New athletic trainer joins North

Within the sports at North, athletic trainers are an essential part of a daily routine, and the school just gained a new trainer to help out.

“I started after I graduated from Western Illinois. I was with Integra Hospital, but I was kind of just floating around wherever they needed me, sort of like a substitute. Then I found out there was a lot of openings through Athletico, and Grayslake North has a standing contract with them, so basically I had to apply through Athletico. Once I got hired, I filled in here for a couple weeks right after [we] lost [our] full time athletic trainer, and they liked my work the three or four weeks I was here, and they offered me a full-time position. So, I took it,” said athletic trainer Brandon Lofthouse.

Being an athletic trainer was something Lofthouse had been interested in before going into college due to his high school injuries.

“I decided to become an athletic trainer because of my extensive injury history in the past. I didn’t really have any pressing interests going into college for what I wanted to do as far careerwise goes, but when I was in high school, I had a lot of injuries that forced me to be in the training room more than I was actually on the field. Just naturally being in there and working with my high school athletic trainer a lot, I developed an interest in what he did on a day to day basis, how intelligent he was and just knowing everything about the human body. I thought it was really interesting, so I just ran with it,” Lofthouse said.

Lofthouse didn’t have a full time job before coming to North, so becoming an athletic trainer here was a very comforting experience for him, but there were also some concerns to go with it.

“A big concern I had was how I was going to develop relationships amongst co-workers, athletes in the school, doctors, and other people in the community. I wasn’t sure how naturally or how difficult those relationships were going to be built, but I came to find out, especially in a place like this, that everybody is pretty laid back and personable. Everyone did a great job making it easy on me as far as building those relationships. I realized I shouldn’t worry as much as I had about it; they kind of just naturally developed on their own. The difference with my previous jobs I had is because I was only floating around in those places, I never really got the opportunity to be comfortable anywhere else. It was one school one day and another one the next. I was kind of just getting thrown around in different places, and the difference with North is that once I came here, everyone
was very easy to talk to and the community seems really tight knit, and they just made me feel comfortable coming here and allowed me to have an easy, natural transition. All our students are extremely helpful, and everyone made it easy for me to be myself,” Lofthouse said.

Overall, athletic training is a very important role in the school for players, coaches, and the trainers themselves.

“The most important part of this job really is the gratifying feeling that you get when someone comes in here injured and sometimes unable to even put weight on their leg and being about to help them, rehab them, and seeing them get back on the field is a really great feeling knowing that you helped along that process of getting them back to feeling like themselves,” Lofthouse said.