Secondary School

Kristin Vieira is Keeping Athletes Safe and Healthy


Article reposted from Calaveras Enterprise
Author: Guy Dossi

Kristin Vieira has seen more football games than most head coaches. For the past 14 years, Vieira has been on the sidelines nearly every fall Friday night. And while she has never called a play or come up with a defensive scheme, Vieira can change the outcome of a game with a single diagnosis.

Vieira is the head athletic trainer at Bret Harte High School and she is the one responsible for making sure the athletes are healthy enough to play, as well as attempting to fix them when they are hurt.

“I have the mentality of letting the coach coach, the refs ref and the trainers train,” Vieira said. “I’m just there to do medical and make sure they stay safe and healthy. That’s my main focus. I pick them up when they are broken and nurse them back to health.”

She’s keeping athletes safe and healthy
Kristin Vieira tapes up quarterback Ryan Kraft.

Vieira, who is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and also a nationally registered paramedic, made the decision to enter the field of sports medicine when she was 20 years old and attending California Polytechnic State University. She later transferred to California State University, East Bay, and later participated in a sports medicine internship at Diablo Valley College.

Vieira, who grew up in Hayward, was originally looking to go into pre-med orthopedic surgery, but the more time she spent in the athletic training room with some of her kinesiology classes, the more she realized she belonged on the sidelines.

“I really liked the hands-on aspect of working directly with the athletes at the time they got injured,” Vieira said. “I get to fix them and have a part in that. So, I like dealing with the immediate injury and figuring out what’s going on. I really liked the athletic training aspect of the sports medicine umbrella.”

A fateful day

Even though it has been 15 years, Vieira will never forget Aug. 19, 2002. It was her first day of her senior year of college and it was also the first day of contact football practice at Diablo Valley College. Vieira, who wasn’t an official athletic trainer yet, was at practice performing some of what would be her daily duties when out of nowhere, a 19-year-old player collapsed on the field.

Vieira, along with a first-year athletic training student, were the first to reach the player. The player told them that he had been hit a couple of times, but it was clear to Vieira that his condition was rapidly deteriorating. She summoned the head athletic trainers and CPR was immediately started.

She’s keeping athletes safe and healthy
Kristin Vieira checks the knee of a Bret Harte player before practice.

Enterprise photo by Guy Dossi

The player was taken to a nearby hospital, where he subsequently died of what was believed to have been a brain stem hemorrhage. However, the autopsy came back inconclusive.

“That’s the one that has always stuck with me,” Vieira said. “Even though it’s been 15 years, every time I step out onto this turf, it’s always in a corner of my mind. It was one of those situations that totally could have broken me and it almost did. Instead of letting it break me, I took it as my drive to make sure that I do the best that I can do and make sure these guys are safe and taken care of.”

All on her own

In 2003, Vieira was named the head athletic trainer of the Summerville High School junior varsity football team. She was only 24 and was responsible for a team of 30. Vieira was ready to prove that she could handle the situation and perhaps was a bit too eager to convince not only herself, but the Summerville players and coaches that she belonged.

“I was actually kind of cocky, because I was fresh out of college,” Vieira said. “I had the, ‘I know it all,’ attitude. Now I’m a little more humble and actually rely on my peers to come up with answers and to help me.”

She’s keeping athletes safe and healthy
Applying ice is something that Kristin Vieira does every day.

Enterprise photo by Guy Dossi

Vieira enjoyed her time working in Tuolumne County, but kept her eyes and ears open to anything available in her new hometown of Angels Camp. It wasn’t long until former Bret Harte head football coach Gordon Sadler Sr. got ahold of Vieira and made an offer that she couldn’t refuse.

“Gordon Sadler Sr., whom I called ‘Papa Sadler,’ said to me, ‘We need you. I want an athletic trainer and I want you to do the job.’ So, I said, ‘OK,’” Vieira said.

Since then, Vieira has spent the past 12 years on the Bret Harte sidelines. And in that time she has worked for four different head coaches. From Sadler to Scott Edwards and Jon Byrnes to current head coach Casey Kester, the one constant has been Vieira.

“I’d like to think that I have a good rapport with the kids,” Vieira said of what she believes is a reason for her longevity with the Bullfrogs. “I feel that I have a good rapport with the coaching staff and the administration here on campus.”

But one thing that Vieira hasn’t been able to fix is Bret Harte’s record. In 12 years, she has been involved with only one winning team and seen two playoff games. She has seen the good along with the absolute worst of Bret Harte football.

“It is hard for me because I do see the heartbreak in their eyes, especially if it’s a game where they played their hearts out,” Vieira said.

An absolute necessity

Having a certified athletic trainer on the sidelines and at practice is a valuable asset to any football team. However, it is currently not required in California. Often, coaches are responsible for taking care of the health of their players when that goes above their area of expertise.

“Coaches are not qualified, nor do they want the responsibility or liability of making medical decisions for their athletes,” Vieira said. “They feel way more comfortable having it put in the hands of a trained professional. I think the coaches realize that it’s a good thing to have around.”


She’s keeping athletes safe and healthy
Kristen Vieira and Bret Harte head coach Casey Kester talk about the health of the players while at practice in Angels Camp.

Enterprise photo by Guy Dossi

Coaches aren’t the only ones happy that Vieira is around. The players have no problem going to her with questions and concerns regarding any bump, bruise, sprain or stiff muscle. And while some parents and coaches might not get the full answer from the athletes regarding injuries, Vieira has been around long enough to figure out exactly what is wrong.

