Justin Fontaine had just begun his work as an athletic trainer for an affiliate team to the NHL hockey franchise, the Arizona Coyotes.
“It was the second home game, I was still very new to it,” Justin said. “I was probably there for like two weeks. We had a home game and it was a crazy game.”
Fontaine had his hands full.
“We had 3 or 4 guys go out in the 1st period with stitches and things like that,” Justin said. “Second period, guy goes into the boards and ends up fracturing his tib fib. I went out onto the ice and ended up having to activate EMS.”
Now Justin Fontaine is the new Athletic Trainer and assistant Athletic Director at U-32. Justin talked about the “community aspect” being a driving force in wanting to come back home to Vermont. Along with wanting to give back to his home community, Fontaine said that U-32 was the perfect fit for him.
Fontaine grew up not too far from here, in Walden. Justin spent a lot of his time helping his family run their local business, Fontaine Millwork and Forestry in East Montpelier.
Justin said that from a young age he knew he needed sports in his life.
“I’m probably the biggest sports fan you’ll ever meet,” Justin said. “From golf to tennis to football to soccer– I mean anything.”
Justin attended High School at St. Johnsbury Academy, where his Athletic Trainer was Chris Despins.
“Chris was definitely one of my driving forces,” Fontaine said. “I still look up to him to this day.”
Despins is still the Athletic Trainer at St. Johnsbury Academy. This excites Fontaine because not only does he get to work with his role model, he gets to show Chris the environment he is building at U-32.
On a recent afternoon during a boys soccer game, U-32’s Dylan Hinchcliffe ran off the field holding his head.
“Come right over Dylan,” Justin said. “We have to get that checked right away and make sure you don’t have a concussion.”
Justin took Hinchcliffe over to his cart and began the concussion protocol.
Fontaine has already proved himself to be a valuable asset to U-32’s athletic community.
“I have that professional experience, along with my internships at the two colleges and then my work with the high school,” he said. “Again, I think the high school level is the perfect setting.”