Everyone knows the quarterback, everyone knows the point guard and everyone knows the shortstop. Few know who takes care of those athletes when they aren’t shining on the field or the court.
Student athletic training aides are a vital part of a high school program and at Yukon, there are four seniors who have sacrificed their time and energy to making sure Yukon High School’s athletes are properly taken care of on the sidelines before they get back into action.
Skyler Stanaszek, Kylee Stanley and Courtney Swink have been student athletic training aides for all four years of their high school career. Sarah Boyanton has been in the program since her sophomore year.
“We have learned how to be a team and take on responsibilities,” Swink said. “We have learned how to work hard.”
Boyanton echoed Swink’s comments and added, “We have learned how to work and get things done when others are depending on us.”
Working in the athletic training program, it provides many opportunities for growth and to learn how to work with others.
“You have to learn how to work closely with different kinds of people,” Stanaszek said.
All four seniors wanted to be a part of the Yukon High School athletic training program coming into high school as freshmen. Stanley said being around her friends was a big part of her decision to be in the program.
“I have a lot of friends who are athletes,” Stanley said. “I wanted to be involved in something in high school and I am not athletic, so this was a great option for me.”
On top of being a student athletic training aide, Stanley is a member of the Yukon High School FFA and 4H Club. She said trying to do both is time consuming.
“It’s very hard to try and balance all of the hours,” Stanley said. “I’m always busy. A lot of times, I will go from one to the other.”
None of the girls have jobs outside of school because they are putting in full-time hours with their responsibilities in the Yukon athletic training program. Each student athletic training aide is logging 30 to 40 hours per week.
Swink said she will take a lot from her experiences in the athletic training program as she moves on to the next step of her life when she graduates in May.
“Work ethic, being responsible and learning how to work with different types of people,” Swink said. “Those are the things I’ll mostly take with me.”
Boyanton said she has learned how to think ahead.
“Being in this program teaches you how to think ahead,” Boyanton said. “We have to keep a close eye on the games and be ready at any moment when we are needed. Also outside of the games, with our busy schedules, we have to learn how to plan our days out. Make sure we get our homework done and make sure we give ourselves enough time to eat.”
Getting the opportunity to be a part of the athletic training program is a tough process.
Each candidate goes through an interview process and they have to write an essay about why they want to be in the program.
Sometimes dealing with athletes as a student athletic training aide can be challenging but that is not the case at Yukon. There is a special bond between the athletes and the student athletic training aides.
“It’s a family,” Stanley said. “They are our boys, we love them and respect them and they are the same with us. We feel like we are a part of the team. We see what they go through every week.”
“We go through a lot together,” Stanaszek said. “We are like brothers and sisters.”
“We see them at their best and we see them at their worst,” Swink said. “They always say thank you and we go through a lot together.”
Next up for the four seniors, is college and then onto the professional world.
Swink said she wants to attend either the University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State University and go into the medical field. Stanley said she planning to attend either Oklahoma State or the University of Central Oklahoma and then attend Physician’s Assistant School at OU. Boyanton said she plans on attending Syracuse University in the bandier program in the top musical business program in the country and Stanaszek plans on attending Oklahoma State or Central Oklahoma and becoming at residential nurse or an occupational therapist.