“If they are not giving me straight answers or I’m not getting a good read of what’s going on, that’s actually the part of my job that I love the best,” Vieira said. “Because then I have to kick my brain into high gear and try to figure out what it could be. I try to piece things together from square one.”

There is nothing that Vieira hasn’t seen and nothing that she hasn’t heard from players. While some injuries are serious and need further medical attention, others can be fixed with something as simple as ice and rest. One of the biggest parts of Vieira’s job is helping the players recognize the difference between being hurt and being injured.

After 14 years on the job, Vieira has become fairly skilled at sniffing out real injuries among players who believe they are hurt more than they actually are.

“We’ve had kids where you think that they are dying out on the field and that I’m going to have the ambulance come out and haul them off, all because of the production that they are making,” Vieira said. “Then they end up being fine.”

A future on the sidelines

Vieira is a mother of three young boys. Her oldest is 8, the middle son is 4 and she has a 7-month-old son. So when the question arose regarding whether she would allow her own children play football, Vieira had an answer ready in her back pocket.


She’s keeping athletes safe and healthy
Kristin Vieira has wrapped thousands of ankles in her career.

Enterprise photo by Guy Dossi

“My oldest is playing flag football and I’m fine with him doing that,” she said. “I have no problem with them playing football, if that’s what they want to do. However, my only rule is that I will not allow them to start playing tackle football until they are in eighth grade. Mainly, I want to make sure their bodies have more time to adequately develop without getting repetitive hits.”

So what happens when they suit up and begin playing tackle football?

“When they do start playing, I’ll have to retire,” laughed Vieira.

But until then, Vieira hopes to remain on the Bret Harte sidelines. And as long as she is there, win, lose or draw, the Bullfrogs will remain in good hands

Secondary School

North Carolina Athletic trainers vital to success


Article reposted from Star News

Workload, hours comparable to football coaches

During the fall, Megan Hardy usually works between 14 and 16 hours on Thursdays and Fridays.

There are a couple breaks to sneak in lunch and dinner, but for the most part the West Brunswick athletic trainer is busy either teaching classes or preparing for a football game.

“They are long days, especially because I’m at school all day as a teacher,” said Hardy, who is in her 15th year with the Trojans.

While a lot of her work is done behind the scenes and not noticed by fans, it is appreciated by the coaching staff and players.

“To me, one of the most important positions on your staff is your trainer,” West Brunswick athletic director and former football coach Jimmy Fletcher said. “Megan is one of the only other people that is here as much as me, and I wouldn’t do this job without her.”

Testing for injuries

With players becoming stronger and faster, injuries are becoming more prevalent in the sport. Concussions have become a big topic of discussion over the past decade, especially at the youth and high school levels.

Prior to beginning practice, the N.C. High School Athletic Association mandates that every athlete must have a current physical and a concussion form signed by the student-athlete and their parent on file.

Each athletic trainer screens a possible concussion differently, but they are all looking for the same signs and symptoms.

“What I think helps the most for me is falling back on my clinical skills and also staying up to date on the most evidence-based practice,” said Hoggard athletic trainer Alex McDaniel. “There are a few articles that were put out by some clinical studies that were done in the NFL and the NCAA in the last few years that really nail down sideline assessment.”

If McDaniel suspects a player has a concussion, he puts them through an entire clinical evaluation on the sideline. The process usually last about five minutes.

“With motor function and sensory function of the upper body, we can determine their cranial nerves and see how intact they are,” McDaniel said. “Aside from cranial nerves, we do a test that is very similar to a DUI test called Romberg. It’s a set of balance and hand-eye coordination skills. After that, we do a memory cognitive skill test.”

McDaniel also adds a fourth test to assess the state of the player’s cervical spine nervous system.

If a player is diagnosed with a concussion, they must be free of all symptoms before beginning a gradual Return-to-Play progression, which has six stages that must be completed on different calendar days.

Taking caution
Most of the injuries athletic trainers deal with on a day-to-day basis and during games aren’t as severe as concussions.

Hardy treats a lot of cramping during the beginning of the season when the temperatures are still warm and the practices switch from mornings or evenings to right after school.

“It’s hard to simulate game tempo in practice,” Hardy said. “Our kids can get water whenever they want at practice, whereas in a game we can’t just stop in the middle of a long drive and send them over for water because they are thirsty.”

Ankles and knees tend to be the most common lower body injuries, especially during games when players are falling on top of each other during tackles.

The risk of putting an injured player back into the game and causing more extensive damage is something all athletic trainers deal with. It’s why the relations between them, the coaching staff and players is so important.

“The good thing of our coaches is that they really trust what I say,” McDaniel said. “Whenever I see an athlete with an injury, not only do I follow and adhere to our national standards and protocols, but I adhere to what best practice is as far as health care is concern. I do all types of functional return to play tests.”

“My coaches are really good to work with. They don’t want to jeopardize a kid’s safety, because they know there is stuff beyond high school sports,” Hardy added. “It’s important for us to win every Friday, but it’s also important for them to be able to have families and not have a catastrophic injury to worry about.”

Secondary School

Ripley High School athletic director and athletic trainer works with students


Article reposted from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel


Photo by Jeff Baughan
Ripley High School Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Steve Lough MS, ATC/R, AR,  right, awaits players to come to his office/training room for pre-game taping.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Ripley High School Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Steve Lough MS, ATC/R, AR, right, awaits players to come to his office/training room for pre-game taping.

