The members of the training staff are the last people an athlete wants to see during a contest, but when an injury occurs everybody is happy the trainers are there.
Ramona has a great athletic training team. Trainer Steve Pettis has been at Ramona High for the past 10 years. He has been an athletic trainer at the high school level for 13 years. He is very qualified and holds several credentials.
Trainer Steve, as the coaches and athletes call him, has a B.A. in athletic training, an M.A. in biomechanics, a California teaching credential, and an ROP teaching credential, and he is a nationally certified athletic trainer.
Trainer Steve uses all of his credentials for his jobs at Ramona High School. He teaches a class in athletic training. He trains and supervises the student training corps. He attends as many athletic contests as possible. He teaches members of the coaching staff CPR and first aid.
He gets his students in many different ways. Some are athletes who have had injuries and while they were getting treated in the training room asked how they could get involved. Some just want to learn how to become an athletic trainer. Some start as members of the hydration crew and want to take the next step. Coaches and other trainers recruit some.
“This year I have 29 students in the athletic training class,” he said. “The class teaches students how to diagnose injuries. It is basic anatomy and kinesiology with injury evaluation. We teach taping. We teach how to rehab injuries and we also teach first aid and CPR.”
The class is an elective.
After an injury is diagnosed and initially treated, there is much more work to be done. The training room is busy, especially before practices and games.
The trainers do much more than tape it up. Athletes get rehabilitation and care to help them heal faster and get back to action as soon as possible. Treating, stretching and strengthening are always going on in the training room.
The athletic trainer and the student trainers are the busiest group on campus. They attend and service athletes in all sports: Fall, winter, spring, frosh, junior varsity, varsity, cheer, song, dance, teachers, coaches, and at times members from the community stop in to get some help.
Several former students have pursued careers in the sports medicine field. When asked to list as many as he could remember, Trainer Steve came up with several names and said that he knew that he would not get them all.
“Cody Sparling and Taylor Aglio are working in the sport medicine field,” he said. “Jenny Reynolds is in college pursuing a career in the field. Brittany Cotton and Eric Isselin are also working in sports medicine. I know that they’re more and I feel bad that I can’t remember their names now. I am sure that some will contact me after this article. That is good. I will be able to keep in touch with them.”
Since the course is an elective and there is only one class, many of the former students who took the class as freshmen or sophomores continue to be student trainers as volunteers.
Greg Harrington plays football and soccer and after the junior varsity football game becomes an athletic trainer for the varsity football team. He does the same double duty during the soccer season. Greg wants to enter the sports medicine field as a profession.
“At first it seemed peculiar,” said Coach Bob Schulty. “We would have a player shaken up and Greg would take off his helmet and come over and render aid at practice. I have never had that happen before at a practice or a game. But it is really neat. It is a good thing.”
Ashley Brean took the class as an underclassman but continues to be a member of the student training team.
“I really enjoyed the class and I just keep coming back to help,” she said.
Brean is a varsity softball player but she is busy in the fall and winter helping the other athletes. She wants to pursue a career in medicine or sports medicine. She wants to go into physical therapy or nursing.
Morgan Gunderson is a sophomore student/athlete at Ramona High School. She is a student in the athletic training class.
“I enjoy learning how to tape and rehab injuries,” she said. “We are also learning CPR and that can come in handy at any time. It is a good class. At first I thought that Trainer Steve was too strict, but now I understand that what we are doing is very important and the proper thing has to be done.
“He really knows what he is talking about. His teaching style is unique. You really don’t know that he is teaching you. You learn by doing. It is never boring. Nobody yawns or falls asleep in his classes.”
The trainers get help from volunteer professionals from the community.
“Debbie Meyers, Karen McGhee and Dr. Gordon Luan attend several of the events and that is really a big help for me, the student trainers and most importantly the student/athletes that might need their services,” said Trainer Steve. “We are a team.”
They are a team that helps every other team at Ramona High School.