“Sweet Caroline,” athletic trainer, moves on to graduate program

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“Sweet Caroline,” athletic trainer, moves on to graduate program

Caroline tapes up softball player Shylo Arneson before practice.

Caroline tapes up softball player Shylo Arneson before practice.

Erin Formulak

Caroline tapes up softball player Shylo Arneson before practice.

Erin Formulak

Erin Formulak

Caroline tapes up softball player Shylo Arneson before practice.

by Erin Formulak, Editor

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Linganore has a very strong athletic program that’s made up of many talented players who put forth their best efforts during games and practices. Almost all of these players would know that sometimes putting forth a best effort can result in an injury, whether it’s big or small. In fact, it’s not rare for a player to need some sort of medical assistance at any point during the season.

So who do our athletes turn to when they scrape a knee, sprain a wrist, need an ankle taped or just need a bag of ice? They all look for the same person: our athletic trainer, Caroline Lisee. Everyone, students and staff alike, know her on a first-name basis.

Fresh out of grad school, Lisee graduated in 2013 then began her work as an athletic trainer.

“Athletic training is prevention, assessment, and treatment of athletic injuries,” Lisee explains. “So there’s a side when I’m prepping kids for practice…then if they have an injury sometime during practice then I can evaluate them to try to figure out what it is, and then I would give them a recommendation as to where to go from there…that’s more of the treatment side of it.”

In addition to the work Lisee does during practice, she also attends home games so she can be available in case of an emergency.

Lisee’s job can certainly get to be a lot to handle, especially because of the schedule, she says. “My schedule just depends on everyone else’s.” When a game gets postponed or rescheduled, Lisee’s personal plans may need to take a backseat to ensure that she is available to be at the game’s new time.

“The hours are strained sometimes,” Lisee says. “If you work full-time at a high school [as an athletic trainer], you’re pretty much working from like 1:30 or 2:00 in the afternoon to 9:00 or 10:00 at night…I have some really long days; today I will have worked about thirteen hours. But then other days I will have only worked two hours.”

Lisee notes that although her schedule can be “all over the place,” her job is entertainment. “There are great kids here and they make me laugh all the time,” she says.

After already being interested in sports and knowing she wanted to go into the health care field, Lisee knew she wanted to become an athletic trainer when she sprained her ankle playing soccer during her junior year of high school. “I ended up doing rehab with my athletic trainer there and I realized, ‘This is awesome!’”

Following high school, Lisee had searched around for colleges with athletic training programs, and ended up getting her athletic training degree at Ithaca College in upstate New York.

Lisee jumped right into the action upon arriving at Linganore after college. She says that at her very first game at Linganore she had two soccer players go up for a header and they both split their heads.

“One of them, maybe both of them, had concussions,” she says. “We ended up calling an ambulance for that. That was pretty crazy.”

After two years, Lisee is moving on.

“70% of athletic trainers have their master’s degree; I only have my bachelor’s degree,” Lisee explains. “So in order to remain competitive in the field, I really need to get my master’s.”

While Lisee does enjoy working at the high school level, she says she wants to experience the “college scene” where most of the work is done in-house. She’s headed to the University of Virginia to pursue a post-professional master’s degree in athletic training; this is a thirteen-month program in which she will work as a grad assistant with one of the sports teams.

Senior Corbin Austin has received help from Lisee for multiple injuries, including a football-induced head injury and, much more recently, an ankle injury. “I’m happy that she has the opportunity to continue her education; although, she will definitely be missed by the Linganore community,” he says.

Coach Barbara Ferguson says, “It’s something that she’s passionate about; she’s excited about getting into this graduate program. Things are falling in line for her to fulfill her dream.”

Lisee finds the Linganore community to be very supportive, nice and respectful. “Having the coaching staff here come in to this young female telling them what’s going on and what they can and can’t do with some of their athletes can be a lot. ‘What does this 23-year-old know?’ But they’re so great,” she says. “I feel lucky to be at Linganore.”

She says one of the things she will miss most is the Friday nights under the lights. She loves the energy of being out there with all the players and the fans.

“I’m so appreciative of how everyone has helped me grow. I think the biggest thing I’ll take out of this experience is confidence…just the confidence to know that I can do this, working with the kids and doing it well,” she says.

While Lisee’s job can be a lot to take on at times, it’s obvious that she’s doing what she loves to do. “It does get overwhelming, but my job is a lot of fun.”

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