As soon as the afternoon bell rings, junior Bailey Jackson makes her way to the training room. With a lingering odor of dirty socks and sweat, she enters the room already getting in the football state of mind. Jackson’s place is not on the field with the players but on the sidelines with other student athletic trainers keeping football players hydrated and safe.

“It’s more like an unofficial club. In class we learn book material about the body but we still do hands on work in the training room. The class is for learning the things you apply after school with the athletes,” junior Elaina Carrion said.

Hands-on experience literally does mean hands on. Students learn how to advise athletes on avoiding injury and how to assess and treat sports-related injuries when they do happen. After receiving approval from the school’s certified athletic trainer, Sarah Coelho, students can tape an athlete’s injury. The students learn step-by-step procedures on using pre-wrap and medical tape to wrap an injury for support.

“The most common injury has to be an ankle sprain. We are constantly wrapping ankle or wrists. We teach them how to be more careful to prevent their injury,” Carrion said.

Others fill water coolers and water bottles with ice cold water and Gatorade to hydrate the athletes. Coelho, along with the student trainers, then monitor the freshman, junior varsity and varsity football practices every day after school. Community services hours are awarded for their time.

The student athletic trainers include nine students: seniors Nikia Toomey, Joshua Rogachesky and Scott Slovenkay, and juniors Bailey Jackson, Kaiyla Brooks, Elisa Carrion, Elaina Carrion, Amanda Swartwout, and Michelle Duncan. Their goal is to keep athletes as healthy as possible by providing support and encouragement to athletes, because ultimately they are there for them.

“I’m here helping them stay healthy, and these guys love football. Seeing them loving the sport and their dedication after an injury makes it worth it,” Jackson said.

The trainers understand the importance of their job.  Four to five student trainers are present at each football game to help Coelho tend to the players.  Coelho is required to be at every sports event and if needed student trainers are welcome too. Practices are crucial but the games are where it counts.

“At games, it’s a lot more serious and I feel the tension in the air. They are so ‘in it to win it’. It’s really serious so I would say I’m on a different level. In practice, I’m laid back and chill,  but in the game I’m on my toes ready to take action when I’m needed,” Jackson said.

The students have formed a bond with each other and the athletes they see almost every school day at practices and games. Football practices and games are always priority because of its high-risk. The trainers get a chance to experience the sports medicine field while assisting Coelho. Wanting to help people  is the leading motivation for the student trainers.

“To me being a sports trainer means helping people be involved in whatever sport they are passionate about. For some people a sport is their life, so me helping them be able to play that sport means helping that person become the athlete they want to be,” Carrion said.

The students involved in sports medicine began because of an interest in the career, but it has become that and more. To them, it is rewarding to help their peers, and most importantly the trainers begin to feel a part of the football family.

“It’s rewarding because kids come in with injuries and you help them get better. Its like we are playing a part in the athletes’ success in Boone sports. It’s like we are contributing to the team,” said Toomey.


By admin

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