Photo by Jackson Moran ’21 | New athletic trainer, Mrs. Danelle Wade, works on Patrick Grindey ’20 in the athletic training room.
By Eric Lindholm ’19 and Jackson Moran ’21
This past year, the Sports Medicine and Athletic Training department was bolstered by the addition of new staff to satisfy the expanding sports landscape at Brophy.
The program, originally headed up by Mr. Chris White, added Mrs. Danelle Wade to be the new head athletic trainer.
Athletic training is integral to maintaining a safe and productive sports environment on any campus or professional setting.
“Our job is to prevent injury and to deal with prevention as best we can, preventing injury and illness, first aid and immediate care, assessments so whether that’s acute or chronic injury,” Mr. White said.
The athletic trainers then produce treatment plans, when a specialist is not required, in order to manage injury.
“We [athletic trainers] are one of five professionals in the state, legally, that can manage concussions,” Mr. White said. “Our management plan is quite extensive and follows current medical standard, which means any high risk athlete we do baseline testing which is a neurocognitive and balance test we do. We also do the sway balance test.”
In the past, there was Mr. White, who lead the athletic training staff, two assistants and various graduate students to attend to the needs of Brophy’s athletes.
“Now this year, we have a full time athletic trainer. So I’m teaching more, I’m backing off athletic training. So we’ve dropped one grad student, so we are down to one now, but we have Dannelle Dykstra Wade as full time,” Mr. White said.
He added that the continual expansion of the athletics program at Brophy eventually made it more feasible to have Mrs. Wade as a full time athletic trainer.
Mrs. Wade found the athletic training profession while in high school, “I had an injury my freshman year of high school that made me go through surgery and PT [Physical Therapy]. That is where I came to find the profession interesting and that I could still stay in sports.”
She attended A.T. Still University for her masters in athletic training, and then went on to become the head athletic trainer at Mountain View Community College.
She found Brophy through the recommendation of a previous colleague and decided to apply based upon Brophy’s program credentials.
Having started at Brophy in June of 2018, she said that Brophy is a very unique setting for Athletic Training.
“Not having to deal with females is all on its own unique, but the males here are very respectful and courteous in that if you say something, they do it right away,” Mrs. Wade said.
Mrs. Wade specializes in corrective exercise and doing in house rehab.
She said that working this specialization into plans for students is slightly more challenging than is was at her previous place of work.
“The athletes are not against it, but the buy in is not always there at the beginning,” Mrs. Wade said of her patients.
Her treatments and routines vary between athletes, as she mentioned that an ankle spring can be vastly different between athletes.
Ethan Broer ’19 is a stalwart on Mr. Jon Kitna’s offensive line frequently visits Mrs. Wade for rejuvenating treatments throughout the football season.
“[I] do a lot of squats, deadlifts, and clings so that puts pressure on [my] back,” Broer said. “Shoulder can get beat up a little bit because you are pass setting a lot and your back can hurt from all the lifting you have to do in the sport.”
Playing a strenuous, yet important role, Broer has been conscientious of taking care of his back, shoulders, and his body overall by fully utilizing the athletic trainers and amenities provided by Brophy.
“I do a lot of ice baths and also a lot of cupping therapy, and lots of messages to get the kinks out of [my] back,” said Broer.
“Human movement is a big area of where I studied, and has been part of my success as an athletic trainer for the past 11 years,” she said.
She added that lots of little, seemingly minute details and issues in movement mechanics are incredibly important as they can affect the entire body.
“Corrective exercises and in-house rehab can keep a kid involved in their athletic experiences here at Brophy,” Mrs. Wade said.
Vance Phillips ’22 is a burgeoning three-sport athlete —basketball, football, and track and field—and like Broer, frequently receives treatment.
“I come here to get stretched out, rolled out, sometimes use the ice bath for recovery purposes mainly,” Phillips said.
As a receiver, Vance takes fewer hits than Broer, but “still get[s] hit a lot.”
Suffering one concussion this season, Vance is well aware of Brophy’s concussion protocol and management that is concurrent to established medical standards.
“You [must] go 7 days without having any symptoms, and if you have any symptoms during these times, [the 7 days] restarts,” Vance said.
“Then they give you a seven day workout, and if you feel any symptoms during the seven days, you [must] restart,” said Vance.
The administration provides generously for the sports medicine program and the work they do, enabling them to properly address injury.
This large budget and provision for care is what allows the athletic trainers to provide quality healthcare to any student, athlete or not, who may need treatment.
“No other high school has this amount of supplies or the ability to get the tools that we have,” Mrs. Wade said.