RIPLEY — It’s a Friday morning for Steve Lough at Ripley High School. His watch says 7:15 a.m. By the time he leaves, it’s anywhere from 16 to 18 hours later.

It’s game night; Ripley hosts Riverside this night. As athletic director, Lough sees to it the athletic facilities are ready for the Warriors. He wears the AD cap from 3 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. That’s when the Ripley football team makes its way into his office to begin taping for the game. AD cap off, trainer cap on.

The letters following Lough’s last name are more letters than his last name. Officially, he is Steve Lough, MS, ATC/R, AR. That indicates a master’s degree in athletic training, athletic trainer certified and registered and athletic director.

Lough arrived in Ripley in 1997. He has served as the athletic trainer since and has been in the profession since 1994.

Around the room are plaques designating him as West Virginia Athletic Trainer of the Year for 2012 and 2015. The Mountain State Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year for 2015 and Jackson County Teacher of the Year for 2016. There is an article from Training and Conditioning Magazine featuring a story where Lough and staff had car washes and used the money to purchase athletic training equipment for Herbert Hoover, Richwood and Clay County high schools.

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Ripley High School Athletic Trainer Steve Lough, right, retapes the ankle of J.T. Kemp during the fourth period of the game against Riverside after he had sprained the ankle in the first half.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Ripley High School Athletic Trainer Steve Lough, right, retapes the ankle of J.T. Kemp during the fourth period of the game against Riverside after he had sprained the ankle in the first half.

Three schools which lost literally everything in the 2016 flooding.

Ripley has also received the National Athletic Trainers Association Safer Sports School Award, which is valid from 2017-2020. The school also had the award for 2014-2017. That banner hangs on a set of cabinets.

Lough’s athletic director’s office is unlike most. His office is also the training room. Students in his athletic training classes took the assignment of turning his office into a training room. The football locker room had been previously used for the players. There are two taping tables and three training tables in the room, along with supplies.

“They did quite a nice job with it actually,” he said. “It’s very functional.”

The students had incentive as well.

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Ripley quarterback Braden Campbell, left, speaks with Ripley High School Athletic Trainer Steve Lough, center, and Lexi Price after coming to the sidelines after a play against Riverside.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Ripley quarterback Braden Campbell, left, speaks with Ripley High School Athletic Trainer Steve Lough, center, and Lexi Price after coming to the sidelines after a play against Riverside.

“The locker room smelled, well, like a locker room. It didn’t have air conditioning either. My office,” he started to laugh, “it’s clean, doesn’t smell like a locker room and has air conditioning.”

There are 28 students in the athletic training I class he teaches. Juniors get classes I and II while III is for seniors only. In his white, bright and clean training room sits Lexi Price, a junior at the University of Charleston who is spending a semester working with the Ripley athletes.

She is from Ravenswood. She assists Lough in the pregame wrap jobs.

There are five high school assistants on hand, four females and one male who are assigned by Price to different duties throughout the game. They’re not hard to spot. They wear shirts which say “I like to run with scissors. It make me feel dangerous.” They really don’t run with scissors. They don’t carry scissors. Only Lough and Price carry scissors.

The students are: Kristen Yost, Anna Kimble, Kiersten Templin, Jami Crawford and Griffin Durst.

Photo by Jeff Baughan
While cheerleaders and band members celebrate a first period Ripley touchdown, athletic training student assistant Anna Kimble fills water bottles for players.

Photo by Jeff Baughan While cheerleaders and band members celebrate a first period Ripley touchdown, athletic training student assistant Anna Kimble fills water bottles for players.

The assistants receive polos, sweat shirts and t-shirts to wear on the sidelines. Not so much for them to be well dressed “but it makes them stand out to the coaches and easily identifiable,” Lough said. “Before the game, we all meet with the other team’s medical staff so they can recognize what we’re wearing that night.

“From 5:15 p.m. until after the game, I’m the trainer,” Lough said. “After I check on the injuries and getting things cleaned up, then I become the athletic director again. I have to make sure the soccer goals are in place and ready for Saturday when the football field becomes the soccer field.”

Riverside arrives shortly before 5 p.m. and the Warriors begin taping. A Riverside assistant coach walks to the office to inform Lough of a problem in the locker room. Trainer hat off; AD hat on. Lough takes care of the problem. Riverside coaches are happy and Lough comes back to his office. AD hat off and trainer hat on.

He waits for the Ripley players. A time schedule for Ripley players and pregame activities is written on the board so all know. His assistants check supplies. The players begin to trickle in. Most are needing ankles wrapped. Some are talking, some bouncing their heads to the tunes playing in their ears.

“We’ll tape about 700 ankles over the course of the school year in all sports,”Lough says. “We’ll go through 20-25 cases of tape a year, 32 rolls per case.”

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Ripley High School athletic training student assistants, from left, Kristen Yost, Anna Kimble, Kiersten Templin, Jami Crawford and Griffin Durst watch players during warmups.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Ripley High School athletic training student assistants, from left, Kristen Yost, Anna Kimble, Kiersten Templin, Jami Crawford and Griffin Durst watch players during warmups.

That’s somewhere between 5.45 to 6.81 miles of athletic tape. That’s a lot of taping and tearing. Lough said Ripley supports 19 teams in 12 sports. The tape is blue and white in Ripley colors.

