The Athletic Trainers of DHS

Saylor Stottlemyer, Head Features Editor

Bandaging wounds, taping injuries, deciphering mysteries, and helping students are all aspects of being an athletic trainer at DHS. Currently, the two athletic trainers at Durango High School, Kyle Montgomery and Jeb Davis, work daily to promote a safe and healthy athletic community.

“I think our AT program has been a great success. We made a significant change this year in bringing trainers on staff as full-time teachers and trainers….[the AT program] is vital to our athletic department,” said athletic director Adam Bright.

Kyle Montgomery, the head Athletic Trainer at DHS, received his education at both Washburn University and Ohio University. He was always drawn to the Healthcare profession, and had experience with other athletic trainers.

        “I love that the job is constantly changing through injuries, seasons, patients, people…I’ve worked with D1 athletes, D2 athletes, Junior High athletes, professional athletes, and High School, so the job always has options and variety,” said Montgomery.

        Jeb Davis, the other Athletic Trainer, received his undergraduate at New Mexico State University and his masters at California University of Pennsylvania.

       “I love that the job is pretty unique. We have incredible access to patient populations and we get to understand students in a really robust way,” said Davis.

        Davis currently works as the Director of the Athletic Training process at Fort Lewis College, and that is purely academic, so working at DHS becomes his clinical outlet.

        “I have always had a keen interest on healthcare and athletics, so this is a nice tandem between the two because I like both aspects. Both professions are different, so I can’t say whether I like one job more than the other,” said Davis.

         The AT program has received a sufficient amount of praise from students and staff around the school, and the trainers seem to manage their clientele base incredibly well.

         So. Claudia Luthy competed in Cross-Country this past season, and claims that they have incredibly listening skills as well as ideas on how to improve pain.

         “They helped me find some stretches for my hip pain during the season, and they recommended exercises that would help…they also told me some great places I could go for further help,” said Luthy.

         As well as showing attention to each athlete, they also build healthy relationships with each student to show their support.

        Cade Engle likes every single part of the department, and thinks that the trainers have really influenced the healing process by understanding students and their needs before training again.

         “I really like the trainers. We joke around alot and they are pretty cool. I go into shock my back [therapy that stimulates the central nervous system by shooting millions of electric pulses through the spine to suppress pain signals] which helps a lot with recovery,” said Engle.

         So. Leland Heinicke plays soccer through a back injury that occurred from plate growth and lack of flexibility. The athletic trainers worked with Heinicke before, during, and after his season to reduce pain.

         “They helped me out every day when I had my back injury and they gave me a lot of exercises. They were super thoughtful to stay late and talk with my parents about my injury as well,” said Heinicke.

         Overall, the department has been a huge success, and it has allowed student athletes to recover more efficiently and thoroughly. However, as with every program, there are some faults that should be addressed in future dates.

         “[The only issue was that] sometimes they were unavailable and it was hard to contact them,” said Luthy.

         Since there are only two trainers, they are needed all throughout the school very frequently, and they cannot always guarantee to be in their room due to emergencies as well as their necessary presence at all DHS activities.

        Similarly, Adam Bright doesn’t see any pressing problems with the department, but he would like to see some changes in future years.

         “A larger room with the ability to serve more students at one time would be the only “issue” I see. While not a problem currently, as we grow our programs, hopefully we can grow our facility and the various modalities we can offer to our student athletes,” said Bright.

         Heinicke also has some advice to the trainers on how to connect with him and other athletes they they are in contact with.

         “I would give Jeb [Davis] a catch phrase, and get him a joke book so he can learn some new jokes,” said Heinicke.