Parents can’t always be on the sidelines helping student athletes through injuries. But at Camdenton R-III, Morgan County R-II and School of the Osage, parents take comfort knowing Lake Regional athletic trainers are there to care for their kids.
“We appreciate Josh more than words can express,” said Heather DeLaurent, speaking about Lake Regional Athletic Trainer Joshua Lammert. “He was definitely trained to evaluate [sports injuries] and partner with doctors, coaches and players to rehabilitate my son and many other Camdenton Lakers. I really don’t know what we’d do without him.”
March is National Athletic Training Month, a time to recognize these health care professionals who specialize in preventing, assessing, treating and rehabilitating injuries. Athletic trainers also administer first aid and emergency care. Unlike personal trainers, who may or may not have higher education, athletic trainers must earn a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, as well as board certification and state licensure.
Three Lake Regional athletic trainers cover practices and games for local schools: Lammert serves Camdenton R-III, Kaelin Hood serves Morgan County R-II, and Zach Greco serves School of the Osage. Lake Regional Orthopedics and Sports Medicine provides the services of all three at no cost to the schools.
Focus on Safety
Athletic trainers use several strategies to minimize student injuries. To start, they provide education to coaching staff and athletes on such topics as heat illness and concussion prevention. They also arrive at games and practices early to help with stretching, taping and other preventive measures. Then, during practices and games, they keep a close watch on the athletes, including those on the opposing team. If there’s an injury, they assess the athlete and, if necessary, start treatment.
Athletic trainers also help students recover safely. DeLaurent described that help as crucial for her son, Paxton. A junior at Camdenton, Paxton plays football, basketball and baseball. He has had two significant sports injuries, a shoulder impingement in football and an ankle sprain in basketball. Throughout both, “Josh has been right by Paxton’s side,” DeLaurent said.
For the ankle sprain, Lammert went with Paxton to appointments at Lake Regional Orthopedics. Recovery included physical therapy and stretching exercises.
“When Paxton was released to return to the court, Josh taped his ankle for additional support and has continued performing stretching exercises and strengthening exercises,” DeLaurent said.
At School of the Osage, parent Heather Edwards is grateful Lake Regional Athletic Trainer Zach Greco is there for her son, Drew, a junior whose sports include football, basketball, and track and field, and for her daughter, Grace, a junior in basketball and track.
“Drew tends to tweak his ankles, and Zach is great at wrapping him and being proactive,” Edwards said. “When he does tweak them, he has given us several things to do, so that we are not continually running to the doctors. Drew is a quadruplet, so running to the doctor’s office all the time adds up.”
Jessica Ollison also mentioned the benefit of fewer doctor’s visits. Her daughter, Maris, is in softball, basketball and track at Versailles High School.
“It is reassuring to have a trained professional give immediate assessment and care,” Ollison said. “Without trainers, I feel like there would be an insurmountable number of unnecessary emergency room trips.”
Ollison also is the head volleyball coach at Versailles and shared that perspective.
“As a coach, I cannot imagine not having an athletic trainer,” she said. “I am not medically trained, and it makes my job so much easier to send an athlete to Kaelin instead of trying to figure out what might be wrong.”
The Lake Regional athletic trainers say one of the best parts of their job is building relationships. They interact with the students day after day, helping them at practices and cheering them on at games.
That positive presence is also important to parents. Edwards described Zach as “a great mentor” to Drew.
“He has talked with him about life, college and sports,” she said.
Ollison said her daughter has been so impressed with Hood that she now wants to become an athletic trainer.
“It is obvious that Kaelin pours her heart and soul into her athletes, and her passionate disposition is what led my daughter to consider following in her footsteps,” Ollison said. “I think it says a ton about a person when others aspire to be like them.”
For more information on Lake Regional Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, visit lakeregional.com/sportsmedicine.
Where You’ll See Lake Regional Athletic Trainers
Lake Regional athletic trainers Zach Greco, Kaelin Hood and Josh Lammert cover the following sports at Camdenton R-III, Morgan County R-II and School of the Osage.
- Cross Country
- Tennis (not in Versailles)
- Soccer (not in Versailles)