Two Ripley players enter the room with casts. Cast wrap is not on the supply list for Lough. Stadium seats are plentiful. Lough pulls a pair of scissors from the back of his pants. In a matter of seconds, he pulls the seat’s foam interior out of the casing. Now he has cast wrap.

“Part of the job is adapting to what is available to you,” he said as he wraps the player’s cast in the foam. Some white tape holds the wrap in place and blue tape goes over that. The player is good to go.

The night’s officials are informed of the players with the casts; so is Riverside. They will meet with local EMS workers and Riverside’s medical team. The players’ cast wraps are approved.

The staff gathers water bottles and other supplies and begin their walk to Memorial Stadium, otherwise known as “Death Valley.” Their main function during pre-game is to hydrate players. It’s a warm night in Death Valley. Muscle cramps are preventable with lots of water. The shout of “water”during a timeout will have staff scrambling to provide water bottles for the players. Right now, they are scanning warmups for players gesturing for a drink.

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Ripley High School football player Rocky Ford, left, awaits taping of his hand to begin by Lexi Price while Ripley High School Athletic Trainer Steve Lough puts a pre-wrap spray on the ankle of Ty Eshenaur before taping it.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Ripley High School football player Rocky Ford, left, awaits taping of his hand to begin by Lexi Price while Ripley High School Athletic Trainer Steve Lough puts a pre-wrap spray on the ankle of Ty Eshenaur before taping it.

Lough walks towards the field as well. He walks past the band boosters concession stand, where the smell of the hamburgers would make a lot of people stop, across the running track and takes a look at the Riverside bleachers. The Warriors have a 1-1 record coming to Ripley. The Riverside bleachers are nearly full. Lough, the AD, smiles a bit as he sees it will be almost a full house by kickoff. The smile fades as he resumes the role of athletic trainer.

“I love working with kids,” he says. “The health of the kids are important. It’s vital they receive proper care with concussions and injuries coming under the microscope. The student assistants are trained with backboards and they are part of the emergency action plan.

“They work hard. They’ll put in 240-250 hours from August to the end of football season,” he added.

The training program is in its eighth year. Lough states four graduates have gone on to athletic training careers.

It’s 7:30 p.m.; game time. It’s time to listen to the pads pop and helmets collide. Time to make sure everyone stands up after every play.

The night has its usual bumps and bruises although one first half Ripley injury sends Lough and Price to the middle of the field. The player is taken from the field on a stretcher and leaves in an ambulance with a leg injury. Lough is not happy with the expected outcome and declines to talk about the injury.

Riverside would hang Ripley’s first loss on the Vikings. It was a 33-28 decision in which Ripley closed late on a halfback option 52-yard scoring pass from J.T. Kemp to Brayden Campbell with 3:36 to play.

Ripley rode to St. Albans Friday, Lough and crew made the journey.

“I go everywhere the football team does,” Lough says. “I’m the trainer. That overrides the AD job if something is left to do here for Saturday. There are times you delegate.”

“It takes a lot people to make this program work right,” Lough said. “A lot of people giving a lot of hours. We’re making it work and it keeps the kids safe. That’s what this is all about.”

Secondary School

Texas athletic trainers are a vital thread in the fabric of sports


Article reposted from LMTonline
Author: Clara Sandoval, Laredo Morning Times

Sports have many entities that are vital to the success of the overall program. Athletic trainers are a group of individuals who work behind the scenes to ensure the athletes are healthy and ready to perform week in and week out. They are an essential part of every program whether it be at the high school or middle school level. Both LISD and UISD employ at least two trainers for each school.

The local athletic trainers include: Alexander’s Wendy Gutierrez, Mario Saldivar and Victoria Lee Whitaker; Cigarroa’s Paula Garcia and David Reidenbach; LBJ’s Cindy De Hoyos and Jojo Villarreal; Martin’s Amanda Mancha and Michael Rodriguez; Nixon’s Marines Perez and Adriana Rodriguez; United’s Gaby Enriquez, Mike Nanji and Carlos Salinas; and United South’s Jonathan Cortazzo, Melissa De Hoyos and Javi Valverde.

“Our athletic trainers play a vital role with our athletes,” United head volleyball coach Lety Longoria said. “From training them on what foods to eat for best performance and output, to keeping their bodies healthy, our trainers do an amazing job day in and day out. They take care of our kids and listen to what problems they may have, and they do whatever it takes to help them. They also put in additional hours every day and travel with us to all our games. They build great relationships with our kids and with us as a staff to guarantee the best help and support. We love our trainers.”

Athletic trainers can be seen roaming the sidelines during all sporting events and are ready at a moment’s notice when an athlete goes down with an injury. Before becoming trainers, one must be accepted to an accredited university and then apply to an athletic training program during their sophomore year. The athletic trainers must accumulate a certain amount of observation hours and then take the state health department written and oral exam. After that, aspiring athletic trainers must perform a task in front of a panel of four before becoming certified.

An athletic trainer’s main responsibility is to ensure the safety of the athletes and rehabilitate them after an injury. This can make for long 14-hour work days, which at times result in 60-hour weeks.

“Every job has its challenges,” De Hoyos said. “Day to day we deal with broken bones, career-ending injuries and concussions. One of the challenges I would say is helping an athlete cope and understand the limitations of their injury so that they can invest their time in recovery as opposed to returning to play. The busy nature and demand of our profession sometimes make balancing family and work difficult, but we make it work.”

