By Madison Roberts
& Caroline Schneider
“I’ve had to tape a JV player to the bench,” senior football trainer Becky Jurius said. “I was taping his ankle and the bottom of his foot looked really swollen, so I was feeling it and he was really ticklish and he almost kicked me in the face. I had to tape his leg to the bench so he wouldn’t kick me.”
Jurius has been a football trainer for four years and is now involved in training other sports too, such as basketball, wrestling and lacrosse.
Football trainers go to every practice and game, where they tape ankles and wrists, diagnose injuries, fill up water bottles and fulfill many other responsibilities.
This past football season, Northwood had eight football trainers, but they aren’t the only students with responsibilities for a team they aren’t on; in fact, Northwood has a trainer or manager for almost every sport, all year long.
Senior Marisa McKissick is the manager for both the girls’ basketball team and the volleyball team.
“I didn’t make the volleyball team [my] sophomore year and I still wanted to be involved,” McKissick said of why she became a manager. “And I’ve always liked basketball and I used to play, so I just wanted to be a part of [that too].”
Although McKissick doesn’t do all of medical work that trainers do, as a manager, she still helps the team out as much as possible.
“At practice I help out with the time clock. I basically just help any way I can,” McKissick said.
Senior Rafael Orellana is the manager for the girls’ soccer team, but his reasons for signing up for the job went beyond just being involved.
“I like helping out the ladies, helping them improve their skills,” Orellana said. “I [also] practiced with them because I wanted to get better myself.”
Orellana also helps keep up with soccer balls during games and helps work with the girls during practices.
Although managers do a number of things for the teams they work with, the job of a trainer goes further.
To become football trainers, the girls had to go through four days of training camp, where they became certified in CPR and first aid. They also learned how to tape limbs, diagnose injuries and learned about concussions and heat stroke.
Senior April Gibbs, who became a football trainer her sophomore year, said that training has made her consider something in the medical field for a career.
“I want to become a trainer or do some sort of medical thing for the rest of my life,” she said. “I had no idea what I wanted to do [before I started training]. I got into wrestling and soccer, [along with football], so I could get experience year round and now it’s definitely what I want to do.”
But it’s not just the experience and education that trainers and managers say they enjoy about helping out sports teams. Some of them just like the game.
“I love soccer,” Orellana said. “I might [manage] again [this year].”
And some of them enjoy the people they’re around.
“My favorite part about training was definitely the games. Football is kind of like a family so you just are always surrounded by someone to talk to or someone who will make you laugh,” Gibbs said.
Senior Jacobi Harris has interacted with both trainers, as a football player, and managers, as a baseball player. He said that having trainers and managers has benefitted him, not only as an athlete, but also as a person.
“They have helped me interact with other people more. [It’s nice] always having somebody to talk to and vent to that isn’t a teammate,” Harris said. “[Without them], it would be boring. I would be around a bunch of guys and problems and drama.”
Throughout all the practices, games, injuries, water-bottle fill-ups, stat keeping and time clocks, the trainers and managers say that helping a sports team has affected their lives positively.
“It has made my high school experience so much better,” Gibbs said. “It is literally my favorite part of the year. I count down the days until [football season].”