•the fourth set of a volleyball match, a player tumbles onto the hardwood court after rolling over her ankle, diving to save a ball from hitting the line.

Play stops, and the crowd quiets as the girl writhes in pain on the cold surface.

A coach and teammate grab either arm, and the injured player limps to the sideline.

In the past, no one was trained to help the athlete’s injury.

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Now, Schneck athletic trainer Sarah Bevers will spring into action when someone gets hurt.

Trinity Lutheran, Medora and Crothersville High Schools will have a full-time athletic trainer for the first time in the schools’ history this school year. Bevers will serve at all three schools but spend a majority of her time at Trinity Lutheran.

Trustees from the three schools agreed to a contract with Schneck Medical Center in Seymour to have a certified athletic trainer on hand to check on the athletes.

Schneck also has partnered with Jennings County High School and Scottsburg high school for 2015-16.

In the contract, the schools have to provide space in which to treat athletes and supplies necessary for treatment of athletes within the confines of the appropriate athletics budget; hang Schneck banners at indoor and outdoor athletics facilities and near the training room; and place Schneck advertisements and logos in sports programs and at host tournaments.

Bevers, who graduated from Trinity Lutheran in 2008, started working with her alma matter this past summer.

“It’s very exciting being back here,” Bevers said. “I remember being an athlete here and struggling with injuries. I didn’t know what to do. I was the youngest in my family, so if the bone wasn’t hanging out we would deal with it. I’m glad to be here to help them and work with them. The kids and coaches have been great so far. The response has been really positive from the schools. It’s nice to be home, and it’s better to be able to work with Trinity.

“With my experiences, I felt like I was lost as an athlete if I got hurt. We need to be more proactive and do more community outreach. Not just for the kids, but the parents and anyone who wants to learn about sports medicine.”

Following her graduation from University of Indianapolis, with a degree in athletic training concentrated in pre-physical therapy, Bevers worked at Monrovia High School for three years on the west side of Indianapolis.

During the school year, Bevers said she likely will spend three days a week at Trinity and one day each at Medora and Crothersville.

“I came in and introduced myself to the kids and coaches,” Bevers said. “We had a parent meeting, so they know who I am and the services we will be providing for them.

“The first week, I don’t think (coaches and players) knew how to approach me. The kids and coaches are now very comfortable coming to me because we don’t want injuries to linger and get worse.

Bevers said that working with Schneck is providing more opportunities for students with injuries.

On top of working the sidelines, Bevers will work with students before and after practices and games.

“I think sometimes people get confused when they hear ‘athletic trainer,’ some people think it’s the same thing as a personal trainer,” Bevers said. “Yes, I’m here and can work them from different exercises. I don’t just tape, I can evaluate injuries and take them through the entire process. If they’re working with one of our physical therapists I can also help them with their rehab programs. It’s an advantage because they might only see their PT twice a week but can see me any other day if they need more help.”

Last week, at a Trinity girls soccer game, Bevers helped stretch athletes on the sideline and jumped onto the field when a player from Herron went down.

In the past, Trinity has brought-in an athletic trainer for football games but didn’t have medical help for other sports.

“We’ve noticed a lot of things that have been helpful,” Trinity athletic director Aaron Rudzinski said. “At the end of the day, she’s meeting with kids outside of the classrooms. She’s checking on injuries and coming to practices. We have kids who are dealing with injuries already and treating them. Its been impressive and I wonder how we got by without her until now.”

Medora athletic director Brad McCammon was delighted when he found out that Bevers was coming on board.

“We’re tickled to death that Schneck is doing this,” McCammon said. “It’s tremendous for the school. With her knowledge, it’s helping us with little nagging injuries. Before we weren’t as sure when girls had to sit out. She’s getting into things quickly. Its been remarkable for our school.”

Schneck has donated a table and medical equipment to the school to support Bevers’ work.

“I think it’s really important because we’re dealing with a lot of issues,” McCammon said. “Athletes are bigger and stronger. You want to make sure they’re healthy. She’s good at diagnosing and referring if needed. Having her is a tremendous advantage. Its also been a positive thing for visiting teams. Having a trainer on board is difficult if another team has an injury.”

For Crothersville athletic director Cheryl Nehrt, adding an athletic trainer is a way to better treat injuries.

“We’ve not had an athletic trainer in the past,” Nehrt said. “A lot of schools with football have had them in the past. It will be nice to have one. I think she will have an immediate impact and it will be a great learning experience for our coaches. We will be able to get some education from her.”

Kyle Coates and Kelli Hacker will continue to work at Seymour and Brownstown Central, with Coates following the Owls and Hacker helping the Braves.

The two have helped Bevers transition to her new role in Jackson County.

“(Coates and Hacker) have been the biggest support system,” Bevers said. “For me, they’ve been helpful with questions and concerns. They always tell me to call or text. They’re such a blessing.”

Pull Quote

“We have kids who are dealing with injuries already and treating them. Its been impressive and I wonder how we got by without her until now,” — Trinity Lutheran Athletic Director Aaron Rudzinski

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.