Rocket athletic trainer Staci Bohannon makes students a priority.
“I feel like Staci puts us first, not even in terms of health, either,” said junior Derek Hamper. “Before practice even begins, she is always like ‘Hey, what’s up guys?’ She’s very interactive with us.”
Bohannon is different than other trainers Streetsboro has had, said junior Anna Guerrero. She is always willing to help, whether it is with injuries or personal problems, and that is what a trainer should do, she added.
Bohannon takes athletes’ inner “injuries” or problems just as serious as physical injuries, Guerrero said, and Hamper agreed.
“I know that’s not a physical problem, which is what she is certified in, but she can help with the mental side of things…,” he said. “I’ve talked to her about her personal experiences, too…Getting to know her a bit was cool…Playing both sides of the ball, we can talk to her, she can talk to us, and that’s cool to know.”
Bohannon said she talks to student athletes like she would any adult. “…If you get injured, you need to trust and like your athletic trainer, because they will be the first person you see if you get injured in a game or at practice,” she said. “…I also try to make my athletic training room a safe zone for people to feel comfortable so that when and if they get hurt, it makes it a bit easier process.”
Hamper said because Bohannon is young, she can understand and relate to problems athletes are having. “Just knowing that she is almost our age is kind of cool, because she is almost like a student, but at the same time you know she is in charge…,” he said. “She doesn’t have to talk to us. She could shut us out if she wanted to, but she takes time out of her day to let us come in her room to sit down and just talk to her…and I think that makes her special.”
Guerrero agreed. “Staci is always someone to talk to, and she is a really good listener. I always go to her if I have personal problems, because she can relate to a lot of them since she is younger. She just likes hearing about the drama of the day and she will see if she can help.”
Bohannon said she tries to find a balance between being friendly with the students yet maintain her role as an adult. “The relationship I have with the students is a complicated one, because I try to be a friend, but I still need to maintain that level of respect as you would treat a coach or a teacher, so it is a fine line. I am able to joke around with everyone, but I also think when the time comes, if they get injured, that they trust me to help.”
Bohannon did just that when Guerrero recently had a concussion. “She did this whole process with me to help me recover and get back into softball,” she explained. “… So I just think Staci helps more [than the average trainer].”
Guerrero also recalled how when she broke her hand, former trainers would say terms like, “Just ice it” or “You’ll be fine,” yet “Staci is different, because she actually does her job and cares about what she is doing to help our students,” Guerrero said.
Hamper has interacted with Bohannon the most during football season. “Going into two-a-days during football, Staci noticed things were kind of nuts…,” he said. “Staci helped us out a lot, especially trying to keep us healthy and hydrated…Staci is always there just to look out for us.”
Some of the students look out for her as well. In fact, members of the girls’ basketball team decorated Bohannons’s room for her birthday. “We decorated her room and wrote on her window with window paint,” Guerrero said. “We blew up balloons and put them all over her office.”
Guerrero added that Bohannon is closest with the girls’ basketball team. “…Every day before practice we would go in there and just talk to her about our days and stuff and she just actually cared.”
Hamper, who attended Walsh for two years, then later returned to Streetsboro, said Walsh had a bunch of athletic trainers, whose names he did not even know. Hamper said Streetsboro only has one trainer and everybody knows her. “She has a better connection with us… and I think that makes her stand out.”
Streetsboro High School is Bohannon’s first job, and she said she is enjoying this setting. “I love the students, coaches, and all the sporting events here,” she said. “I really do like being here at Streetsboro, and I like being a Rocket…”