Injuries are almost inevitable in sports — across multiple seasons and years, there is a good chance that at some point in time, an athlete will get injured. When they do, coaches will most often direct them to a Wa-Hi athletic trainer before they resort to a doctor, in the interest of allowing them to continue their seasons.
Except, there is only one athletic trainer at Wa-Hi currently, Kelsey Brennan, and in addition to all of the responsibilities of an athletic trainer, she also has two sports medicine classes to teach. With as many as five different sports per season, there are many athletes who may be in need of an athletic trainer, and similarly many games, often three or more within the same time slot, that need an athletic trainer to be present in case of injury.
According to Brennan, the athletic training office has seen, as of Oct. 21, 919 students since Aug. 19, with an average of approximately 25 students per day. She says that “It’s been an adjustment going down from two people. Numbers haven’t changed as far as who is coming in here, but now there is one of me instead of two. It’s definitely challenging.”
The athletic training office sees more football players than any other sport, but that is mostly due to its proportionally larger number of participants — it is not as dangerous as it is often portrayed. “You don’t hear about the other sports. … Football is such a spotlight. It’s not as dangerous as people make it out to be,” Brennan said.
Brennan has seen 19 athletes with concussions during the fall season, as of Oct. 26, 2015, but they have not all stemmed from football, with some resulting from swimming, soccer, volleyball and even cross country — in short, every fall sport available. “Soccer and football are definitely the two mass amounts, so far,” Brennan said.
Wa-Hi may look into hiring more help in the athletic training office. “[The district] has opened up an assistant position. As far as I understand, it is intended to be a very part time job, and they’re not necessarily set on hiring an actual athletic trainer.”
A new staff member, however, might not fulfill all of the duties performed by the previous athletic trainer. “… [I]f they don’t hire an athletic trainer, that person can put bandaids on, … but they can’t really provide any care beyond that,” Brennan said.