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Certified Athletic Trainers Keep HS Athletes On the Field

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Copyright 2018 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

It was the third game during Eli Sharp's sophomore season at Central High when he finally had the chance to start as quarterback. Then, during the second half, he took a hit to his leg.

"I didn't know it had happened," said Eli Sharp. "It felt like a cramp and I kept playing through it, then it got to the point where I couldn't run on it." Mickey Brown, Central's certified athletic trainer, recommended getting an X-ray.

An X-ray at Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic's (KOC) Saturday morning sports injury clinic revealed a fractured fibula. "I didn't know what to think," said Sharp. "I thought my team needs me and I can't be out there, and it was finally my time to play.

"I worked with Mickey once it started healing enough to where I could," said Sharp. The sophomore was cleared to play after missing six of the 10 regular season games.

Then, during a playoff game, Sharp was injured again. "I was running the ball and about to be tackled when my toe got caught in the turf, my foot got bent over." That meant six more weeks off, two of those spent in a cast.

The season may have been over, but thanks to Brown, Sharp was back working out with his teammates by mid-January and looking forward to two more years with the Bobcats.

"I think it taught me to work a little bit harder and to cherish the opportunity I have," said Sharp. And the advice he has for other high school athletes? "I would say take the exercises that your trainer gives you to do seriously and do them every day. Pay attention and see him before or after practice if you have any questions."

For more than a decade, KOC has invested in a sports medicine outreach program providing year-round certified athletic trainers at Knox County high schools and doctors on the sidelines at football games.

"I cover pretty much all sports," said Brown, who is employed by KOC. "I do prevention, recognition, evaluation and rehabilitation of athletic injuries - sprains, strains, bruises, broken bones, dislocated joints, concussions and a variety of cuts and scrapes.

"There's the difference between a freshman who has never lifted a weight and a senior who has lifted weights for several years and gone through puberty," said Brown. "That can be an unfair advantage."

The mental aspect is another important factor, according to Brown. "Hormones are raging and they are starting to bulk up and grow," he said. "Teens can be irrational and act without thinking.

"Every sport has become specialized, so everybody is training year-round," said Brown. "You can get some overuse and breakdown. If you change it up and do something different it will give certain body parts a break. Personally, I think it's better to give their bodies a break."

"Mickey is unbelievable at what he does," said Central football coach Bryson Rosser. "He's so patient with the kids. There's nothing he hasn't seen. He always has a plan of action and I never have to doubt what he's telling me."

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March 21, 2018
 
 
 

 

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