March is National Athletic Training Month so there is no better time to highlight those who are the backbone of Jasper High School athletics. Athletic trainers are amongst the busiest, smartest, and most dedicated people in sports who put the best interests of athletes’ health as the unwavering priority.
In a recent interview, senior athletic trainer Christen Lawrence gave insight into the attributes she has attained through Jasper’s athletic training program.
Lawrence began by stating, “[The athletic trainer] ensures that our athletes are at their best.”
Following a very successful fall where the Vikings won state in girls volleyball and the football team went to the third round of the state playoffs, the longevity of a season can easily break an athlete; however, with the help of a staff consisting of students such as Lawrence, the goal of remaining healthy is less of an issue.
She continued by explaining, “Athletic training has definitely helped me with time management. People do not know this but, for [athletic trainers], we cover all sports so we do not get a lot of time to ourselves, and we get home pretty late.”
In addition to learning how to manage time wisely, athletic training also provides something much greater, Lawrence said, “It gives you a sense of purpose… I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know how I could go about doing that. This program allowed me to help people in ways I know I can, even if it is giving someone a water bottle or towel.”
The sense of purpose is an ingredient that distinguishes athletic trainers from most other groups of students. Their intentions are so sincere and their hearts are so eager to help others. The genuine interest of each trainer establishes common ground amongst those who would have not associated otherwise. Lawrence said, “Spending all of that time together allows you to create relationships that otherwise you would not have made.” Then, she spoke of a fellow classmate and athletic trainer, Hunter Thomas, by stating, “We are very different people, but because of athletic training, we were able to bond and create a friendship.”
Lastly, Lawrence spoke of the leader of the athletic training program and the pivotal player in Jasper High School athletics: Athletic Trainer Bob White. She stated, “He has everyone’s best interests in his heart and in his mind.” Lawrence also reaffirmed the sense of purpose and community that athletic trainers have by describing Bob White as someone every high schooler needs: “He is not just our athletic trainer, but he is someone we can go to.”
At Jasper, the athletic program would not be what it is without the incredible support of the athletic trainers. The great effort they put forth, the mannerisms they exemplify, and the pivotal role they play is nothing short of The Viking Way.
-Article By Thomas Ward
Thomas Ward is the Jasper High School Student Body President, and is currently interning in the JHS Athletic Department.