More than just a 'water girl'

Trainers prove to be valuable assets on the sidelines

Whatever you do, don't call them mop maids.

The student trainers at Moffat County High School are the first to admit they do a lot of grunt work for the teams they help, but they have earned the title of trainer and that's the name they prefer.

"At times we're quick to correct them when they call us something other than trainers," said junior Lisa McDermott, who currently helps the boys basketball program. "It's generally not that big of a deal, but sometimes it's nice to be called by the right name."

"Water girl," "manager" and the most general of them all, "hey you," are called out by coaches and athletes when they need something, and the trainers always know that they are the ones being called. It's the tasks that they help out with everyday at practice like taping ankles, sweeping the floor, mopping the mats or fixing football helmets that the coaches and athletes see. But there is more to their credit than equipment manager.

"The student trainers take a lot of pressure off me," said MCHS certified athletic trainer Jeff Pleasant. "They are prepared to treat a serious injury until paramedics arrive and they travel with the teams when I can't."

Pleasant also said the trainers are responsible for keeping track of and documenting injuries, reminding the athletes when they have check ups, monitoring the athletes progress and reminding the coaches what the athlete can and can't do while recovering.

"We're there if we're needed," said senior Jen Gray. "The coaches and athletes don't get to see the side of us that is actually knowledgeable about the injuries very often, but that is a good thing."

The students with the title "trainer" have gone through a class taught by Pleasant on injury prevention and assessment. They are also certified

in CPR.

"They are educated enough to know how to act in almost every situation," Pleasant said. "That's important because there are situations that a coach might not know what to do."

There are currently nine MCHS students who are certified as trainers. With every trainer there is a different reason that they want to sit through every practice and spend time wrapping stinky feet.

Senior Tori Zimmerman grew up in a wrestling family so she enjoys being a trainer for the wrestlers in order to be around the sport.

Senior Becca Johnson said she enjoys helping people.

Junior Kassie Dilldine said she started because she had an interest in the field of sports medicine.

Senior Amy Dorsett and Gray help all year with football, basketball and baseball. They both said that, among other things, it is their way to be involved in athletics

"We sort of have our own team," said sophomore Emily Weber, who helped with football and is now a wrestling trainer. "We spend a lot of time on the sidelines and it makes it fun to hang out together."

Gray and Pleasant hope to make the job of trainer more of a "team" by creating a school club for the students.

"By making it a club, it would hold them more accountable," Gray said. "They would have to keep the same grades as athletes and be accountable in the same ways as athletes. I think one of our biggest problems is that coaches and athletes don't respect what we can do and maybe if we were more organized that would help."

Pleasant said by adding more organization, the position could be used more.

"Everybody wants to help with the more popular sports like football, basketball and wrestling," he said. "If a club were started maybe the interest would increase and more sports could be helped."

Gray and Pleasant met with school officials Wednesday to present the idea of a club and it was put on hold.

"They threw some things back at me that made sense," Gray said. "So it won't happen this year because we have to go back to the drawing board and revise" some of the original plans.

In the meantime, the taping and sweeping and stat taking will continue.

"As long as the coaches and athletes are kept happy, we're appreciated," Dorsett said. "So if they want to call us hydration engineers they can because we know that when it matters, we're capable of more."

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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