A screech of pain erupted from the middle of the field. A player was injured and the audience watched, wondering who would come and help the injured athlete. From the sideline, Athletic Trainer Javier Margarito ran to the player, accompanied a few students who are part of the Sports Medicine Club.
The purpose of Sports Medicine Club is to educate students and athletes at MVHS on sports medicine and its different fields. At the meetings, which take place every other Friday, members give presentations on medicine related fields like kinesiology, physical therapy and athletic training.
Students are able to deepen their knowledge by joining Margarito after school and working firsthand, applying the techniques they learned in the club meetings. SMC president and junior Jacquelyn Loretto explains what the club has been doing in its first year.
“We are still establishing the foundation of our club, setting up our club members and things like that,” Loretto said. “We are working on volunteering for different events at Monta Vista such as track and field, and working in the athletic training room [after school].”
Loretto’s interest in sports medicine arised from a knee injury she suffered during her freshman year. Since then, Loretto has fostered a passion for sports medicine and began learning more about it.
“Through my knee injury, which I had to get surgery for, I met Javier and [learned about] what he did,” Loretto said. “I went through physical therapy and found out what physical therapists are. I was in the training room a lot, and I realized that this was interesting and wanted to learn more about the human body and anatomy.”
Starting SMC is just the beginning for Loretto, who is looking to pursue a career in this field.
“I’m looking into majoring in kinesiology and going into the physical therapy route,” Loretto said. “At the club we are going through an introduction [phase] introducing all the new club members and things like that. My section is rehabilitation, and other people are talking about rehab and strength and conditioning.”
Similar to Loretto and her interest in sports medicine, sophomore Miles Pereira discovered his interest for the subject through an injury.
“I’ve been interested in sports medicine, physical therapy, kinesiology and how the body works since I came to Monta Vista,” Pereira said. “I was injured a bunch of time[s] so I was in Javier’s room a lot. I wanted to learn how to body worked so I joined the new club called Sports Medicine club.”
Even though Pereira is assigned to do small tasks in his club, he still takes it as an opportunity to learn more about sports medicine and help students around campus.
“Mostly he asks us to do simple things for him and he doesn’t let us work with the kids hands on since we don’t have a lot of experience,” Pereira said. “But, he does let us experiment and learn about the types of treatments.”
Pereira says that Margarito has given him helpful advice concerning his future and how he will be able to benefit from his experiences in the club.
“Javier gives a lot of good tips for us… how the co-op thing works is that you go outside and work for one semester in college and then you go into a classroom and learn that subject,” Pereira said. “ The high school experience looks good for college and even injuries that you have dealt with or things you’ve helped other people overcome.”
In fact, Margarito has even worked towards making a new sports medicine class. Loretto explained her hopes for a class that would teach students what they also learn in the club.
“The concept of a sports medicine class is exciting,” Loretto said. “That’s a way for the club to branch off and not limit itself to this one thing and if we can provide more options for students [to learn] through classes, that would be great.”
Where athletics meets medicine
What students at MVHS enjoy about Sports Medicine
Senior Lauren Tang’s interest in sports medicine first sparked when she got injured in seventh grade, and went through a lot of physical therapy. What Tang found intriguing was how much the doctors knew about the human body and how to keep joints and the human body in general healthy. Since then, Tang discovered a deep passion for sports medicine.
“I think [it’s cool that] sports medicine isn’t just geared towards athletes, like you’re [going to] be helping so many other people...there’s always going to be a need for someone to tell you how to prevent you from injuring yourself,” Tang said. “I think it’s really important that people can keep their joints healthy and live the best life that they can.”
Although Tang plays water polo, she does not think it is necessary for people who want to go into sports medicine to have played sports.
“I don’t think you necessarily need to play sports or anything like that,” Tang said. “But I think you definitely need to be interested in biology at some point. You need to look at those classes and have an interest in the human body and how it moves, and be in touch with how you move your body.”
Tang has already taken steps toward her future career in sports medicine. Not only does she believe her experience as an athlete has made her more aware of how to help other people overcome their injuries, but she has also shadowed a sports medicine doctor before, allowing her to experience the responsibilities firsthand. As a senior going off to college soon, Tang is fixed on majoring in kinesiology, a major that most go into before joining a sports medicine or physical therapy program.
Tang finds sports medicine doctors, and more specifically, sports team doctors, to be very important to sports teams and athletes in general, which is an aspect of the career field that inspires her.
“I think it’s important that the [athletes] have someone there to make sure that they don’t relapse or anything, and nothing gets worse or comes back,” Tang said. “So I think it’s really important when you’re playing sports to have consistency with your treatment and consistency with the people who are looking at your injury.”