Whitaker grew up around athletics and has been around football ever since her father took up coaching 35 years ago. After high school, she attended Texas State University where she obtained a degree and entered the athletic training profession. Besides being an athletic trainer, Whitaker balances a family at home that includes husband Ralph and daughter Cami.

“I am blessed because I have a family-oriented staff,” Whitaker said. “We have learned to adapt to each other’s personal schedules. A work week can consists of games, practices and special events. A varsity game can last until 11:00 p.m. or 2:00 a.m.”

Adriana Rodriguez is a graduate of the University of Texas and was set on becoming a judge before she found her calling as an athletic trainer. She has been in the profession for eight years now at Nixon.

“By the end of my freshman year, I was already an officer of a law student organization working at the capitol and I held a summer job with a local attorney,” Rodriguez said. “I had already taken a practice entrance exam for law school and scored in the higher range, and I was advised by my mentors to switch majors because most law school students had similar majors and I needed something to set myself apart. So I looked into different majors at the university and came across the bachelors in science of athletic training.”

At Texas, Rodriguez was able to work alongside athletes including Kevin Durant, Dexterr Pittman, Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Jamal Charles, Sanya Richards and Cat Osterman.

“My passion for athletic training also comes from the passion that my high school coaches instilled in me and the love for the sports I’ve had since my freshman year of high school,” Rodriguez said. “I feel that sports allowed me to bond — it being my first time in the United States — and succeed since I had something in common with those kids, coaches and teammates as they encouraged me to get better with my English.”

The majority of the Laredo trainers were athletes in high school or sustained an injury during their playing days, which resulted in them spending time in a training room. That led them to where they are now.

“I was very involved in sports during high school,” said Mancha, a 2012 graduated from Angelo State. “During those four years, I sustained a few injuries and saw what it was like behind the doors of those that went away when they weren’t able to play. My senior year (and his first year at AHS) was the year that I found my calling. Mario Saldivar was a big influence on why I became an athletic trainer and what university I chose to attend. He’s still been a mentor for me throughout my years as a high school athletic trainer.”

Garcia, a graduate from Texas State, has been around Laredo athletics for the past 24 years now and started out at United before making the move to Cigarroa. She started out in the profession when athletic trainers had to teach a class at the high school. Now they are athletic trainers all day and have a very busy schedule after school with practices and games. She relishes her job and enjoys helping athletes get back on the playing field.

“Being an athlete all throughout high school made me want to have a profession that dealt with athletics,” Garcia said. “Being able to help athletes recover from an injury and return to the sport they love playing is great.”

Follow @LMTNews on Twitter for the latest news on high school athletics and other local sports.

Secondary School

Washington high school athletic trainers are on the ball during games, practices


Article reposted from Kirkland Reporter
Author: Delaney Farmer

It’s Friday night and the game is under the lights. High school football players are executing the Xs and Os the coaches lay out for them. Hit after hit, down after down, these young athletes grind it out to obtain that hopeful win. Then all goes silent. A kid is laying down and slowly rolling on the ground in pain. An individual is seen sprinting out to this kid. It’s not the coach (although they are quickly behind). It’s not the parent (although they are headed down from the stands). It’s the school’s athletic trainer.

What is an athletic trainer? Athletic trainers are health care professionals recognized by the American Medical Association, Health Resources Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services as an allied health care professional who works with and collaborates with physicians. The services provided by athletic trainers include prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

The Washington State Athletic Trainers’ Association (WSATA) has organized a “Safety in Football” campaign to promote increased safety in football in the state of Washington. The campaign ran from Sept. 1–10. Across the state, athletic trainers are providing their clinical expertise every day to improve the overall health and safety of their athletes. Keep a look out for the WSATA sticker on the back of the Lake Washington High School football helmets as they show support for the “Safety in Football” campaign.

The Lake Washington School District wants its young athletes to play hard, but also to play safe. With this, all four comprehensive high schools have licensed and certified athletic trainers in their respective schools providing care to our young athletes daily:

• Maria Garsi, Eastlake High School

• Tad Katori, Juanita High School

• Delaney Farmer, Lake Washington High School

• Matt Martin, Redmond High School

You can find these four athletic trainers hard at work on the sidelines of their after-school sporting events, ensuring the safety of our young student-athletes. Whether the teams are winning or losing, the athletic trainer is there to manage the safety and well-being our student-athletes.

So, whether you are at a Friday night football game, weeknight soccer game, in the gym for a volleyball match or just around watching one of your kids as they practice throughout the week – know that your kids are being looked at and cared for by a licensed athletic trainer.

Secondary School

The job is tough: Keep teens healthy and on the field


Article reposted from The Marietta Times

With more knowledge than ever before on the impact of concussions on athletes, having fully qualified athletic trainers consistently on the field is in growing demand.

“We don’t want coaches having to make medical decisions,” said Tom Bartsokas, a sports medicine doctor leading the charge through Memorial Health System.

Four schools currently utilize the athletic trainer program offered through the health system, with a single trainer dedicated full-time to their students.

At Marietta High School it’s Madonna Buegel; Warren, it’s Arielle Baker; Waterford, Joslynn Trail; and Fort Frye it’s Brooke Daniell; all four serve on Bartsokas’ sports medicine team.

“It was a slow start at first since this school never had an athletic trainer before,” explained Daniell, 23, who lives just across the street from Fort Frye. “But after that first injury when the teams saw that student back on the field in less time and able to play well again, the kids started coming in to see me.”

