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Hidden Heroes: Athletic Trainers

photo from shastacollege.edu

photo from shastacollege.edu

By Matt Brockman

It’s a well-known fact that us as Americans love sports; we thrive on the competition, and competition is what motivates us to be better than what we were before. It’s also widely known that most sports have a very serious injury rate. Who do the athletes go to when they get hurt? When something just doesn’t feel right with a knee, wrist, or even something as small as a cut. Each school has a team of Athletic Trainers that help with all the ailments and injuries that the players may have. Ours happens to be led by Mike Davis, who has been doing this for a long time.

Mike was certified in 1980, and has been an athletic trainer for 34 years, 11 of those years have been with Shasta College. I asked Mike what his favorite part of the job was, and he explained that he enjoys working with the athletes, and student trainers because there is never a dull moment. Someone is always smiling, laughing, and having fun. This semester he is accompanied by ten student trainers, and one part-time trainer, who is contracted by Shasta Orthopedics.
These Athletic Trainers support every sport here at Shasta College, so it is a year round job that’s a lot harder than it may look. I’ve personally helped with some of the things they do for the athletes, like getting the field equipment for the trainers set up for the home team, visiting team, and filling up water bottles. Go ahead and insert some funny Waterboy reference, but I assure you, it’s not easy to fill that many water bottles. A typical game night in the life of an athletic trainer begins in the training room taping, wrapping, and icing down anything that an athlete may need worked on. Then, like I mentioned before, they set the field up for the game. If an athlete goes down in the game they are the first people on the field to check them out, and make sure they are fit to play. After the game ends they clean up their equipment and head to the locker rooms to tend to the athletes some more.

They are the first ones in the door and the last ones to leave. I asked a few questions to one of the student trainers, Andy Malson, who has been training with Mike Davis for some time. When I asked him what the hardest part of athletic training was, he said “Probably injury evaluation. Everything is by the book, but every situation is different.” Which led to the next question. What is your favorite part of being a trainer? Andy said “Working with an athlete and getting them healthy again, so they can get back to the game they love.” He also mentioned that they do a lot of taping of ankles, feet, and wrists. All-in-all it’s a great job, but not many people see what these teams of trainers do to keep our athletes in peak physical condition, and healthy.

These guys don’t ask for any attention, but they deserve to be recognized, and applauded for what they do for the players here at Shasta College. They are Shasta Colleges Hidden Heroes. They are the gears in your engine that you never see, but if one were to fail, your engine would cease to run. Once again, my hat is off to the Hidden Heroes of Shasta College, the team of athletic trainers led by Mike Davis.

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