The Helias Sports Medicine Club enters the 2014-15 school year with a new head trainer, but the same mission: helping athletes stay healthy. Jessica Buschjost takes over her first position from the long-tenured Ron Dunn, who decided to retire last year. Buschjost now runs an important facet of Helias athletics. The Sports Medicine office is bustling with athletes as soon as the school day ends. An athlete’s health is important and they must trust their trainers to keep it intact.
Buschjost said that her interest in sports medicine began with a high school injury, “I tore my ACL during my sophomore year at Blair Oaks and going through rehab sparked my interest.”
Buschjost has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in athletic training, both from St. Louis University. She said that her favorite parts of the job are interacting with various people and “just taking care of people in general.”
She starts her day at Jefferson City Medical Group’s (JCMG) sports medicine clinic making preparations for her work with Crusader athletes. She gets to Helias around 2 p.m.
“Usually I work on the athletes who need special attention during 7th hour, because this place gets crazy right after school, Buschjost said. “Everyone wants to get taped up and get to practice.”
Buschjost does not handle the sports medicine club all by herself. She has a group of student trainers who assist her. Many of them, like Brant Bacolod and Malorie Crocker, want to be doctors or physical therapists.
“I wanted to prepare myself for the medical field,” said Bacolod, adding, “and this club has proven to be a great way to do that.”
The work of a student trainer consists of taping ankles, rehab work, and athletic events. Preparation comes second to the ability to act quickly and correctly.
“There’s not a whole lot of preparation involved,” said Bacolod. “You mostly just show up and go to work.”
“When you work an event,” added veteran student trainer Klint Braun, adding, “you have to be focused, sharp, and quick on your feet. You have to be ready to take action.”
Athletes need their health to be successful and the sports medicine club is an important part of that pursuit of excellence. They strive to provide expertise and sure-handed assistance to their peers in sports. As Braun put it, “We do what we can to heal injured athletes and prevent injuries to the healthy ones. We’re all here to keep these athletes on the field.”