“Training program helps athletes heal, students learnProgram inclues staff and students.”

"Trevor Pyle/ Staff Photo Tracy Lockard (left), Cherrise Patton, and Tina Larsen sit during a NKHS basketball game. Lockard is an athletic trainer, Patton and Larsen are student trainers. "

“POULSBO – Chris Franklin knows what it’s like for an athlete to face an injury. When Franklin was a defensive end at Whitworth College , he dislocated a shoulder. The injury knocked him out of the game and eventually ended his college career. But Franklin was fascinated by the work the trainers were doing on his shoulder, and the knowledge they showed while doing that work. I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but the stuff they were doing was more interesting. It seemed more challenging. So Franklin switched majors to sports medicine, and went into athletic training. An now, as the head athletic trainers at North Kitsap High School, where he helps oversee both the athletic program and the athletic training classes the school offers, he helps others come back from injuries every day. I like sports, he said. I like helping people. This allows me to stay around sports and help people out. Either Franklin or assistant student trainer Tracy Lockard are present before, during and after every sporting contest. They attend to rolled ankles and jammed fingers, broken bones and concussions – the occasional hazards of playing sports. If (the athlete) gets hurt, we’re the first ones to evaluate that, Franklin said. We do treatment, rehabilitation. We do functional tests. Franklin has also helped the school’s athletic medicine classes expand to three classes. The first class covers the history of sports medicine, legal aspects, first aid and CPR. The students also learn about the human body. like the number and location of bones in the body. In classes II and III they learn about progressively more and more complex injuries, and way to treat those injuries. This year there are 70 students in class I, and 18 in class II. There are also 25 student trainers who, once they have learned some of the basics of health and injury treatments, accompany Franklin or Lockard to the games. One of those students is junior Cherrise Patton. She got interested in athletic medicine after taking the first class, and became a student trainer soon after. You get to work with athletes on a 1-on-1 basis, she said at a recent boys basketball practice. At first, Patton said, she would do simple things, like fetch ice packs. But soon she got to help treat athletes. Now she has seen contusions, ankle sprains, and a few head injuries. I really enjoy it, she said. it’s better than sitting in a classroom and reading this out of a book. Working with people is also the reason Lockard got involved with athletic medicine. While Lockard grew up in Pennsylvania, one of her family’s friends was the athletic trainer at the local high school. It seemed like a really cool job, Lockard said, adding that she later got to study under that same friend, when she went to Duquesne University. I didn’t want to be a doctor, Lockard said with a smile. I didn’t want to go to school that long. So she studied sports medicine so she could help people and be creative. Everything is different day to day, Lockard said. You need to be creative day to day. Previously, Lockard said, she worked for a physical therapy company where her job was to go to high-school games. We didn’t have a chance to follow up if there were injuries, she said. It was frustrating. You’d see someone (injured), and you’d never know what happened to them. You never had a chance to help them. Here she gets a chance to do that, through all the different sports. It’s basketball season right now, Lockard said, so you see a lot of ankles. In soccer you see more concussions. She is also happy to work with the student trainers. I wish I had something like it when I was in high school, she said. “