Training the future trainers

 (Houston Independent School District)Friday Night Football is king in Texas, and while Houston ISD is turning out top players heading to college, it’s also preparing students to keep athletes in top condition and to provide medical assistance during games.

The student athletic trainer program began this year. Eight students from Milby, Jones, Austin, Reagan, and Waltrip high schools meet with two of the district’s trainers almost daily.

“We started the program because we had students approaching us asking what it is that we do and how they can do it,” athletic trainer Evelyn Martinez said. “Many of them are under the impression that being a student trainer is the same as being a manager, and we wanted to show them that there is a difference.”

 (Houston Independent School District)Students in the program get to work one-on-one with licensed athletic trainers, which puts them ahead of the game for when they go to college. They get to cover games with the trainers, and the field trips take them beyond the locker room and field – a couple of the students recently observed a surgery.

Students are also able to attend conferences and workshops that allow them to network with colleges, which could lead to scholarship opportunities.

The program isn’t limited to just football – all sports are covered.

Training is an extracurricular activity in which any high school student can participate. Martinez said it’s best to start in the freshman year so students can obtain several years of experience, but students from higher grades are welcome. There is one catch – students must commit to the program for all sports offered in the district.

Those interested in participating in the program during the 2014-2015 school year, should contact their zoned stadium trainer:
• Evelyn Martinez at Delmar (
• Stephanie Polydore at Barnett (
• Charles Walker at Butler (