Wildcats welcome new athletic trainer

Meghan Wilkinson joined the WJ community this year to be the new athletic trainer. “[I like] helping people and making athletes feel better and being able to perform quicker than they would if they didn’t have something to help them,” Wilkinson said.

Photo Courtesy of WJ Athletics

Meghan Wilkinson joined the WJ community this year to be the new athletic trainer. “[I like] helping people and making athletes feel better and being able to perform quicker than they would if they didn’t have something to help them,” Wilkinson said.

This year, the WJ athletics team welcomed its newest member; athletic trainer Meghan Wilkinson. After former trainer Brittney Wagner left, Wilkinson took over this essential role for the Wildcats. Wilkinson grew up in Montgomery County graduating from Gaithersburg High School. She then went to Miami University of Ohio where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training and Exercise Science.

“I’ve been an athletic trainer for almost twenty years now. I’ve worked in DII settings (Wheeling Jesuit University) with college athletes. I worked in New York with physical therapy companies and outreach to high schools. Through MedStar, I was part of the pilot program with MedStar and Montgomery County ten years ago. I was at Blake High School initially, then I was at Blair High School for four and half to five years, then I went to professional rugby (Old Glory DC),” Wilkinson said.

The MedStar pilot program that she was a part of started the use of athletic trainers in Montgomery County with every school in the county now having an athletic trainer through MedStar. Before the program began, most if not all schools in the county did not have athletic trainers.

“Just being a part of the county itself has been very rewarding. Especially seeing the program grow when initially when we started the program ten years ago we only had six schools the first year. We were kinda behind the times like when I worked in New York, all of those schools had athletic trainers. When I went to college in Ohio, and entered the athletic training program, where I knew nothing about athletic training because…we didn’t have them at our high schools,” Wilkinson said.

Injuries have always been a major concern for all sports as they occur fairly often. With so many student-athletes at WJ, being able to keep athletes on the field is vital to having a successful program.

“We are always concerned about injuries so having someone who knows how to treat injuries instantly makes a huge difference. Also, it just helps the confidence of your team to know that they’re going to be taken care of if they do happen to have an injury. Not only can she treat the injuries but she can develop recovery protocols for whatever the injury is, whatever the situation is, she can make it so they will recover as fast as possible,” athletic director Tom Rogers said.

In just the first month back to school, Wilkinson is already making an impact on the healthy habits of WJ athletes.

“I’m definitely going to stretch more often,” JV safety Zein Saleh said, “and drink more water,” JV quarterback/outside linebacker Jake Forburger added. Both of them have recently suffered from muscle tightness.

Staying healthy over the course of an entire season can be difficult, but with some effort and guidance it can be done so that players can have peak performance.

“Get on a good stretching routine. As tedious, timely, and boring as it is, it really does help,” Wilkinson said.

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