Sideline Heroes: Sports Medicine Club


By Kalyn Zwik, Staff Writer

At football games, all eyes are on the field. Fans cheer as the team runs down the field hoping to score a touchdown. However, most don’t pay attention to another vital part of the team: the sports medicine club. This group of students helps athletes with rehabilitation in order for them to play at the best of their abilities.

The club primarily runs after schools during the practices of the various sports at Niles West. Students come in with different injuries they get from practicing, whether it be a sprained ankle or broken elbow. The members of the club get certifications in the different treatments that the club provides, for both the teams to get the best care and for the members of the club to develop better medical care skills.

Under the leadership of Dave Smetana and Laura Gorski, the two athletic trainers at Niles West, the club prepares its members for future careers in athletic training.

“The club is geared towards students to get into athletic training and physical therapy. Everything we teach is in the curriculum at colleges,” Smetana said.

Senior Jamie Lawrence also takes part in the club and finds it to be a very interesting and good use of his time.

“My favorite part of sports medicine is working the sidelines during the football,” Senior Jamie Lawrence said.

Not only does joining the club help develop skills for a career in sports medicine, but allows students to meet new who have similar interests.

“My favorite part about sports medicine is learning things that hopefully will help me in my future career as a physical therapist. I also thoroughly enjoy sports medicine because of the people I have met that have become my friends,” sophomore Timmothy Melfi said.

Sophomore football player Ethan Kuffel is a periodic visitor of the sports medicine club.

“Sports medicine has really helped me because I get easy access to equipment that helps me recover for practices and games,” Kuffel said.