This fall Lincoln Academy athletes are playing safer, thanks to the school’s new athletic trainer, Megan DeRaps. DeRaps, who graduated with a 4-year athletic training degree from University of New England in May, joined the LA staff in the beginning of September.
DeRaps defines athletic training as “the prevention, treatment, management, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries.” She will be on campus every weekday afternoon and at all home games, assessing sports-related injuries, helping with rehabilitation, and evaluating athletes’ readiness to return to play.
As a teenager DeRaps thought she would go into pharmacy, since she has always wanted to help people in some way. But after job shadowing a pharmacist relative she says, “Counting pills was not for me. I have been an athlete since I was 4. Athletic training was a natural fit.”
DeRaps played high school soccer, basketball, and track in her home town of Richmond, Maine, and went on to play varsity basketball for UNE. How did she manage her academics, a varsity sport, and over 1100 clinical hours for her degree? “You get good at time management.”
The LA community is ready for this step. DeRaps explains, “Parents are happy that their kids are a little bit safer, athletes are happy they can get back in and play sooner, and coaches see it as a relief, because I will be making the decision about when a kid is fit to play. My goal is always to get athletes healthy as fast as possible so they can get back out there.”
Athletic Director KJ Anastasio agrees. “LA is thrilled to not only have an athletic trainer, but to have one the caliber of Megan. The process to get a full time trainer has been one that has spanned many years, with several obstacles to overcome along the way. I am excited for the athletes and coaches of LA to be able to reap the benefits that she will bring to our athletic program. Megan’s knowledge and her ability to relate to the student athlete makes her a wonderful addition.”
In addition to being an asset to LA athletes, having an athletic trainer on site for home games is courtesy that most schools already offer. “If a player from another school gets injured on our fields, it is important for us to be able to assess the injury and offer immediate attention,” says Anastasio.
“I am so happy to be here,” says DeRaps, who has a friendly smile sure to put nervous and injured athletes at ease. “The school atmosphere is great, it is a great town and a friendly community. So many people turn out for home games! I know I am going to like it here.”
LA athletes with questions about sports-related injuries can visit DeRaps’s training room downstairs in the gym starting at 2 pm on weekday afternoons.