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Athletic trainers win Team Behind the Team award

Student trainers gather in the training room.

The athletic trainers are frequently called the team behind the team, and to recognize their important work to keep athletes on the field, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football partnered with the Children’s Health Andrews Institute to shine a light on student training programs across North Texas with the Team Behind the Team Award.

The Princeton athletic training staff was designated as the “Training Program of the Year” with the award.

This year, 11 finalists were selected for a chance to win a $2,500 donation to the school’s athletic training program.

“This is very well deserved,” said Greg Tepper with Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. “We talk a lot about the players, coaches, but there are those folks, especially student trainers and the athletic training staff, who do such an unbelievable job with all those Texas high school football programs across the state.”

PHS trainer Adam Marshall, who teaches sports medicine and oversees the student trainers, could not agree more.

“The trainers really deserve this recognition, because they put in the work,” Coach Marshall said. “We have a lot of games that need our coverage, and they always show up when they are needed.

“These trainers are dedicated to learning about sports medicine and applying that knowledge to help their fellow students,” Coach Marshall continued.

TexasFootball.com registered more than 95,000 votes in the contest, and Coach Marshall is quick to point out the trainers had help getting this recognition.

“We wouldn’t have won this honor without the support of the community,” Coach Marshall said. “It is nice to have them behind us, believing in us. It is cool to be part of a community like this.”

Although the sports medicine department has not finalized how the funds will be spent, they do have some ideas.

“I’d like to get them some swag with some of the money,” Coach Marshall said. “But more importantly, I want to update some of the equipment that will end up helping both the athletes and trainers in the long run.”

He also plans to spend the money to help with training the trainers.

“Winning this is exciting because of all the possibilities we can do with the money that will help out the sports and make us better trainers,” senior trainer Natalie Walker said.

Students get involved with the training program for a variety of reasons.

“What I enjoy most is the aspect of helping out others,” senior trainer Molly Shipwash said. “When an athlete is hurt, they are in their most vulnerable state, and we get to help them progress back.”

The hands-on element of training is also appealing to students.

“This is a good experience because we get to be hands-on and learn new things,” said trainer Joceline Fernandez.

Other students just want to educate themselves while working with others.

“I like being able to learn new thing all the time about sports and injuries,” Natalie said. “I also enjoy the relationships we get to build with our athletes and teammates.”

Student trainers hope this recognition sheds a light on what goes on behind the scenes in athletics.

“Being a trainer helps with the experience of being someone’s first responder and having to think under pressure,” said Lizeth Acosta, who wants to pursue the medical field as her career. “It helps knowing what to do in a serious moment. Being named the Team Behind the Team winner will help everyone take the program seriously and helps us take pride in what we do to help others get better. I think it makes them notice you and the work we do.”

In addition, several trainers plan to use this experience after high school.

“Although I’m not specifically going into sports medicine, I am going into the medical field with nursing,” Molly said. “The program as a whole has provided me with a better foundation, because it’s helped me learn how to work with others, and I have to be quick on my toes.”

The training program helps them start their path to a career early.

“I want to be a doctor, so being part of the training program will get me prepared for experiences in the future,” sophomore trainer Bryce Leon said.

These trainers are gaining knowledge that will benefit them for a lifetime, but also making an impact on their fellow students now.

“I have to say, especially in a year like this, they deserve so much credit,” said Ashley Pickle with Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. “They do it anyway every single year, but to do it in a year like this where health protocols were literally at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it’s an unbelievable job by athletic trainers everywhere.”

 

Photo IDs, from left, back row, Adam Marshall, Lizeth Acosta, Kaylynn Spurgin, Joceline Fernandez, Ingri Bravo, Aviana Baca, Maria Ochoa, Mahgen Ayling, Kylea Kennedy, Enola Vue and Bryce Leon; seated, Molly Shipwash, Eddie Lerma and Natalie Walker.