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Cyclone Sports Update with AD Salley - Week of August 30

Of all the roles in the Athletic Department, perhaps the most misunderstood is that of our Athletic Trainers.  The name itself is a little misleading--most of us think of a trainer and envision somebody at Planet Fitness who barks encouragement at you while you work out.  Here at Porter-Gaud, we have a Strength & Conditioning Coach (Isaac Rodgers) who doesn’t bark, but he’s not a trainer.  Even the acronym for Certified Athletic Trainer is rendered ATC, just so as not to spell CAT.  Certified Athletic Trainers are sports medicine professionals--skilled in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries--and we are fortunate to have two great ones.  Chelsey Perry, who is entering her 8th year at PG as an Athletic Trainer, recently earned her Master’s Degree in the field, and Lauren Frick, entering her 4th year as our Head Athletic Trainer, is finishing up her doctorate.  They are pros--and lifesavers, both in a physical sense and also in the value they provide our program.

Last year, when the pandemic made it impossible for even a single injured student to be treated in our tiny and outdated training room, a group of generous donors made it possible for us to build a new, larger, and state-of-the-art Sports Medicine Center--a facility that is now finally worthy of the people who work in it.  Our student-athletes get prehab and rehab all day long, and have access through our trainers to great local physicians, both off-site and right here on campus.

Additionally, our trainers monitor our athletic health and safety protocols--everything from our preseason baseline concussion testing to conducting literally thousands of Covid screens of athletes last year.  And this time of year, they also are the keepers of “THE FLAGS.”  All of SCISA (and also SCHSL) has very strict guidelines to protect student-athletes from heat illness and injury.  Here at PG, our trainers take wet-bulb thermometer readings every 30 minutes and inform our coaches of all sports of what level of restrictions we face--from a “green flag” indicating no restrictions all the way to a “black flag” which prohibits any outdoor practice at all.  Several years ago, Lauren and Chelsey actually had physical colored flags made, which they fly at the practice field after each measurement.  That visual reminder, along with the group-text message that accompanies it, has been recognized as a best practice and adopted by many of our competitors.  And all of our coaches have had required training on the heat policy and associated protocols for their particular sports, and adjust as necessary, even multiple times in a day of practice, to ensure our athletes’ safety.

We’re extremely thankful for our Athletic Trainers, and for all of the many people who work behind the scenes so that what we all see on game day is the very best it can be, in every area.

GO CYCLONES! Coach Salley

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