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Taft Today

Taft Today

Taft’s One and Only Sports Trainer

Courtesy+of+reporter.
Courtesy of reporter.

Taft has a significant number of sports and clubs throughout the school year. Football, Cheer, Baseball, Basketball, Rugby, Poms, the list goes on. From this, comes immense amounts of injuries everyday. But who’s there to help the athletes?

Matt Eifert’s official title is the Head Athletic Trainer. Taft has two campuses, and Eifert is presently managing them alone. Sports Medicine is one of his specialties. He also monitors games, ensuring players’ safety, treats injuries sustained by students, develops injury prevention programs, and more

Eifertis located in the trainer’s room next to the weight room in Taft High School. Despite having such a big room, you’ll be shocked at how packed it gets. He’s constantly doing something to help those who are injured or those who want recovery guidance for an upcoming sports event or future recommendations.

Since many kids play sports both inside and outside of school, a trainer is necessary to monitor any injuries and provide assistance with headaches, pain, stretching, and so on. Students  call him “Matt the trainer.” This man is an expert in his field! 

When players are injured, Taft’s  trainer isn’t the type to get them on the field with some ice. He evaluates their injury and suggests the athlete to visit a doctor for certainty. He isn’t going to throw players back on the field because of a coach’s orders, he wants to make sure the player is safe and healthy, more importantly cautious of the injury. 

Many students have a great bond with him. Eifert explained, “Kids that come into my office even when they’re not injured just to kind of ask about how my day was and to talk about their own kind of ups and downs”

Being an independent individual, Taft is seeking additional support. Eifert works with 15 to 20 students per day, depending on the time of year and the state of the injuries. He has seen about 25 percent of the student body during the course of the school year.  To be dealing with this many teenagers is a lot for one man. 

He’s known for being a cool, well-respected guy, due to the help he greatly contributes to at Taft. Along with someone to look up to, Eifert has been a positive mentor towards all his athletes.

Lina Aburukbah, Rugby player, claimed, “He keeps our teams together, he tapes us up, keeps us healthy, and going,”  along with, “He hears me out about my day, gets me through rugby, and gives some of the best advice.” Even though Eifertis here for a job he’s also here building relationships with students and gaining trust.

Another student, John Pavlakis, known as “JP,” Football player at Taft, suffered from a dislocated shoulder multiple times. Eifert understood how much he wanted to play but had to make sure he was healthy. So he did his best to create that middle ground between recovery and performance. 

Eiferttruly cares for students’ health when it comes to injuries. He claimed, “It’s the safety of the players, I do have a weird intersection with, you know, sports competition, performance and healthcare but at the end of the day it’s going to be the students’ health that kind of comes first and foremost.”

Pavlakis’s words for Eifert Were, “Just let Matt know I love him.” 

Aburukbah’s words for Eifert Were, “Thank you for all you do, we truly do appreciate you.”

The most important thing to understand about his position is that he’s only one. With all the students coming in for assistance there is only one man taking care of the job. It’s incredible how much one person is so needed throughout the sports community at Taft.

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About the Contributor
Alani Perez, Reporter