Students on and off the field: Student athletic trainers aide teams from sidelines

Madison Pruitt, Sports Writer

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On the field, they stand with the athletes with bags full of tape, bandages, and other essentials, prepared for the worst.

The athletic trainers and assistants are always at hand for student athletes, working consistently in both their training room and on the field.

There are many early mornings on the weekend and late nights during the week required for those who help out the certified athletic trainers.

Almost every day, the training staff stay late at the school, usually until at least 5 p.m. Recently, though, for Friday night football games, they continue to stay until at least 10 p.m. Late nights like these require a lot from the assistants, as they are, after all, still students with classes, jobs and are often athletes themselves.

“You have to be devoted to what we do,” senior Courtney Toon, one of the athletic training assistants, says.,. “The connection we have with the student athletes is really comfortable and trusting.”

This link between the student athletes and the student trainers is uncanny. Even though they are not certified athletic trainers, student trainers are allowed to do basic first aid and other more difficult tasks under the guidance of certified trainers Abigail Rumer and Jamie Wolf, who are in their third year at Perry.

“We’ve had a lot of concussions this year with our fall sports, so that’s been a big one for us,” senior Brooke Kistner says, recalling some of the things she has learned how to help care for. “We’ve been able to learn the different signs and symptoms for it, as well as the concussion protocol every athlete must go through afterwards.”

The students may also be allowed to assist in rehabilitating exercises with student athletes, basic wound care, and taping under supervision. The assistants also are allowed to take notes for Rumer and Wolf when a doctor visits to help asses some injuries.

Though the assistants prepare water for practices and help out with management details, they also have to be prepared for emergency situations.

“Last year when I was spine boarding an athlete, the EMS wasn’t completely prepared, so I didn’t have all the right things for the spine board,” Rumer says. . “They (the assistants) had to go get me tape, towels, and stuff to help. They really were a big part of that whole situation.”

The experience gained in these situations give good experience for the athletic assistants, as both Toon and Kistner have already decided that they would like to pursue athletic training in their future education.

The two seniors are followed closely behind by juniors Conner Woods and Carli Moriarty as well as sophomore Ajeya Warren.

This link is so easy to form due to the time they have spent with each other. One of the reasons Toon and Kistner both joined the assistant team is because they had spent a large amount of time with the training staff.

Kistner thinks students interested in joining the job of an assistant should be ready to jump in the deep end.

“You honestly just need to have a desire to learn about the profession and willing to dive right in by asking questions,” she says.

“I’ll see a video on Twitter or something of a professional athlete getting injured and I’ll show it to them,” Toon says, “and we go over what happened and how it was probably treated.”

The connection the assistant trainers and the training staff themselves is strong, a mix between friendly and familial.

“There’s inside jokes and laughing and it would be boring sometimes if they weren’t around,” Wolf says. . “We are our own little family in here.”

This family works to repair student athletes, train themselves for the future, and get injured players back out on the field at their best, and all that they require is time and interest.