Last fall, the Monticello High School football team won the 3A State Championship for the first time in school history. While the team immediately started celebrating its long sought-after victory, Kelly Harrington, ATC, began treating injured players and discussing plans of care with them. Harrington, a certified athletic trainer, is a big part of Monticello High School and works with nearly every sport the school offers.
*Photo credit: Mike Heiniger Photography
Carle's Sports Medicine team offers the finest in clinical treatment to prevent injury, recover from injury and find just the right method of training. Carle, which also has collegiate partnerships with Parkland College, Danville Area Community College and the University of Illinois, works with more than 20 area high schools.
The team provides strength and conditioning programs, physician evaluations, injury prevention, rehabilitation and education. This includes covering hundreds of sporting events to provide immediate emergency care and injury evaluation.
The most common injuries Harrington sees include collisions, contusions and concussions. She works with players to prevent these injuries, but when they occur she provides treatment and facilitates rehabilitation to help athletes return stronger.
“Part of it is confidence returning after an injury and the emotional toll after being injured,” Harrington said.
Harrington says the most challenging part of her job is juggling multiple sports – varsity football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, track and more.
“I want to give every student the attention they deserve,” Harrington said. “There’s one of me and a lot of them.”
One of the students Harrington works with, Riley Austin, is a senior on the football team.
“Working with Kelly was great because she was always there to help me figure out the countless injuries I always seemed to get,” Austin said. “She went above and beyond my expectations to always try and get me back on the field as fast as possible.”
Steven Sparenberg, DO, one of Harrington’s coworkers, described her as professional, hardworking and easy to work with. He detailed two of the most important duties she provides for the teams she works with.
“She does preseason screenings for baseline neurological assessment – that way if someone has a head injury or concussion we can compare. It is one of the markers that helps guide return to play.” Dr. Sparenberg said. “She is the first responder to an injury on the field or court of play. She evaluates the player, and determines what treatment and or follow-up is needed. ”
Call (217) 383-9500 for more information or to book a training session. Carle Sports Medicine offers free walk-in injury evaluation Monday – Thursday 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 4 – 6 p.m. and Friday 6:30 – 8:30 a.m.