CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We love highlighting our student athletes in the Coastal Bend, but what about the people who help these players reach their potential. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi recognizes these important staff members in March for National Athletic Training month.
"We're there every single practice, every single treatment session and then if somebody gets hurt we are right there on the scene," Ashley Armbruster, TAMU-CC Associate Head Athletic Trainer, said.
Athletic trainers are the hidden heroes left off the roster, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Ashley Armbruster appreciates the process.
"We had a girl tear her ACL last year. We worked really hard the entire off-season to get her back. The minute that she scored her first three and it was at home and I almost cried because I knew how much work she put into it."
The Islanders have eight full-time athletic trainers on staff who are not only helping the teams, but also TAMU-CC's Masters Program that is on year two. Allison Brombach, a student in the second year cohort, has learned a lot from the immersive, hands on training.
"It's a completely different ballgame when you're in a situation where I have to do this in real time," Allison Brombach, TAMU-CC Masters Student in Athletic Training, said. "Somebody needs me and I don't have time to go through it like I'm in school."
"They're learning to give stitches, sutures. They're learning how to give IV's," Armbruster said. "Those were things that even I wasn't taught and I wasn't in school that long ago."
While many high schools in Texas have trainers other states and middle schools are not as fortunate.
"I think that it's been a very important push for us to say there are kids collapsing on the sidelines at high schools and there is nobody there," Armbruster said.
For example, look at the NFL this past season. Bill's Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and his heartbeat was restored on the field.
"Having an athletic trainer there who can make an emergency action plan can help take you through that process and try and save a life that maybe otherwise would not have been," Armbruster said.