Trainers, managers hold valuable positions on sports teams

Student trainer and senior Kayla Lutz ices sophomore Antonio Atrias wrist in the Fairmont training room. (Photo Credit: Lindsay Breslin)

Student trainer and senior Kayla Lutz ices sophomore Antonio Atria’s wrist in the Fairmont training room. (Photo Credit: Lindsay Breslin)

When students go to sporting events, they are often only concerned with the aesthetic aspects and pageantry of the sports, the recognizable players and coaches and the band.

But behind the scenes, a lot is done to assure that the games and competitions run smoothly for the benefit of the players and coaches, as well as the spectators. The team managers and athletic trainers who take on these tasks are often members of Fairmont’s student body.

Athletic trainers take care of athletes, not only during games, but during practices as well. Fairmont Head Athletic Trainer Robin Lensch explained how a student becomes a trainer. “Usually, the students come to me and an express an interest in participating in the program, and then they go through a training course,” she said.

Junior Brianne Sluss has been an athletic trainer for football the past three years. “It’s a lot of responsibility,” said Sluss. “You have to take care of the athletes, tape them up, and keep them hydrated.”

Junior Sarah Bauman has also been an athletic trainer for three years, and both girls have gone through the weeklong, 7 hours-a-day training course every summer.

“It’s a grueling week at Kettering Medical Center,” said Bauman. “Every year we have to retake the course to keep up with our training and get filled in on new information.”

Although the work student trainers do is purely voluntary, both Sluss and Bauman agree that students who participate usually end up enjoying their experience and come out more knowledgeable.

Senior athlete Deven Gannon has been playing sports since freshman year and is very grateful to his athletic trainers. “They literally do everything. They’re always trying to help and do whatever they’re asked to do,” he said.

Throughout his years of athletic participation, Gannon has accrued his fair share of injuries.

“Personally, they’ve helped me a lot with numerous injuries, and I’m very thankful for all that they do,” said Gannon.

On the other side of the equation are team managers. Numerous Fairmont athletic teams have managers who help with day-to-day routines as well as important logistical tasks on game days. Volleyball Coach Bill Buirley has only good things to say about his team managers.

“They do everything, from getting ice and water, to running scoreboards and timers,” said Buirley. “I think a common misconception is that managers are students who weren’t good enough to make the team, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our managers are a crucial part of our team.”

Senior Leslie Mamula has been a manager for Fairmont’s volleyball team for the past four years and still has an appreciation for the job.

“I got involved freshman year when my mom said I needed to find something to do,” said Mamula. “I asked the coach and have been doing it ever since.”

Mamula’s responsibilities as manager include running the scoreboard and keeping stats, as well as visiting the training room to get things for practice.

“I love being a manager,” said Mamula. “I’ve made a lot of friends, and we’ve become like our own family.”