The placement of a trainer on the field and at practice also offers greater piece of mind to athletic directors and coaches.

“In this day and age with the increased knowledge we have on concussions it’s an important piece of athletics to have that access to medical knowledge immediately,” said Rick Guimond,

athletic director of the Marietta City Schools District. “It provides an additional level of education to our kids.”

Guimond said assigning the athletic trainer to games of high-impact action like football and soccer take first priority, then those sports’ practices.

“But these services are available to all students within the district we serve, even band has access to what we offer,” said Bartsokas.

The program per school system costs $20,000 to put on, though not all districts are paying the full price just yet.

Frank Antill, treasurer for the Marietta City School District, said currently the high school is paying the same $11,000 price tag that was previously going to Ohio University to utilize a master’s athletic training student on a two-year rotation. Up the Muskingum River at Waterford High School the Wolf Creek Local School Board signed off on a $15,000 contract this past spring to be paid in half by the high school’s athletic boosters and half by the school district. Similar costs are assumed by the budgets of Fort Frye and Warren high schools’ athletics and boosters budgets.

“Right now Memorial is absorbing the remaining cost,” said Bartsokas. “We didn’t want to hit these schools with the full $20,000 price that they couldn’t afford out of the gate and not be able to provide our services.”

But Bartsokas sees the program growing over the years to become integrated into services provided by schools like speech pathology and counseling.

“Then those additional treatments can be billed directly to the parents’ insurances and I can see this becoming self-sustaining after a few years and maybe we could get rid of pay-to-play eventually,” said the doctor. “For now when the trainers are there at the practices and the games and during school giving treatments they all have access to me as well if they want me to look at test results or consult even if it’s a quick text.”

Madonna Buegel, 23, of New Matamoras, said she sees her role as three parts: preventative care, treatment and hopefully mentoring.

“I do a lot of preventative stuff here at the school too but if people want to think of it as someone who’s just waiting around for them to get hurt, then isn’t it better to have someone on hand that can immediately address that?”she said. “But because it’s also at the younger level these kids see me at the same level as their coaches or teachers and I want them to trust me that I want to get them back to playing and healthy just like they want to play.”

For senior soccer player Dakota Lee, 17, of Marietta, having Buegel on hand has been a blessing.

“She does amazing things for us and always makes sure we’re healthy and 100 percent ready for a game,” he said. “This is the second year I’ve had a trainer at every game and she can do all the tests on us right on the field and get us back to playing quickly instead of having to wait to even get in to see a doctor … we know what’s going on there (at the field).”

Get to know your athletic trainer

≤ Fort Frye High School: Brooke Daniell.

≤ Marietta High School: Madonna Buegel.

≤ Warren Local High School: Arielle Baker.

≤ Waterford High School: Joslynn Trail.

Source: Memorial Health System.

Secondary School

Getting to Know Athletic Trainer Eddie Knox


Article reposted from Gwinnett Prep Sports
Author: Christine Troyke

Eddie Knox, who grew up in Augusta, is the athletic trainer at Mountain View and in his second year as a teacher at Grayson. He got his degree at Valdosta State, during which time he worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during consecutive summers. As a senior, Knox accepted an intership at Sports Medicine South in Gwinnett and was later hired full-time.

In this installment of “Getting to Know …,” Knox talks with staff writer Christine Troyke about a variety of topics, including growing up in a military family, bringing pro-level care to high school athletes and the one TV show he DVRs.

CT: Where did you grow up?

EK: Kind of everywhere. I’m a military child. I was born in Virginia, but if I was to say I grew up anywhere, it would probably be Augusta. My dad was stationed at Fort Gordon. But right here in Georgia is where I’ve spent most of my life.

CT: How long were you in Augusta?

EK: Close to 14 years. We traveled around in Germany, but I was really young at that point. My dad was in the Army for about 23 years. We were stationed at Fort Lee in Virginia for three years and after that is when we went to Germany. He did a tour there for two years. Shortly after that is when we officially moved to Fort Gordon. Luckily enough, we were able to stay in Augusta. I was there from elementary school through high school.

CT: What sports did you play?

EK: Football, track and field, and basketball.

CT: What was your best sport?

EK: The sport I was getting recruited in was football and then also track and field.

CT: Looking back, how would you scout yourself?

EK: I was a do-it-all football player. I definitely wasn’t a three- or four-star like some of these guys in Gwinnett County, but I was a do-it-all hard worker. I was easy to get along with — Yes, sir. No, sir — and coaches liked that.

CT: What was your college decision-making process like?

EK: Ultimately I knew I wanted to do something in medicine. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in the field, but selecting colleges, No. 1, I wanted to move as far away from home as I could. (laughing) So that was Valdosta. But also, at that point, I was still interested in the military and they had a good ROTC program there. For that reason and also because they had a strong athletic training/sports medicine program, I decided to go down there.

CT: When did you figure out athletic training was really the direction you wanted to go?

EK: Probably my sophomore year. I started out as premed and then after more research and talking to people, you understand medical school is like 16 years. I didn’t know if I was quite ready for that, at that age.

CT: And a truckload of debt.

EK: I definitely took that into consideration. I love sports and I love medicine. Athletic training is born out of that.

CT: What was your first job ever?

