These days, those participating in prep athletics don’t take much of a break.
With camps, clinics, practices and scrimmages scheduled throughout the summer months, athletes constantly put a wear and tear on their bodies.
Athletes stay especially busy at the smaller schools, with many kids participating in three to four sports over 10 to 11 months.
Thankfully, Seymour, Brownstown Central, Trinity Lutheran, Crothersville and Medora have the staff to keep injuries in check.
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Trustees from all five county schools have contracts with Schneck Medical Center in Seymour to have a certified athletic trainer on hand to check on the athletes.
That means less injuries and more playing.
The trainers, who are in attendance for most home events and some away contests during school, stay on site in the summer to work with the athletes.
Sarah Bevers, who works with Crothersville, Medora and Trinity, said that the summer offers more attention to the athletes.
“Summer is the time to work with athletes one-on-one and do more hands-on treatments — which you might not be able to do in season,” she said. “We really take advantage of that, setting time aside to work on stretching, corrective exercises and strengthening programs.”
At Seymour, which differs from the smaller schools (excluding Brownstown) because they offer football, Kyle Coates stays involved with a multitude of athletics and sees many different injuries.
Coates can be found in and out of the gym.
“We have our strength and conditioning in the morning, and one different days of the week, we have practices,” Coates said.
“Occasionally, we will have football intersquad scrimmages and 7-on-7 events that I will cover as well.”
Kelli Hacker, at Brownstown, has been working a lot with athletes recovering from surgeries.
Hacker said that having trainers at each school helps diagnose the severity of injuries early on.
“When I went to Brownstown, they didn’t have anyone besides Kyle every now and then,” she said. “(Kids) didn’t have anyone to go to. When you have someone in there, you don’t always need to go to a doctor.
“We kind of service that medium to see what’s going on. If they need a referral, we can do that as well. Summer is a good time for that because there are so many multi-sport athletes that don’t have time to rest.”
Heat-related injuries have been reduced significantly over the years.
Coates said that coaches have done a fine job at keeping heat-related injuries to a minimum in past years.
“Occasionally, we will have a couple (heat-related injuries),” he said. “We will try to base practices on the heat index — earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. We try to hydrate as much as we can. If we start to notice (symptoms), we will take them out right away. Overall, I think coaches do a pretty good job.”
All three trainers said that the most injuries they saw in the 2015-16 year related to overuse.
Knee injuries were among the most common ailment.
“For me, a lot of it was (knee) issues, pain in the front of the knees,” Bevers said. “There were a lot of overuse issues. We had four meniscus tears, which is not that common. Mostly it’s general knee pain.”
The trainers are available to all athletes at the high school, whether they’re taking the gridiron or pitch.