Special to the Tribune-Star
PARIS, Ill. —
Born and raised in southern Illinois, Nathan Schwartzkopf is no stranger to life in a small community. With that in mind, he believes the transition from his roots to becoming the new athletic trainer for Paris Cooperative High School will be seamless.
“I am very excited to be working with Paris High School,” he said. “Hands-on experience is the best teacher.”
Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center provides funding support for an athletic trainer at the high school. The program is part of a partnership agreement with Eastern Illinois University and Paris Union School District 95.
Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, Schwartzkopf will be a familiar face to athletes competing in football, volleyball, tennis, basketball, cross country and more. He will assist athletes with pre-game stretching and taping, monitor their physical condition during competition, offer tips about injury prevention, and administer first-aid when needed.
He is also available to assist athletes at Mayo Middle School and Crestwood Junior High School. Lisa Smittkamp, certified athletic trainer and rehab coordinator at PCH/FMC, is also available to work with Schwartzkopf and the athletes as needed.
As an athletic trainer, Schwartzkopf acknowledges the dangers of concussions in sports today. Every head injury is serious and should be treated as such, he said. Every athlete is different, and there is no set timeline for an athlete to return to play following a concussion. He utilizes SCAT2 testing, a standardized method of evaluating injured athletes for concussion.
“You want to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to a concussion in terms of how serious it is and how it is handled. This includes the athlete, coaches, parents, and athletic trainer,” he said.
Schwartzkopf is a graduate student at Eastern Illinois University working toward a degree in sports administration. He is originally from Coffeen, Ill. He attended Hillsboro High School where he played football, baseball and basketball. He attended Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., and later transferred to Illinois State University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in athletic training. After that, he worked two years as a full-time athletic trainer at Vandalia High School through Greenville Regional Hospital
When he graduates from Eastern Illinois University, Schwartzkopf is considering a career as an athletic director or an event organizer for youth sports.