Similar to Tang, junior Rohan Angajala got interested in Sports Medicine after multiple injuries that he faced while playing several sports during the seventh grade. He explains that sports such as tennis, basketball, football and cricket had physical effects and due to this, sports medicine has a bright future in America. Read the infographic below to learn more about him.
Unlike Tang’s circumstantial interaction with sports medicine, freshman Anand Kathardekar, whose life revolves around his love for biology and basketball, has a goal to pursue a career that blends his passion for sports and his favorite subject.
“I’ve been growing up around sports all my life and especially seeing players play on TV, it’s kind of interesting to see how like things work and being a team doctor seems really interesting because I’m already into medicine,” Kathardekar said.
Kathardekar wants to see how the body of athletes tends to have a different tolerance level.
“I find like sports medicine really interesting and just see how athletes body [works] differently from other people’s,” Kathardekar said.
According to Explore Health Careers, sports medicine has become a very popular career path for students because it allows them to help athletes at every level, including high school.According to another source, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected job growth of 34% for a physical therapist, 21% for an athletic trainer and 14% for a physician over the years of 2012 to 2014.
Kathardekar’s passion for sports medicine was fostered by his participation in numerous basketball teams and leagues. Aside from that, medicine has been a very important part of life for Kathardekar as he is able to use what he has learned from biology and incorporate it into how the body of an athlete functions.
“In 7th grade, we were in Biology and it just kind of came naturally to me”, Karthardekar said.“I always thought like the subject was really interesting and I just had a lot of questions about life [sciences].”
Kathardekar wants to create an impact in the lives of numerous people and by being a team doctor, he thinks he will be able to contribute to the overall success of the team.
“They are extremely important,” Kathardekar said. “They have a vital role in the team success because if you are especially for a professional leagues they’re extremely important because he’s out the door like taking a lot of physical pounding on their bodies and if something goes wrong they need the right people to help them recover.”
For Kathardekar, having the experience of an athlete and being able to understand the workload of an athlete is what he believes to be his main advantage for pursuing this career in the future.
“I’m an athlete so I know how athletes feel and I know what they’re going through in like what their emotions are so I’ll be able to relate to them on a more deeper level as opposed to just being a doctor,” Kathardekar said.
Sidelined: The struggle of recovering from an injury
Athletes express how they combated injuries during their seasons
MVHS athletes get four years to show their talents and try to get recruited by colleges for their sport. Even with the short amount of time, injuries are common and can hurt the potential and halt the progress of these young athletes.
Senior Jason Shen, a starter on the MVHS boys volleyball team, was determined to win a game against Branham HS and solidify his team’s spot as the best in California. However, in the same game Shen collided with a teammate, spraining his left ankle which sidelined him for a month.
Junior Evelyn How went into her first invitational of the year, ready to set personal records in her best event — the 100-meter dash. After finishing her race in the 4x100, she realized that her hamstring was hurting more than usual, and withdrew from the rest of the meet.
Both athletes were sidelined for part of the season. But for Shen, injuries have been a common occurrence in his Monta Vista MVHS career. Specifically, he has dealt with ankle injuries before because of the strain volleyball puts on it.
“I haven’t gone through an [MVHS] season without being injured,” Shen said. “My freshmen season and the first half of my sophomore season I had injuries that put me on the bench for a really long time.”
How experienced similar circumstances to Shen but looked at her injuries in a different light. She thought that another injury was a blessing in disguise, when she strained her hip flexor, leaving her absent from several important invitationals.
“I think it did help me because I am now more motivated to do rehab and get back out there,” How said.
Balancing both school and athletics is already difficult for high schoolers, and an injury can exacerbate the physical and emotional burden that high school students already face from balancing both school and athletics. Shen expressed the emotional impact of his injur
“Frustration [is] a big thing which I feel after every injury I’ve had because the process of getting back from an injury is really long,” Shen said. “Even if you have physical mobility you don’t feel the same on the court. It takes a lot of time to get back into motion and then even more time on the court to play the game [the way] you used to.”
Both Shen and How agreed that MVHS athletic trainer Javier Margarito helped speed up the recovery process from their injuries.
“In the past I’ve tried physical therapy at Kaiser but without having a place to go to after school everyday it can get really easy to slack off,” Shen said. “The things that they give you [for therapy] are very generic. But, [Margarito] works with me and asks me how it feels everyday which is a personal connection that Kaiser just can’t do.”
He is there during the sports games. He is there during health emergencies. He is there working behind the scenes as the school health clerk in the morning. In the afternoon, athletic trainer Javier Margarito sits behind in his desk in the training room, but his impact and his job is all around the school. Watch the video below to hear MVHS students share their thoughts about Javier.