Professional Sports

Cubs Athletic Trainer Gets Support from Alma Mater

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Professional Sports

Cubs Athletic Trainer Gets Support from Alma Mater

Article reposted from Chicago Tribune
Author: Kimberly Fornek

Cub fans at Lyons Township High School are sending photos and greetings to an alumni who is helping keep the Cubs healthy for their playoff run.

Matthew Johnson, a 1997 graduate, is an assistant athletic trainer for the Chicago Cubs team, said the high school’s registrar and big Cubs fan, Roxanne Gerardi.

Gerardi’s daughter went to school with Johnson and he has become a family friend, Gerardi said.

She and Therese Nelson, the associate principal at LT’s south campus, got the idea that since this is homecoming week at LT and students were encouraged to wear spirit wear, the Cub fans at the school could assemble and show their spirit for the Chicago team that has not won a championship in more than 100 years.

Students and staff, wearing Cub T-shirts and caps, gathered at both campuses for the photo shoot Thursday morning. Nelson was attired in a full Cubs uniform, having gotten it when she attended the Cubs baseball fantasy camp in Arizona in 2011 with her older brother.

They come from a long line of Cubs fans. Nelson, who played shortstop and second base in high school and college, said it was a thrill to meet former Cub infielders Don Kessinger and Glenn Beckert, along with other ex-Cubs.

Her brother had begged her to go to the camp with him for years, she said, but she was afraid she would be the only woman. It turned out there were two other women who had been attending the camp for at least 10 years.

Nelson had nothing to be ashamed of, as she had the best batting average in the camp, she said.

She was wearing an LTHS sweatshirt, when Johnson came up and asked if she was from La Grange. She explained she was an LT administrator and he told her he was an LT graduate.

So now eight years later, she and the LT Lions are sending good wishes to Johnson and the Cubs as they prepare to start the playoffs.

“Absolutely,” it’s their year to go all the way to the World Series, Nelson said.

kfornek@pioneerlocal.com

Twitter @kfdoings