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Trinity University Trainers Keep Student-Athletes on Their Toes

By James Hill 76

May 2010 –Parents of Trinity student-athletes can rest assured their young Tigers are in the best of hands. Student-athletes who compete in Trinity’s 18 intercollegiate sports do so under the watchful eye of a team of certified athletic trainers, physicians, and student trainers who comprise what Director of Athletics Bob King calls “the finest sports medicine team in the NCAA Division III.”

Photo | Dennis Ahlburg talks about the opportunities Trinity & San Antonio.
Head athletic trainer Marc Powell assists a student athlete off the field during a Trinity University football game.
On campus that team includes head trainer since 1999 Marc Powell, assisted by two full-time trainers Frank Peña and Jaime Aguirre. All are certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association, passing rigorous tests to achieve their proficiency. In addition to staffing home contests and practices, athletic trainers travel throughout the nation with the Tiger teams.

Powell and his staff also employ 15-20 student athletic trainers throughout the year and conduct in-service training in August and “on-the-job training as we go.”

Headquartered in the athletic training room on the first floor of the William H. Bell Athletic Center, the trainers administer a wide range of supportive services: taping, pre and post surgical rehabilitation, rehab for non-surgical injuries, first aid, injury evaluation and prevention programs, and illness evaluation. Treatment options include electro-stimulation, ultra sound, and a hot/cold whirlpool.

Partnering with the training staff are Drs. David Schmidt and Timothy Palomera, physicians from San Antonio’s Sports Medicine Associates, who conduct weekly clinics just for the student-athletes. Dr. Schmidt, a renowned orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, also serves as the physician for the San Antonio Spurs, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and many local high schools. He has also been the physician for the U.S. Olympic Festival, the World University Games, the Atlanta Olympics, and the NBA All-Star Game. Dr. Palomera is board certified in family medicine and completed a sports medicine fellowship. He is team physician for the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, the WNBA Silver Stars, and numerous high schools.

Photo | Dennis Ahlburg talks about the opportunities Trinity & San Antonio.
Athletic trainer Frank Pena examines a student athlete during a Trinity University basketball game.
“The difference between regular medicine and sports medicine is just time,” explains Schmidt.
“We always make sure athletes are safe to return to play, but, expediency of diagnosis, appropriate imaging studies, and aggressive rehab are the big deal. We’ve realized in the last 20 years that taking care of athletes is more than wrapping them up in an Ace Bandage.”

This year’s sports medicine fellow is Dr. Hector Lopez ’00 who also makes regular visits to campus. Another physician who particularly enjoys covering soccer games is Dr. Larry Karrh, a faculty member of the Christus Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program, with more than 30 years of experience. Dr. Karrh was named the 2009-10 Texas Family Physician of the Year by the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. According to Dr. Schmidt, all the physicians consider the athletic trainers to be their “second set of eyes” for the Trinity student-athletes.

Trinity’s athletic trainers often give their time and talents for events in the community, such as the NCAA Final Four, and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Powell also works closely with Trinity associate professor of psychology Carolyn Becker on the University's female body image program, dealing with eating disorders and other issues.

The Trinity sports medicine program also utilizes the services of the following specialists:

Dr. Susan King - Ear, Nose, and Throat
Dr. David Green – Hand Surgeon
Dr. Jaime Garza – Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Kevin Klenke – Dentist
Dr. Thomas Kingman – Neurosurgeon
Dr. Roger Macias – Dentist

 


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