by Cameron Calvillo
Just a few months ago, football season was electrifying the air at Sal Gonzalez field. People noticed the cheering crowd, the enthusiastic cheerleaders, and, of course, the players on the field. But what people may have not noticed is that mixed in among the players, coaches, water boys, and refs on the sidelines, there was a team of kids not at all focused on the score. This was the Sports Medicine Team, binding, wrapping, and tending to the wounds of the players who were injured during the game. Reedley High’s football season ended months ago, but that doesn’t mean the Sports Medicine team isn’t still hard at work.
Not only are they still practicing their skills on the basketball team, but they have a competition coming up soon. At St. Francis, Pasadena, over 600 students meet to compete in a Sports Medicine Competition that includes a test, and taping procedures. This is what the team has been working toward all year, making the football games mere practice. The head of Sports Medicine is Mr. Kauk, Reedley High’s Human Anatomy and Sports Medicine teacher. He is really excited about this year’s team saying, “Awesome group of kids! They are working hard to do their best to keep the team at a high level.” And they have always been at a high level. They won second place in the Small School Division last year, and first place the year before. So, this year the kids have the responsibility to keep their reputation alive and well. This year’s “Awesome group of kids” includes Marvin Santos, Marissa Sanchez, Alex Diaz, Anthony Hoang, Katherine Martinez, James Clark, Katrina Harler, Annie Ayers, Isabella Claxton, Selena Garcia, Kiara Henry, and Marlene Estrella.
The competition is explained by senior Marvin Santos: “This year we are mostly focusing on the lower leg and ankle, which is the topic for the St. Francis competition. We have to know everything about the power leg, including all the possible injuries and their treatments.” This requires a lot of work, and the senior goes on to explain how they have been preparing for the competition: “We meet every day during lunch to practice taping and emergency procedures.”
When Mr. Kauk’s sixth period class walks in after the lunch bell rings, they find the Sports Med. kids cleaning up their lunch and gear, hurrying to get to their next class.
There are five portions to the taping procedures of the competition including: the turf toe, ankle basket weave, and wrist hyperextension. Every lunch practice is vital to nailing these procedures. Each wrap must be done under a two-minute time limit. Marlene Estrella explains how she is preparing for the competition on March fourth. “I am really excited for the competition but also really nervous. I am currently trying to improve my taping procedures so that they are under the time limit and wrinkle-free. I am looking forward to the competition!” The rest of the team shares her enthusiasm and self-determination. The group of students are all college-bound;, most of them will become biology majors, or will enter the nursing program. They are one of the hardest-working groups on campus, as attested to by their past successes, and they always bring pride back to Reedley High.
The St. Francis competition is the equivalent to the Selma Band Review for Marching Bands, or the Super Quiz for Academic Decathlons, or the playoffs for football teams. As the day gets closer and closer, and the kids work harder and harder, they have the full support of Reedley High School supporting them, as is the nature of the Pirates.