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Rachel Caron Leads Wando Sports Med Team

Carly Knight-Carrier

Carly Knight-Carrier

Eva Chillura, Staff Writer

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Carly Knight-Carrier

As the bright stadium lights hit the football field as last year’s game against Fort Dorchester on Sep. 16, 2016, senior Rachel Caron thought it was just another night on the field. Then they heard it — a loud popping sound splitting through the air. Caron’s veins started to pump with adrenaline.

It was her time.

She and fellow sports medicine work-based classmates watched as their instructor Mark Buchman, head athletic trainer, and the paramedics ran out to the injured football player, a Fort Dorchester student with a broken leg.

In what was a traumatic moment, Caron said she handled the situation with ease, using the last three years of the sports med program to her advantage while she directed the Wando players away from the scene and preventing them from seeing what was going on.

The energy of the crowd, mixed with witnessing the player’s leg being “out-of-whack,” as Caron said, piqued her interest in the program and was one of the most memorable moments of the four years she has actively participated in student training.

“I’ve done [work-based] for four years — the first person to ever do that… I’m the top person, [Mark Buchman] calls me… He says I am the senior whatever because I’ve been doing it for so long,” Caron said. “It’s a fun time helping people, showing them what to do.”

Caron started the on-the-field experience as a freshman and enrolled in the actual class her sophomore year, sticking with it through the rest of high school.

She has experienced a lot from the program from watching the fall sports on the sidelines as well as hydrating “the boys,” as Caron calls the football players, to working at the Citadel’s Medal of Honor Bowl for two years.

Buchman said he appreciates the dedication Caron and her fellow classmates show through their consistent participation in the work-based program outside of school hours.

“[The Sports Med students] that are working after school — the work-based [students]– you know they’re doing a lot of thankless work, and they can just as easily say ‘I don’t want to do this.’ They can go get a job where they’re making real money,” he said. “They generally enjoy what they’re doing.”
The work-based program within the Sports Med classes is a way for students wanting to further their experience in the field while also helping heal and support their classmates.

They meet in the training room almost every day after school to help rehab different athletes back from their injuries, and the students participate in wrapping up the players before games. They also attend and work at fall sport practices and home games.

Caron said that 5:30 p.m. is around the time the work-based students arrive for the home varsity football games. They unload all the equipment needed on the sidelines and materials from a vehicle and start setting up an hour before “the boys” show up. Filling up water bottles, taping the remaining players that have not been tapped yet, attending to any wounds they might have throughout the game.

The Sports Med students also have an important responsibility regarding the players’ ultimate safety if EMS is called.

“[The students will] go out and meet the ambulance and direct them where to go [in emergency]. The are a part of our emergency action plan,” Buchman said.

Caron said the program has shown her a path which she might take in college and further. She is hoping to pursue student training and nutrition as an undergraduate degree with a premedical school route.

Buchman said having this program is an advancement for high schools.

“When I was in high school, there weren’t opportunities like we have here at Wando. You didn’t really know what you wanted to do until you went to college, but now, with the curriculum we have here at Wando.” He said “You can dabble in a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and you might find what your niche is and what you want to do in college.”

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Rachel Caron Leads Wando Sports Med Team