The Bullard High School student athletic trainers department is used to standing on the sidelines when it comes to sports action. However, the department had an opportunity to shine by attended the annual East Texas Athletic Trainers Association workshop, held Saturday, Jan. 21, at the University of Texas at Tyler.
“The workshop we recently attended is important for student trainers to attend in many different ways,” said Jeff “Doc” Shrode, BHS head athletic trainer and ETATA treasurer. “First, we’re able to provide these student trainers with knowledge through the various classes they attend. Secondly, it gives student trainers the opportunity to learn how to network. They get to meet with professional trainers, as well as student trainers from other East Texas schools, college professors, and even college recruiters. We had over 100 students attend this year, as well as 52 professional trainers from around the area.”
According to Shrode, classes included in the ETATA workshop touched on the subjects of taping methods, stretching, shoulder rehabilitation, and more.
East Texas was represented well at the ETATA workshop, with students representing schools such as Athens, Bullard, Diboll, Hemphill, Kilgore, Longview, Lufkin, New Diana, Longview Pine Tree, Tyler Robert E. Lee, Sulphur Springs, Troup, and Whitehouse.
“When we started this workshop years ago,” said Shrode, “we wanted to give an opportunity for student trainers to learn from someone else other than their professional trainer. Our numbers were a little down this year, but we’re looking to rebound and make it bigger again.”
BHS student athletic trainers attending the workshop event included Jaycee Baird, Emily Berry, Whitney Buckley, Wes Carter, Koby Dockter, Delaney Folmar, Connor Hanna, Jensen Shrode, Jerrod Shrode, and Rachel Shumate.
During the workshop, student trainers were able to put their knowledge and skills to the test through participating in a head-to-head ankle taping competition, which has become a staple of the event.
The Panther athletic training department has had success at the competition in the past, bringing home high placement finishes in recent years, including first, second and third places.
“I can’t speak for all of the schools in attendance,” said Shrode, “but my student trainers take a lot of pride in competing in the ETATA ankle taping contest. In the last seven years of competing, we’ve at least been in the top three each year. Last year, we introduced a student trainer Olympics, but we were unable to include it in this year’s competition due to time.”
In the taping contest, the BHS student athletic trainers were represented by Buckley, Carter, and Folmar.
According to Shrode, he had a strong feeling regarding the BHS student trainers’ success in the taping contest coming into the event.
“We went into the contest,” said Shrode, “we thought that we were going to have another year where we sweep up in the taping contest. We really believed after watching them practice and prepare that we had the three competitors that were going to take the contest by storm.”
During the taping contest, student athletic trainers are judged on their timing, neatness, and functionality, as well as the inclusion of several taping methods, including anchors, stirrups, C-strips, heel locks, and Figure 8’s.
After all of the scores were tabulated, the BHS student athletic trainers took home two of the three top placements, including first place won by Carter and second place won by Buckley.
“I was really proud of Wes, who is one of my seniors, for winning the taping contest,” said Shrode. “Also, I was proud of Whitney because her brother was a multiple first place winner of the contest during his time in high school. Her goal was to kind of rub it in his nose. She came close, so hopefully she can do that next year.”
The BHS athletic trainers are under the instruction of Shrode and Vanessa Dockter.