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Superak rallies for sports medicine class

It is not uncommon for student athletes to injure themselves, and a sports medicine class could help students learn how to prevent and rehabilitate injuries. (Photo Illustration)

By Claire Bachand,
BlueDevilHUB.com Staff–

Davis High is a relatively sports-oriented school housing 140 section title championships, 35 sports programs and 78 teams. According to the DHS website, 870 students at DHS participate in sports, which is 51 percent of the total student body. To add to this athletic atmosphere, DHS athletic trainer Andrew Superak hopes to bring a year-long sports medicine class to the school.

According to Superak, in this class, he would teach students how to tape, evaluate and rehabilitate injuries. They would also learn about sports psychology, therapeutic modalities, anatomy, first aid and the assessment of vital signs.

“A sports medicine class should be taught at DHS because [DHS] is a very sports oriented school with many students going into [science, technology, engineering and medicine],” Superak said. “It would also be a great experience because the class would be hands on and it would help students for their future.”

Superak hopes that the class would attract students interested in fields of sports medicine such as physical therapy, athletic training and biomedical engineering.

A survey of 85 DHS students showed that 68.2 percent of students would like to take this class in high school. 78 percent of these students said that they would like to learn how to take better care of their body and 42.4 percent said that it related to what they hoped to do in the future.

“This was an idea that I had planned since August,” Superak said. “I wanted to bring it to DHS because so many students in college found out about sports medicine in high school through a sports medicine class. Sports medicine is a very fast and growing field and several other schools in the area have programs that have been really successful.”

Superak points out Christian Brothers High School as a nearby school with a sports medicine program. This is an afterschool program where students spend at least 30 minutes every day practicing sports medicine skills and watching and assisting athletic trainers. Students also do work in a workbook and take quizzes.

Nina Vitorelo, a junior at CBHS, has participated in this sports medicine program since she was a freshman.

“I don’t play any sports. To me athletic training is my sport. I love sports, I love watching sports, and I understand sports. To be able to be on the sidelines with the team is one of the best feelings,” Virotelo said.

She hopes to go the medical field, either as an athletic trainer or as a nurse.

“Having this program under my belt definitely makes me feel like I have a little edge on some other students,” Virotello said.

“I think every school should have a class or program like this. I had no idea what athletic training was going into high school and it has become such a huge part of my life and potentially something I could be doing in my future,” Virotelo said.

Senior Mitra Varjavand agrees that DHS should have a sports medicine class. Early this fall, Varjavand injured her ankle playing volleyball and was unable to play for most of the volleyball season.

“I wish I did more ankle exercises before spraining it in the first place,” Varjavand said.

While recuperating from her injury, Varjavand spent a lot of time working with Superak.

“He guided me through exercises whenever I came in and would wrap my ankle before practice and games,” Varjavand said. “[He] is really friendly and always available so no one should be shy to ask for help if they need it,” Varjavand said.

Still, 31.8 percent of students say that they would not take a sports medicine class. Of these students, 57.1 percent said they didn’t have room for it in their schedule, 48.6 percent said they weren’t interested in sports medicine and 31.4 percent said that they wouldn’t take it because it was not an AP or honors course.

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