“I’ve always liked sports and being a part of the teams, but I wasn’t always good at them. Being an athletic trainer, I can stay involved with the teams without actually doing the sport.”
— Jordan McLeslie, an incoming Moffat County High School senior, on working as an athletic trainer
Jordan McLeslie, an incoming Moffat County High School senior, thought back to her seventh-grade basketball team and her first time being a manager.
After fracturing a foot during a game, McLeslie’s coach suggested the injured player become team manager.
Almost five years later, McLeslie has taken her opportunity and evolved it into an athletic training position for multiple MCHS sports teams.
“I’ve always liked sports and being a part of the teams, but I wasn’t always good at them,” she said. “Being an athletic trainer, I can stay involved with the teams without actually doing the sport.”
Since her freshman year, McLeslie has been a trainer for the MCHS football teams, and in her sophomore year she took on the basketball teams. Last school year, she began helping the girls soccer teams, giving her a team for every season.
McLeslie said during her first year of high school, while officially a trainer, she remained in more of a managerial role by mostly filling water jugs so older trainers could took care of injuries and taping.
But, halfway through the football season, the older trainers quit, leaving McLeslie and another young trainer to manage the workload.
“When there was no other students to help us, we pretty much had to teach ourselves,” McLeslie said. “The coaches helped us along the way and we also received help from Jeff Pleasant.”
To avoid running into a similar situation, McLeslie attended a three-day athletic training camp at Colorado Mesa University before her sophomore year and again before her junior year.
“During the camps we learned about assessing, treating and wrapping injuries as well as a little in rehab,” she said. “They also went over some of the more severe injuries, such as neck and back problems.”
McLeslie said as she has become more knowledgeable in athletic training, she has taken on more responsibilities — wrapping wrists and ankles, evaluating concussions and checking equipment — but still helps make sure water is available.
The position is time consuming, however.
McLeslie is required to be at all practices and games for all three sports.
But, like the older trainers her freshman year, McLeslie has two understudies of her own — juniors Erica Dilldine and Kristina McLeslie, who is her sister.
“Jordan is definitely the head trainer,” Kristina said. “Erica and I do more of the film and more manager tasks and not so much of the injuries.”
While many siblings may cringe at spending so much time together, Kristina said for the most part, she is OK with it.
“(Jordan) and I do a lot of things together and are pretty much best friends,” she said. “Sometimes it can be annoying and she can boss me around a lot, but we like hanging out together.”
Although the time commitment athletic training requires is substantial, McLeslie has found time to prepare for her future through the Future Business Leaders of America and the Distributive Education Clubs of America.
McLeslie also participated on the high school’s speech and debate club in her freshman year and decided she wanted to continue doing something similar in her junior and senior years.
“I was able to incorporate sports into FBLA and DECA as well by presenting as a sports entertainment manager,” she said. “The two clubs help us in problem solving and in getting involved with business as we must complete business plans multiple times a year.”
As she looks forward to graduation, McLeslie said she plans to continue on the path set before her almost six years ago on the seventh-grade basketball court.
“I really would like to pursue athletic training or physical therapy in the future,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to help people in a medical way, but I wasn’t sure for a long time what I should go into.
“I enjoy helping athletes and I enjoy all aspects of athletics.
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