Lake Highlands Athletic Trainers: The Glue Behind the Athletic Department


LHHS Athletic trainers

By: Mary McMullen and Amory Moore


While athletics are no diamond-in-the-rough when it comes to Texas 6A high schools, the athletic trainers that maintain the athletes’ health are the unsung heroes of high school football. 


Destiny Burks, Desiree Choate, Tatyanna Drew, Katie Holmes, Lindsay Jarrell, Madison Lawrence, and Harmoni Wigfall, all seniors, and Aubrey Shelton, Collier Sutton, and Savannah Bohl, all juniors, are the student leaders that help drive the LHHS athletic department. 


Headed by Jessica Welch and Richard Maceyra, the LH athletic trainers require a diligent work ethic and undivided attention. Although, it can become difficult if the trainers don’t have the dedication and commitment that it takes to do the job. 


“To be an athletic trainer means you have to devote lots of your time to go to games—football is mandatory, but you are allowed to do other sports when football season is over,” Choate stated. 


Shelton added that there is a real-time commitment as well. She has all college-level classes, so there isn’t a lot of time at the end of the day for anything other than homework. 


“The most challenging part of training is the time commitment. We go to every practice and every varsity game, so it can be hard during the week to find time for homework and things like that,” Bohl admitted. 


These students assist the head trainers who have devoted their time and career to all of the athletes that come through their doors. For Shelton, she wishes to be an athletic trainer in the future and work for a professional sports team; something that she believes this opportunity is preparing her for. 


While athletic trainers may be thought of as “water girls,” they are certainly more than that. Athletic trainers specialize in the management, prevention, and recovery of injured athletes. 


“As a trainer, we help tape ankles, wrists, thumbs, etc., we’ll get ice bags for athletes, and we’ll help with some treatment,” Bohl replied. “It can become difficult when you don’t have a commitment to the purpose of being there,” Choate added. “If one becomes consumed by distractions, or becomes susceptible to teenage boys, then the environment can become difficult to manage and maintain.”


Many of the students discovered the program through their own physical endurances. 


“I found out about athletic training from Coach Welch. I was injured during the off-season for softball and she was telling me all about student trainers,” Shelton said. “During the spring, I emailed Coach Welch about becoming a trainer and went through a tryout process.”

Choate’s story was similar in that she was injured from wrestling and she found the training room as a sanctuary. The environment that Coach Maceyra had created sparked her interest in becoming an athletic trainer.

In addition to maintaining the health of the players, the athletic trainers have formed a bond with each other. “The pure bliss of just being a part of a group that had a common theme but us all being different types of people was so exciting,” Choate said. 


Shelton admitted that forming a type of family came as a surprise, but she relies on them for more than just training purposes. They all rely on each other for support.


“An unexpected outcome of becoming a trainer is the friends and honestly the family I have made,” Bohl stated. “I love all the trainers and know they will always be there for me like I will always be there for them.”


“Athletic training is such a vital program in the school, and I hope people can gain an appreciation of the students who volunteer to do this and a magnitude of appreciation towards the coaches, Jessica Welch and Richard Maceyra, for devoting a big part of their lives to the health and improvement of athletes at Lake Highlands High School,” Choate expressed. “Also, a big appreciation to Head Director Lonnie Jordan for always reminding us that we, as students, are appreciated and recognized.”