EK: (laughing) I was an apprentice with an electrician. Way back then, I thought that’s what I wanted to do. I came from a blue-collar family. My best friend’s dad was an electrician. He owned his own business. So I would ride around Augusta with him in a 1976 Chevy van and I would do simple stuff. It was a really cool thing. I actually loved it.

CT: What was your first job out of college?

EK: I came up here to Atlanta and started working in an orthopedic office with Dr. (Gary) Levengood. I was an athletic trainer doing clinical outreach. I started there first and branched out into the community from there.

CT: How long ago was that?

EK: Close to nine years. I was there from 2009 until just this past year.

CT: What precipitated the move to Mountain View?

EK: I’ve always done clinical outreach and Mountain View has been my school as far as sports medicine care for about eight years. But what I would do is work in the morning in the clinic and then come here to take care of the sports medicine program.

CT: Now you’re just here?

EK: No, I teach now. That’s something new. I actually teach sports medicine at Grayson High School.

CT: I didn’t know sports medicine was an option. How long have they offered that?

EK: For a while. There are two type of sports medicine classes, but to make it easy, I’d say close to 15 to 20 years. Sports medicine has really changed over the years so they continue to add in curriculum.

CT: What appeals to you about working with high school athletes? You’ve worked at all levels, college and also with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

EK: There’s so much opportunity for better care at the high school level. That’s really what motivates me. When you look at other (levels), they really have everything they need. The major Division I and II colleges, they’ve got everything. So how can we assimilate what they have at the NFL and college level and help bring that to high school athletes? They’re the most vulnerable to injuries.

CT: Is the hardest part of the job getting an athlete to admit they’re hurt?

EK: (chuckling) If they’re an athlete, yeah, it’s hard to get them to admit if they’re hurt. But every athlete has a different personality and it’s trying to match their personality with your skill of care. It’s important. You may have an athlete that’s really aggressive that wants to get back on the field where we have to meet our skill of care to that.

CT: It’s interesting how coaching and athletic training run parallel in ways, especially when it comes to sports psychology and understanding how athletes are motivated.

EK: No doubt about it. Actually, the history of athletic training, 50 years ago, before we really saw official certification, a lot of coaches were athletic trainers. It’s natural. Everybody here calls me Coach Knox.

CT: Is this your first year teaching?

EK: Second.

CT: How’s it going?

EK: I love it. I love mentoring kids and to me, it’s not just about teaching, it’s about connecting kids and helping them toward their future. I really love it.

CT: What was it like working for the Bucs?

EK: That was actually done, they had a program with the Bucs, and I really credit our program director at Valdosta State, Russ Hoff. He really was the one that directed me and gave me the opportunity to work down at Tampa Bay. It really gives you an idea of what it’s like to work in the NFL. One thing I got out of it is it’s a lot of work. You’re trying to add small systems to large systems.

It was definitely an experience I will always remember. I gained a lot of experience on how to conduct myself professionally and what hard work means. Then how is information communicated throughout the team. But working there was awesome.

I’ll never forget the first hit that I heard. It sounded like a trainwreck. It was amazing. You appreciate the game and sport at that level. It’s different than watching it on TV.

CT: And like you said, the level of care is unparallelled.

EK: They have everything. They had just renovated the whole facility. They have everything you can thing of to make sure the athletes stay safe and healthy.

CT: Were you a senior when you interned with Sports Medicine South?

EK: It was an externship. So for a whole year, I was still in school, but I was off campus in Atlanta. It was their way of getting on-the-field experience and 12 credits at the same time.

CT: Can you detail all of your responsibilities when it comes to this job?

EK: (laughing) Oh, man. I can give you the five domains: prevention, treatment, recognition of injuries, administration and management. Whatever you can think of that falls under that is what we do. We do everything on behalf of the athlete.

Athletic training has really evolved, I think for the better. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s a lot of things we do for the kids to make sure they have a safe environment to play and practice in.

CT: What kind of music do you listen to most often?

EK: I love 2000s hip-hop. That’s my era. Kendrick Lamar is really big on my list right now. We actually just recently saw him in concert. I love country, too. Now, I couldn’t tell you a country artist’s name, but I turn on the station and jam out. I listen to everything honestly.

CT: Who would you like to see in concert if money were no object?

EK: If I could bring them back, I would probably say Tupac. He was talking about real stuff that was happening in society.

CT: Are there TV shows you DVR?

EK: I don’t really have time to watch TV, but the one show I do DVR is “ABC World News.” That’s the one show I watch when I get home because I have to figure out what’s going on.

CT: Are there movies you will always watch?

EK: “Rush Hour.” It’s one of my favorites of all time.

CT: How many U.S. states have you been to?

EK: Really, not that many. Maybe about seven. All along the eastern seaboard.

CT: Is there a part of the country you haven’t seen that you would like to?

EK: I would love to go up to Maine and that area. The scenery up there has to be awesome — and I love seafood. That’s the main thing (laughing).

#AT4ALLSecondary School

Colorado Physician: Athletic Trainers a Must in Schools


Article reposted from The Pueblo Chieftan
Author: Jon Pompia

A local physician who has long volunteered his services at area high school sporting contests believes certified athletic trainers should be mandatory at Pueblo City Schools’ (D60) four high schools.

Rocky Khosla, a medical doctor with expertise in sports medicine, said D60 should follow the lead of Pueblo County School District 70 and make full-time certified trainers a staffing requirement.

At present, there is one certified trainer and one first-aid responder (non-certified but with training experience) at each of D60’s four high schools.

