As she prepares for the football scrimmage, senior Athena Pinar sets up the hydration station on the sidelines. It gave us a look at what the team will look like this year, Pinar said. and seeing their hard work from all of their practices.
As she prepares for the football scrimmage, senior Athena Pinar sets up the hydration station on the sidelines. “It gave us a look at what the team will look like this year,” Pinar said. “and seeing their hard work from all of their practices.”
Sofia Ayala

Student trainer works behind scenes to support team

Senior Athena Pinar prioritizes her values through sports medicine

Within the four walls of the Prosper Independent School District’s Children’s Health Stadium, senior Athena Pinar works behind the scenes of each game to ensure the full performance of the football team.

Pinar entered the sports medicine program at the beginning of her sophomore year. Since then, she has become a valuable asset to all sporting events. As a trainer, Pinar ensures that athletes have access to any resources they might need, from a device as simple as an ice pack all the way to getting their ankle wrapped, she comes prepared for any challenges that come along.

 

Athena has a stand-up character and is just the type of person you always want to be around. She inspires me because she’s kind, caring and is very dedicated to her craft. She is hard-working and willing to do any task you ask of her, no matter how tedious it might be. Athena has helped me with many things in my Sports Med. class, whether it be studying for an anatomy test or helping me practice taping certain parts of the body. It didn’t matter what it was, she was always there to lend a helping hand. Because of this, I believe I’ve become a better trainer.

— Nixon Rigoni, junior

“I thought it was fascinating that we had a class (sports medicine) that can give you a hands-on, on-the-field experience in high school,” Pinar said. “Our first year was full of learning, whether it be anatomy, injury prevention or even assisting the trainers in the athletic room for some hands-on learning.”

The sports medicine program offers Pinar and other students access to professional training equipment that they can use to help athletes.  The program also allows her to continue working toward her goal of building a career as a physical therapist after graduation.

“I definitely want to work toward becoming a sports physical therapist or something similar,” Pinar said. “I want to work around sports and athletes in the future.”

After completing the first year of sports med, Pinar began her hands-on experience at the beginning of her junior year. She attended football games alert and ready to help anyone in need. During the second semester, trainers are assigned a ‘spring sport’ where they will be the team’s trainers for the whole season.

“Soccer season was fun,” Pinar said. “A little different from football games but adjusting to it wasn’t very difficult.”

Pinar made it to all games. Before and/or after the game, players relied on her for anything they needed.

“It’s a bit difficult to talk to the players during the game,” Pinar said. “So, I learned where I need to be during games, how to help them more efficiently and when to set things up. “

Pinar finds value in expanding her training experience, as she wants to go into the healthcare field in the near future.

“I knew I wanted to be in the medical field and help others, but I didn’t want to work in a hospital,” Pinar said. “I took Sports Medicine I during my sophomore year and found that I really admired what our trainers do here. It’s a lot of time commitment all year round, and they deal with a pretty significant amount of student-athletes in the area. I was just interested in the program at first, but it definitely turned into something that I would love to do in the future.”

Athena is a can-do person. She is always willing to help others, whether it be her fellow trainers or athletes. Athena helps me grow in the aspect of taping. She can tape ankles, hands, and wrists so effortlessly and I believe she has helped me grow immensely when taping others.

— Lily Goodman, senior

To ensure a successful game, Pinar has the responsibility of packing all training materials before any sporting event. After games, Pinar works with NormaTech and Game Ready technology to aid athletes with their injuries if needed.

“I would say that I have a really positive experience when I attend and help out during football games and practices,” Pinar said. “There is some pressure when we’re down on the field during games and practices because we’re near the players, and we have to be quick on our feet.”

Throughout the sporting events, head trainers and teachers Michael Henry and Amelia Easley supervise the student trainers to give assistance if needed.

“There will be times when we need to quickly tape a hand or wrap a wound because they need to be ready to play as soon as possible,” Pinar said. “It’s a rush of adrenaline that I really love, and it keeps me on guard.”

Pinar said being part of the program has made her time at PHS “unforgettable.”

“Being a part of the sports medicine program is an awesome experience because it’s a pretty well-known fact that sports are a huge deal here in Prosper, so varsity football games are always hype,” Pinar said. “Out of all the games, I will have to say my favorite game to be a part of was going against Rock Hill because of the rivalry between our schools, and the crowd was especially awesome.”

Amidst all of the hard work, Pinar has been able to unlock a ‘fun’ side to the program as well.

“During practice, I hang out with my friends,” Pinar said. “Whenever it’s really hot outside, we spray each other with the water bottles for some laughs.”

Athena inspires me to be better because of her work ethic. She’s always there to volunteer and help out wherever the coaches or teams need her. She helps me grow because she shows me how to become a better trainer, while having a positive attitude.

— Mia Bedell, junior

Throughout football season, Pinar arrives at the school at 7 a.m. to prepare for practice. She makes sure the water cow is filled with water and that all of the players stay hydrated in the heat. Pinar also makes sure to wrap players’ ankles and take care of their injuries.

“I love the energy of the coaches – especially in the morning when everyone’s tired,” Pinar said. “They’re just so hyper and happy to be there. So, that also makes me excited.”

Being in sports medicine has allowed Pinar to “prioritize” her time more efficiently, and create moments also to focus on herself.

“If you’re not in the right mindset and state for yourself, and you feel like your life is a mess, then that means you’re not really in or focused on the game,” Pinar said. “You’re not in the right space to be helped, or you can’t really help people to the best of your abilities, and you can’t think as fast on your feet whenever someone does need help.”

Pinar looks forward to serving her fellow classmates and community during her last year in the program, and “making the most” of it before graduation.

“Prosper has an abundance of athletes and people who care for sports, so there’s a fairly large amount of people that rely on trainers like me,” Pinar said. “The least I could do to help them out is making sure that the players are in good shape to do their best, for themselves and for the people rooting for us, as Prosper, to win. I’d say we make a pretty big impact in Prosper because of the work that we put in to help our athletes because it allows them to focus on making Prosper’s athletic department proud.”

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    Sandy MathewsAug 25, 2023 at 5:11 pm

    Loved reading about an exciting program the school offers. As my granddaughter, I am especially proud of Athena because of her work ethic, pride in what she does, willingness to help all people, and her positive upbeat spirit.

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