Mattie Silva feels as though it was God’s calling and timing for her to return to Garden City.
Silva, a 2012 Garden City High School graduate is a Sienna Medical Clinic outreach athletic trainer for GCHS. Her first day on the job with the school district was Aug. 14, she said.
“It’s kind of crazy. It’s come full circle,” Silva said. “I started (athletic training) my senior year during basketball season,” Silva said, adding that her love for athletic training started when she tore her ACL’s about a year apart from one another. “Through that time, I got to spend a lot of time with Cassy (Boyd, GCHS’ then-athletic trainer) doing a lot of rehab and getting to understand what an athletic trainer was, and I just kind of fell in love with it.”
After high school, Silva attended Garden City Community College, where she received an athletic training scholarship. Following her two years at GCCC, she attended Washburn University, graduating in May 2017 with a Bachelors of Science degree in athletic training with a minor in fitness.
The “crazy” part for Silva is that she’s always seen herself being an athletic trainer at GCHS.
“Whenever I said I wanted to be an athletic trainer, this is where I pictured myself being one,” Silva said. “God’s really allowed me to be what I was dreaming about.”
Silva said she also feels in her element with athletic training.
“It’s pretty much been a part of my life for the past five or six years now. It’s been my norm,” Silva said. “It’s something that I haven’t gotten tired of doing and I enjoy it.”
Silva’s duties as GCHS’ athletic trainer includes overseeing sports practices and assisting student athletes with injuries they may have received during games or practices.
“I oversee all the practices, mainly the football practices because that’s typically where most of the injuries happen, but I get calls from the other sports,” Silva said. “Then if they need to see me, they meet me in the athletic training room.”
Silva also travels with the varsity football team to its away games and covers all home sporting events at the high school, and once a week, she visits Kenneth Henderson and Horace Good Middle Schools to assist the student-athletes there.
The typical injuries Silva sees are ankle sprains, blisters, small wound care, and over-use injuries, she said.
Silva said transitioning to her new job was a bit hectic at first, but knowing the GCHS coaches, as some of them were coaching when she was in school and were even her coaches or teachers has made it easier.
“It’s been crazy, but that’s how athletic training is. You have a lot of people coming in, a lot of people going out,” Silva said. “It’s organized chaos, but now that I’m getting into the routine of things, they have been going smoothly.”
In her spare time, Silva enjoys sleeping, spending time with her family, and attending bible study. She is the daughter of Raul and Anna Silva and has four siblings: Jordan Martinez, Raul Silva Jr., Issac Silva, and AJ Marroquin.
“I’m just really glad to be back in my hometown and being a part of this culture is great,” Silva said. “I’ve really enjoyed it so far and I hope to continue to enjoy it.”