But the trainer positions are part-time or extra-time, meaning that an educator may fill that role as an additional duty, as an example.

“But all major/physical contact sports have a trainer at all events,” said Rick Macias, D60 athletic director. “In addition to this, many doctors volunteer their time to cover all football games at Dutch Clark Stadium, with American Medical Response present at all athletic contests played at the stadium.”

Dalton Sprouse, D60 communications director, said East, Central and South high schools “are in the process of hiring a certified trainer, but the job pool is limited.

“At this time, however, funding four full-time positions to serve solely as a certified trainer is not a feasible option for us.”

In District 70, the starting salary of a certified trainer is similar to that of a first-year teacher, with job duties to include training, evaluation and injury prevention.

Khosla said D60’s “patchwork quilt” approach to athletic training ultimately falls short, potentially endangering students injured in action.

“Some are certified, some are not. Some are EMTs, some are not,” Khosla said of D60’s trainer corps. “And they are well-intended, don’t get me wrong. But the truth is that certified athletic trainers have to go through a really rigorous curriculum, so you know you have a standard of what to expect.”

There is no Colorado High School Activities Association requirement that certified trainers be on-site during athletic contests or practices, Khosla said. In fact, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association reports that “no state has legislation that requires every high school to have an athletic trainer,” despite several instances in which athletes have been fatally injured during games and practice sessions.

Khosla said several organizations he supports, including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the NATA, have long pushed for a full-time trainer requirement.

“The majority of high schools do not have certified athletic trainers,” Khosla said. “And I think CHSAA did not want to make that requirement because of the financial drain on schools. But why can’t CHSAA say, ‘If you have enough kids to have a Class 3A or higher team, you should have the finances to hire a certified athletic trainer.'”

And while Khosla praised the presence of AMR at D60 contests, he added, “Those people are well-trained for emergencies and the big catastrophic events, but not necessarily for bumps, lumps and concussions, as examples.”


Secondary School

Grand Rapids High School adds a full-time athletic trainer


Article reposted from

Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital announced the addition of full-time athletic trainer, Ashley Palmer, ATC, at Grand Rapids High School. She is originally from Floodwood, MN, and attended Bemidji State University where she got her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree. She then went on to get her Masters of Athletic Training from North Dakota State University. Before coming to Grand Rapids, Palmer worked for Essentia-St. Josephs in Brainerd where she was the head athletic trainer working at Brainerd High School.

Palmer is employed by Grand Itasca, but works full-time at Grand Rapids High School. She provides sideline practice and game coverage, evaluates and treats injuries and coordinates rehabilitation plans with the injured athletes’ health care teams. She is also responsible for conducting baseline concussion tests. If an athlete sustains a concussion, this test helps to determine when they are back to their “baseline” and, thus, ready to return to their sports.

The addition of Palmer at the high school continues a long-standing tradition of Grand Itasca therapists and doctors providing sideline coverage at Grand Rapids sporting events. For more than 20 years, a team of physical therapists and physicians has provided game-day sports medicine care at Grand Rapids High School and for 17 years that same team has provided coverage at Itasca Community College. The full-time position allows for more practice coverage, more training room time and greater depth of game coverage than ever before.

“Every year we have done more and more at the high school. The addition of a full-time athletic trainer really brings the care for our athletes to the next level,” says Gerry Wyland, Grand Itasca rehab director.

Anne Campbell, ISD 318 athletic director says, “Ashley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our school and athletes. She has already proven to be an invaluable asset. The school leadership, students, coaches and parents are ecstatic that she’s here. We are very excited to call Grand Itasca our ‘Official Provider of Sports Medicine Services.’”

For more information about sports medicine services provided by Grand Itasca, visit

Secondary School

Few Oklahoma schools have athletic trainers, which could prove dangerous for student athletes


Article reposted from ABC 8 Tulsa
Author: Charles Ely

The Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association is conducting a campaign to improve the safety of high school athletes.

That group reports 9 percent of Oklahoma high schools have trainers on staff and less than 30 percent have access to a professional trainer.

They said that ranks us last in the U.S. where the average is almost 75 percent.

In Jenks, they have a full training staff and facilities. That district has made the investment because sports injuries can have long-term consequences if not handled properly.

Head athletic trainer Michael Catterson says that starts immediately after an injury takes places.

Catterson said, “In the case of broken bones, if they’re not splinted properly they can cause more damage. Concussion on the sidelines or cervical neck injuries, a lot of times in our profession we have to prepared for the worst-case scenario.”

He said those injuries that get fast and proper care tend to heal more quickly.

At peak times in Jenks, they can be treating 60 or 70 of 1,000 kids who take part in sports.

Since good care up front is crucial, this state’s trainers are pushing to get more help on the sidelines.

Darren Lunow is the president of the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association and he said schools have done it during the budget crisis.

Lunlow said, “They’ve filled some of their science or math teaching positions with athletic trainers. They’ve likewise brought athletic trainers in as risk management for their entire district. They’ve seen their liability insurance go down.”

There’s also a trade off in the fact that the more care the school provides the less it costs the parents.

Having care on campus is very efficient for everyone. It means fewer trips to a doctor’s office and more time with the books.

Catterson said, “They don’t have to miss school to get their therapeutic exercise. They can do it here during sixth hour or before school.”

Only about half the schools in the Tulsa metro have athletic trainers.

Lunlow said the farther you go from our big cities, the lower the number.