Trainers in training


Junior athletic trainer aid Laura Zapata ankle tapes junior offensive lineman Denzel Bryant before practice.

You don’t need to be an actual athlete to be successful when it comes to sports.

Athletic Training Aides is a club which offers space for students who want to be involved in athletic healthcare.

“Our main priority is being able to take care of athletes. We want to make sure that every athlete in this school is able to get the top notch care they need to succeed in the sport they’re participating in,” junior athletic training aid Laura Zapata said.

The school website also states the purpose of the club is to give real world experience to those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Senior athletic training aid Kathryn Holland is one of the students in the club taking advantage of her opportunity.

“Being an athletic trainer is really beneficial. I want to go to college for athletic training, so I’m getting a lot of experience,” Holland said.

Athletic trainer Danielle Werner, a 2013 alumni, is in her first year as a certified athletic trainer. Werner participated in the club as a student.

“When I was a student, I found my love for athletic training through the club. It was a motivation for me to stay on top things so I could participate in athletic training,” Werner said. “I looked forward to coming to athletic training every day after school, just like the current students that are in the club.”

The task for the aides tend to be frantic, but they still make the most out of it.

“It’s kind of crazy. We get a huge rush of kids right away, especially in the fall during football season,” Werner said. “A lot of the athletes get taped before practice, so there’s like 30 people in small rooms at a time, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Athletic trainers cover every sport at H-F from football to gymnastics. They work with plenty of athletes.

“We know how much we’re appreciated every day when we just get a simple ‘thank you’ from one of our athletes. They are very respectful and very appreciative of us,” Werner said.

The trainers have a heavy workload and don’t leave the school until the evening. You would think they have no time for homework, but they make it work.

“It’s a balance that the students learn very quickly. They know how important their grades are and how much they want to be here,” Werner said.

For some, athletic training is just a high school activity, but it’s more than just an activity for Zapata.

“Athletic training has completely changed my entire life. It helped me [manage] my friendships, manage my time better and overcome so many obstacles in my life,” Zapata said. “It has also taught me to articulate words better so that I can have a professional business voice. If I wasn’t an athletic training aid, I would not be the person that I am today.”

The athletes are always going to be recognized for their success, but the athletic trainers always have them covered behind the scenes.