by Taylor Clayton

If you play sports at North then you’re probably familiar with our athletic trainer, Cesar Ocampo. He’s the guy who sits at the end of the bench, in the dugout, and on the sidelines ready to spring into action at a moments notice. His job is to evaluate and treat student injuries and help to get them back to their sport as soon as possible. This includes having athletes come in before practices and games to get their feet or hands wrapped with athletic tape or to ice or heat previous injuries in order to avoid further damage when playing.This being said Cesar goes through a lot of athletic tape annually because of the large amount of athletes who need to be taped. About 25 cases of 32 rolls each means that around 800 rolls of athletic tape are used in the training room every year. The most common injury at North is a sprained ankle which usually results in the athlete having to get their ankle wrapped before participating again.

When asked what sport brings in the most injuries, Cesar responded almost immediately with football, although the worst injury he’s ever had to deal with was actually something that happened to a spectator. They were holding their dog on a leash and the dog started running away. The spectator lost 3 fingertips in the incident. If that sounds painful then you should hear about the weirdest athletic injury Cesar’s ever treated. One time during cross country practice on the track somebody had left metal bleachers in the middle of the lanes. Apparently some of the runners hadn’t noticed them and two students ran straight into them. Both needed stitches.

Over the 17 years Cesar has been an athletic trainer he has treated about 200 kids every year which means he has helped about 3,400 student athletes over the years. It’s funny because when he was in college he didn’t even want to be an athletic trainer. He wanted to coach a college soccer team, but after talking to other coaches realized that he’d probably end up at a small college and that wasn’t something he wanted. He had run through a couple different majors but at that point-his junior year-he had been working towards a physical education major. Looking at his options and being aware of the athletic trainers from the soccer team he decided that being an athletic trainer himself was something he would like to do. He began to volunteer in the training room after he was done playing soccer and he really enjoyed it. Cesar said that “the rest is history.”