Starting Friday nights, Simpson College students get ready for the night before game day. Non-athletes may be doing extracurricular activities around campus, and others may be going home but not the student athletic trainers.
“Friday night after practice, I usually go get dinner and go back to the room for the rest of the night,” said senior student athletic trainer Jordan Coughenour.
Starting Saturday morning, the students will come in around 10 a.m. to set up for treatments that start at 10:30 a.m.. Chris Fertal, head athletic trainer, and his staff come in early to the training room to set up for game days.
They set up the water for the team, fit the braces and also help the opposing team with any special needs they might have. Once the athletic trainers help the other team move in, they will do treatments for the Storm and make sure all the players are ready for warmups.
Once the players are ready for warmups, the training staff gets a little break before the game.
“Every week we like to get together as a group, and we put together a big lunch spread. Each student and staff member bring something different to eat, so we get to eat before the game starts,” Fertal said.
At halftime, all the trainers help the players with anything that may have happened during the first half. Hydration and retaping are main focuses for the staff during halftime.
After the game, the students and staff wait until all players are out of the locker room. They clean up the field as if no one has been there and then go home.
“It’s a hectic schedule, but I enjoy the business of it,” said graduate assistant athletic trainer Emily Manning. “I get here early in the morning, and I am here in the training room from 12-7 p.m. on an average day.”
There is good communication between the new coaching staff of the football team and the athletic training staff. There is a new energy from the head football coach, Matt Jeter, which has translated to the athletic training staff for the year.
“It will be pretty hectic around here until Thanksgiving break, and then the training hours will slow down for us,” Fertal said.
Having new students each year on the training staff comes with the different challenges of getting them trained and ready for the year. Most of the staff members are seniors this year and need training hours to fulfill the needed credit requirement to graduate.
Teachers within the athletic training major acknowledge the time the students put into the training hours they need, so they do not give as much homework as normal classes. This allows the students to keep up with their school work in their busy schedule.
Although they have hectic weekends, the athletic training staff keep Simpson athletics up and running to so each student can perform at their highest level.