Healing hand

SHS athletic director treats more than physical injuries

Felicia+Cooper+preforms+manual+therapy+to+put+Dorrie+Junes+hips+back+into+alignment+on+Aug.+22+in+the+Athletic+Trainers+office.+This+process+requires+several+steps.

Darcy Leber

Felicia Cooper preforms manual therapy to put Dorrie June’s hips back into alignment on Aug. 22 in the Athletic Trainer’s office. This process requires several steps.

Many athletes end up in the trainer’s office by the end of the day for aches and pains, but for some, like junior Dorrie June, that office treats much more. Throughout her high school career, June has gone to SHS Athletic Trainer, Felicia Cooper, for support countless times.
During the swim season last year, June went through many bouts of hip and knee pain, which impeded her ability to compete as normal. So, Cooper did a lot of physical work with her to try to enable as much of a normal season as possible. Whether that was scraping, icing or stretching, Cooper did her best to help June be ready for her meets. But, Cooper didn’t stop there.“Every time you go in, she asks you about how you’re doing,” June said. “She sat down and had multiple long conversations about how I should deal with the coaching staff.”
Whether an athlete needs help with physical pain, how to communicate with their coach or someone to talk to, Cooper is willing to be there for them to lean on.
Cooper came to SHS about six years ago after bouncing around different schools, and since then she has become a favorite among athletes because of the great lengths she goes to in order to provide the support they need.

“She does a really good job of making sure our student athletes are healthy,” Assistant Athletic Director Nicholas Stevens said. “She does a good job working with them on rehab, injury prevention and just the overall health of our athletes.”

“She does a really good job of making sure our student athletes are healthy,” Assistant Athletic Director Nicholas Stevens said. “She does a good job working with them on rehab, injury prevention and just the overall health of our athletes.” ”

— Assistant Athletic Director Nicholas Stevens

But it’s not just swimmers like June that Cooper works with. Throughout the day, she’ll deal with numerous different sports, each bringing a new aspect to the job. She covers soccer, basketball, swimming, running, wrestling and any athlete that comes in for help.
On any given day, Cooper’s training office is packed. Athletes constantly come in and out while she helps everyone she can.

“In the fall I see around 30 kids a day, winter it drops to about 20 and same for the spring,” Cooper said. “So, every week I see about 100 to 200 kids.”
In the office, Cooper often works with the same students. Many athletes see her multiple times a week to either help prevent injuries or help manage the pain that they’re already in.
Stretching is one of the main treatments Cooper recommends for athletes, as it can help to increase range of motion, which can in turn improve speed and athletic performance, according to Healthline.
“Kids love activity, kids hate stretching,” Cooper said. “A lot of the injuries I treat are because of that.”
With all of the different sports and injuries she treats, there’s never a boring day for Cooper. And, even though her job can sometimes get very stressful when the office is completely full, she still takes her time to provide the highest quality care to every athlete she sees.
No matter what happens this swim season or how busy Cooper is, June knows that she will be there for her.
“It’s comforting because I know that my doctors have told me this could be a thing that happens for the rest of the time I swim,” June said. “So knowing that she’s there is helpful.”