On top of their game: Cathedral trainers help to keep Green Wave ready to play
Published 12:03 am Friday, November 14, 2014
The Cathedral football team’s training staff goes beyond the call of duty.
Six girls tackle Friday nights just as hard as the boys do on the field. Their game just happens to be played on the sidelines.
Chandler Russ, Kate Mayo, Kylie Johnson, Kayla Cauthen, Hannah Jenkins and Carmen Serio have been with the Green Wave since day one this season and enjoying the ride to a 10-1 record.
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But the trip hasn’t been an easy one for the girls, attended a trainer’s camp hosted by Southern Miss every summer to learn the ins and outs of being a trainer.
“You start off your freshman year, and you learn how to tape everything from head to toe pretty much,” said Russ, who is a senior this year. “Then, you learn how to do CPR, and you have to renew that every year. You learn how to spine board, put vacuum splints on and all kinds of stuff. Then, the next few years are basically the anatomy of the body, like ligaments, tissues and muscles.”
Not only was having to learn all the material a challenge, some of the hands-on work proved to be harder than expected.
Mayo, a junior, said wrapping was a tough challenge for her early on.
“It isn’t difficult now, but it was in the beginning,” she said. “Just having to learn and continue practicing that, you just have to be good at it.”
Despite all being wrapping experts now, some of the girls didn’t necessarily see themselves doing the job a few years ago.
“I was a cheerleader my ninth grade year,” Cauthen said. “It wasn’t my thing. So I figured I would try the football team, and more of my friends are on the football team. You just fall in love with it.”
And all five girls did.
Russ, who got her start after Cathedral offensive line coach Kurt Russ, her father, talked her into it said it didn’t take her long to realize she was going to enjoy being a trainer.
“When I came out on my first day, I was really nervous,” she said. “I was thinking, I don’t know what to do and there are all these guys everywhere. Slowly but surely, it is just like one big family out here. Soon, you’re not just interested on what is going on in football, it is about how they are doing in the rest of their lives, too, like grades and eligibility and stuff.”
Johnson, a freshman, said she was looking for a way to meet people at the beginning of her high school career.
“I figured it would be a good opportunity to get to know people, since I’m starting high school,” she said. “It has been really fun for me.”
For the other freshman, Jenkins, it seemed right with her brother being a standout player for the Green Wave.
“I was the middle school trainer my seventh and eighth grade years,” she said. “I’ve been watching my brother play since I could walk. I love the sport, and so this year coach Ron (Rushing) asked me to do it. I just wanted to be here for these boys, because I love them, and they are like my brothers.”
Even though they may not suit up in shoulder pads and a helmet on game days, the girls feel they are an important part of the team and take pride in what they do.
“It makes you feel important in a way,” Mayo said. “You feel like you are a part of something. You are with the team every single day and to see them succeed in what they are trying to do, it is awesome.”
“It feels good to know that someone really cares about you and doesn’t just look at you as somebody who gives players water,” Johnson added. “When a player is hurt, we hurt for them and we care for them. We build relationships with them, and it feels really good.”
Not only do the girls have friendships with the team now, they also have a tight bond among themselves.
“We are way more drama free than any other girls relationship,” Cauthen said. “You make lifelong friends here.”