Marie Freudenthal, a certified athletic trainer with Morton Plant Mease’s Sports Medicine Outreach program, was recently named the High School Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Florida Athletic Trainers Association.
Freudenthal has been with BayCare for 10 years, serving first as athletic trainer at Osceola High school and spending the last six years at Clearwater High School, where she dedicates her time to ensuring the health and safety of youth athletes.
Freudenthal didn’t plan to become an athletic trainer. Her plan was to be a physical therapist; however, she needed a bachelor’s degree to attend physical therapy school. When she decided to major in athletic training, she found her passion and has made it her life’s work.
“As a high school athletic trainer, sometimes I am the most consistent person in a student’s life,” Freudenthal said. “To work with students, day in and day out, and watch them make good decisions is very rewarding.”
Freudenthal attends football practices in the fall and spring and all home athletic events in the fall, winter and spring sports seasons. She also mentors interns from the University of Tampa and the University of Central Michigan.
“Marie (Freudenthal) takes time to get to know our coaches and athletes,” said Clearwater High School Athletic Director Kathy Biddle. “She is passionate about her job and truly cares about the athletes at our school.”
In 2016, she had the privilege of watching her Clearwater High School football team go from a losing season in 2015 to an undefeated season.
“These seniors were the first group I had worked with for all four years. Many of them have difficult life circumstances so it was wonderful to watch them stay focused, never give up and then achieve great things,” Freudenthal said.
Freudenthal works at Clearwater High School as part of the partnership between BayCare’s athletic training program and Pinellas County Schools. The program’s goal is to increase safety awareness among coaches, student athletes, and parents, and to provide educational materials and follow up evaluations to determine return-to-play timelines for student athletes.