The Backbone of the Game: Wagner Trainers


Victor Olivera, Photojournalist

Trainers are people who are responsible as a health-care professional for the well-being of student-athletes.  They evaluate injuries, monitor injury rehabilitation, and consult with physicians and coaches to ensure that students are following safety protocols.  Athletic trainers are vital to any athletic department because of their training, skills and communication with athletes, coaches, administrators, parents and other medical professionals in the community.  Having an athletic trainer on staff at high schools for practice and game coverage is a game changer.

Wagner has a total of 13 trainers, all work hard every day to make sure players are healthy and kept hydrated every practice.  Although, trainers are taken for granted and don’t get the recognition they deserve, they stay helping players because they love doing it. “We’re more than just water girls”, says Ariana Dotray, a trainer for Wagner High School.  Trainers are always at every game making sure everything is going alright and safe, and that the players are hydrated and not injured.  “One of the biggest challenges you face as a trainer is how much time and hard work we have to put in”, says Akaia G, she has been a trainer for 2 years now. Trainers spend their whole week and weekends with the players helping them out.  A recent high school benchmark study published in the March Journal of Athletic Training reported that 37 percent of high schools in the United States have at least one full-time athletic trainer, thus meeting the standard of care recommended by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Additionally, 70 percent of public high schools have athletic training (AT) services.  These statistics are an update to a 1994 study that which indicated only 35 percent of public high schools used AT services.  Overall access to athletic trainers has doubled over the past 20 years. Anna R says “I became interested in being a trainer because I would like to become a nurse after high school; our goal is to help every player and always be prepared for anything.  Trainers are the underdogs of the game, but at the end they’re one of the most important players of the game.