Athletic training keeps Herd athletes healthy


Jill Shemanski

An athletic trainer helps an injured athlete at the Cam Henderson Center.

The Marshall University Athletic Training Department gives students the opportunity to have hands on experience with Division 1 sports teams.

Athletic trainers are in the background of every event any team competes in.

Kacey Hidebrand is an athletic training student at Marshall for the men’s soccer team and women’s swimming and diving team.

Hidebrand said her favorite memories as a trainer are the relationships she has built with athletes and coworkers.

“My experience at Marshall has been a dream,” Hidebrand said. “Growing up in Huntington, I have always been a Marshall fan, and getting to work at a Division 1 level has been great. I have gotten to work with some of the most talented athletes in the country and the Marshall community is a great one.”

Russell Smothermon, who worked as one of the trainers for the football team in the fall, works with the baseball team this season.

“Being able to watch athletes come back from injuries and be successful on the court is an amazing feeling.”

— Mallory Gomes

Smothermon said he is thankful for the experience Marshall has provided him over the past two years.

“It is a great privilege working with great people every day,” Smothermon said. “Being a part of a conference and bowl winning football team has been one of my most memorable moments.”

A typical day for most of them usually begins as early as 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. and can end as late as 10:30 a.m. depending on the practice or game time.

Athletic trainers help athletes go through rehab protocols and provide treatment for injuries and illnesses. Trainers also set aside time for additional duties such as insurance and other paperwork, rehab plans and treatment plans.

Mallory Gomes, Herd volleyball athletic trainer, said her experience as a trainer at Marshall has been nothing shy of amazing.

“I could not have asked for a better two years at Marshall University,” Gomes said. “From the experience of working with Division 1 athletes and coaches to a very supportive and helpful sports medicine team, Marshall has become my home and the members of the volleyball team, coaches and sports medicine staff have become family.

Gomes said what she does out on the court makes her feel proud.

“There has been so many memories to choose from, but being able to watch athletes come back from injuries and be successful on the court is an amazing feeling and proud moment,” Gomes said.

Jill Shemanski can be contacted at [email protected].