew I was interested in athletics," he said.
Those coaches sure made the right suggestion.
Guth went on to become one of the top high school athletic trainers in Illinois.
A member of the Illinois Athletic Trainer Association Hall of Fame, Guth is retiring after 34 years as the head athletic trainer at Prospect High School.
He will be recognized at this Friday's football game when Prospect hosts Elk Grove.
Guth's resume includes working in the United States Olympic Committee sports medicine program, briefly with the 1980 Olympic Hockey team, and traveling to Bulgaria for the 1983 Winter World University Games as part of the U.S. medical staff.
Guth worked on professional regulation in getting the Illinois Athletic Training Practice Act passed in 1986.
A number of his student aides have also pursued careers in athletic training or other health care professions.
Guth was on the sidelines for Prospect's three state championships in football (2001, 2002, and 2005). He was also with the school's boys basketball team when it played at the United Center in 2009 and earlier this year. He has been at countless events at Prospect.
Suffice it to say, he is one of the most recognizable faces in Prospect athletics.
Of the 331 varsity football games Prospect has played since Guth's first year in 1980, he has missed no more than 10.
"I have been blessed with a supportive family (wife Diane, and children Justin and Hannah) that has accepted the demands of my profession," Guth said. "My wife and children have always understood my professional dedication and supported my work life. I hope to give them more time and attention in the next phase of my life.
His life at Prospect started after he finished college at Wisconsin-LaCrosse and grad school at Illinois State.
Guth began pursuing an athletic training career on the collegiate level.
"But there were very few jobs available in 1980," he said. "A friend from the area told me about some positions open in District 214, so I put in an application."
After the interview process, Guth was offered the job at Prospect and the rest is history.
Over the years, he has seen many sports added with more levels and year-round activity for varsity sports.
He has seen the introduction of concussion management and ImPACT testing along with more attention to infection control.
"There has also been a greater outside influence on athlete's performances from personal coaches and fitness trainers," Guth said. "And there has been an increased awareness of athletic training, creating a greater need of athletic training positions to care for the athletically active population."
Guth has enjoyed many aspects of his job.
"We have always had great kids and supportive families," he said. "We've had an excellent coaching and teaching faculty at Prospect which always has the best interest of the student in mind while guiding them and trying to put competitive teams on the field."
Guth said the building administrators have always supported the work that the athletic training staff has done.
"They've provided us with what was needed to take care of our kids," he said. "Throughout the years, when we've had exceptional teams, it's always created an energy and buzz in the community. That energy keeps the job fresh and exciting, and makes the time fly by."
Guth will miss the interaction with the students and staff, and the energy from the students.
"Each year, you have new faces and new challenges," he said. "And while athletic trainers function in more of a health care role, we also do a lot of teaching as we interact with the students.
"The kids are great. They keep you young. There are also many rewarding relationships that I have built over the years with our coaches, colleagues, and families in the community."
While Guth will likely show up at some events once he retires, he will miss some the daily activities and relationships.
"What I will not miss is the 60-to-70 hour work weeks I have put in during the school year," he said.
Guth would like to stay busy in the field and will look for new career opportunities in the athletic health care field.
Dartmouth College safety Steve Dazzo (Prospect) was featured in the the Valley News, the local newspaper which covers the upper regions of New Hampshire and Vermont.
Dazzo has Type 1 diabetes and carefully monitors his blood sugar during games. He is one of the team's top defensive players with 13 tackles and 1 interception.
• Augustana freshman Jack Asquini (Buffalo Grove) helped the Vikings to a 28-17 victory over Elmhurst at Lindberg Stadium in Rock Island.
Asquini found out mid-week that he would fill in for Division-III all-American Erik Westerberg, who was out with concussion-like symptoms. He came through with 10 total tackles -- 6 of them solos -- and recorded his first collegiate interception.
He had played in two nonconference games this season and came into the weekend with 2 solo tackles -- one of them a tackle-for-loss -- in his career.
• MIT's Justin Wallace (Fremd) had 21 carries for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 48-0 win over Nichols College.
He also had 32 carries for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns in MIT's 28-26 season-opening win at Pomona Pitzer in California.
Augustana freshmen Lauren Goggin and her sister Dana Goggin (Buffalo Grove) were named to the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin all-conference team.
Lauren was selected to the first team with a fall season debut record of 13-4 in singles and 13-4 in doubles. She also received the honor of CCIW "Newcomer of the Year" while playing mainly in the number two spot. She placed second in No. 2 singles. She was 5-1 in conference play.
Twin sister Dana received second team all-conference honors, putting together a 9-4 record in singles' play as well as 11-4 in doubles' competition. She was 4-1 in CCIW play while competing primarily in the No. 3 spot. She was the runner-up at No. 3 singles.
Lauren and Dana finished with a doubles' team record of 11-4 and went 5-0 in league competition, placing second at No. 1 doubles.
Augustana junior Emily Leazer (St. Viator) led the Vikings with 14 kills and had 16 digs in a 25-14, 25-16, 25-27, 25-20 victory over North Central.
Leader had just 3 hitting errors in 34 total attempts for a hitting percentage of .324.
Womens' cross country
Augustana junior Becca Sund (Palatine) took second place in the Dr. Robert Tucker Loras Invitational in which the Vikings placed second. Sund's time of 22:45.6 was 17.5 seconds off the winning pace set by Loras' Mary Rector.
Elk Grove girls feeder
The Elk Grove High School girls feeder basketball will hold tryouts on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 28 from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at Elk Grove High School. Tryouts are open to any 5th through 8th grader who lives in the district and is planning to attend Elk Grove High School. For more information, visit www.elkgrovegirlsbasketball.com or contact Coach Kathie Swanson at email@example.com.
North Central freshman Paige Candra (Fremd)competed in seven tournaments this fall. She finished the season with a stroke average of 93.8. Her season-best score of 85 came at the Aurora University Invitational.
Arlington Stallions Rugby
The ArlingtonStallions overcame a 10-0 deficit to the visiting St. Charles Predators to win their fifth match and complete their most successful fall season with a 5-1 record.
Once again, fitness and a sustained fast pace of play throughout the entire match paid dividends for the Stallions.
After inching ahead 25-20 to finish the first half, the Stallions gave up a converted try on the initial play of the second half to go down 27-25.
Then, on the strength of multiple tries by Nick Pauls, Jack Tuttle, Quinn Gallagher, Aiden Williams and Dave Wolech, the Stallions scored 39 points over the final 32 minutes for a 64-27 win.
"This is a near complete reversal from the fall season of 2012 and bodes well for their competitive season next spring," said club president Vinnie Lapiana. "We are very excited about our performance this fall, our players' commitment to excellence and the addition of four new players who will compete well for starting varsity spots in the spring. Right now, our future looks very bright."
Some of the Stallions' stronger players will now compete for spots on the Illinois All-State team (the Tornados) on Nov. 17 in an attempt to qualify for their Summer 2014 European tour.
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