Sports medicine program helps students find their passion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEver since he was taken out of the basketball season by a torn ligament against Harker School, sophomore William Kehoe has spent an hour every day in the Sports Medicine training room.

“I just have to be ready for baseball,” says Kehoe as he sits in the training room while the Game Ready, a machine that simultaneously ices and compresses, is wrapped around his ankle.

Like many other athletes, Kehoe turned to Sports Medicine to help him rehabilitate after an athletic injury. Sports medicine students, under the guidance of athletic trainer Matt Borek, have helped Kehoe and countless other athletes get back to game ready status over the past decade.

Before anything can happen in the training room, however, Sports Medicine students must learn the basics about anatomy, injuries and rehabilitation during class time.

More than simply an elective, the Sports Medicine class has helped many students find their passion.

“Immediately the subject matter resonated and came easily to me,” says Jake Snowden, CHS alumnus and current Cal Poly kinesiology major. “It definitely inspired me to pursue a career in sports medicine.”

“Sports medicine definitely had an impact on my decision with nursing,” agrees Lizzy Stivers, CHS alum and current Creighton nursing major. “Everything I learned in that class, whether related to sports or not, has helped.”

For both of these students and many others, the Sports Medicine program offers a chance to dip their feet into the world of medicine. Not only is the classroom dynamic engaging, but the real-life experiences offered to the advanced class allow students to get a taste of what the field of sports medicine actually looks like.

“Students really get what they put into the program,” Snowden says. “Those who apply themselves in the training room can gain knowledge beyond the class textbook.”

CHS sophomore and first-year sports medicine student Annabelle Scott hopes to follow in the footsteps of Snowden and Stivers and become an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports related injuries.

 

Scott agrees that the hands-on experiences offered outside of the classroom are extremely beneficial.

“I knew that being a doctor was something that I would really like to do,” Scott says. “That or become an athletic trainer, so being able to see what really goes on in those situations from a different perspective definitely solidified that decision.”

For the Advanced Sports Medicine class, a minimum of 72 hours outside of the classroom is mandatory. Sports Medicine students tend to find their niche during these hours. Some intern at physical therapy clinics or doctor’s offices, while others choose to stay close to the school program and help in the training room or at sporting events for on-site assistance.

“I’ve been able to shadow an orthopedic surgeon,” Scott explains. “I’ve also seen what duties an athletic trainer really performs while working the football games and spending so much time in the training room here at school.”

As an added bonus, the Advanced Sports Medicine students get the chance to watch surgeries at Ryan Ranch during the second semester.

For senior Misha Polovneff, this was his favorite part of the class: “It was cool to see the practical use for all the things we studied.”

“I believe the hands-on experience is the most important part of my program,” Borek says. “If students can have that experience in high school, it can help make their decision about whether they want to pursue a major in sports medicine in college.”

Between the classroom and the real-life experiences and opportunities, there are countless benefits of the Sports Medicine program.

“Everything in the course made an impact on my life,” Stivers says. “It would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of majoring in any medical related type of study.”

-ALEX BURNS