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Enid’s Kayla Dickson and Julie Baggett – Trainer Spotlight Presented by Stillwater Women’s Clinic

By Jay Hoberecht

A certified athletic trainer is a health care professional who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating muscle and bone injuries related to physical activity.

Enid High School has two certified athletic trainers, Kayla Dickson and Julie Baggett.  Each one makes a difference in all the Pacer and Plainsmen athletic programs    

Julie Baggett has been an ATC (Athletic Trainer Certified) for 22 years.  She first got interested in sports medicine after learning about her cousin being in an athletic training internship at UCO.  Julie got involved and graduated from UCO in two years.  She went to work at Integris Bass Hospital amassing over 1500 hours under doctor supervision and passed her board certification.  In 2006, Julie became the ATC at Northern Oklahoma College-Enid.  She worked there until 2023 when she moved to Enid High School.   

Kayla Dickson was an athlete at Northern Oklahoma College-Enid playing volleyball and got interested in what Julie was doing with her life.  One thing led to another and Kayla went to Southwestern and earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees.  She passed her board certification test and became an athletic trainer at Enid High in 2013.

Both trainers work under the supervision of Dr. Ned Fike, local orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician.  Dr. Fike attends most home football games.  I talked with Dr. Fike about is involvement with the EHS trainers.  “They are excellent,” Dr. Fike commented.  He went on to say, “They are always well-informed and have the respect of the coaches.”  He knows they do so many things to protect and help student-athletes to return to play.  He is willing to work closely with them when he is needed.  

Football is a violent game and creates the most injuries in a season.  I talked to EHS head football coach Cameron Condor about working with the trainers.  He had nothing but good things to say about working with both Kayla and Julie.  He is impressed with the professional way they handle so many things.  Not just care and safety for the athletes but things like heat, field temperatures, weather and their student trainer staff.  Coach Condor called it “a blessing” to have highly qualified athletic trainers as part of the athletic department at Enid High. 

So, what’s the hard part of athletic training?  Both ladies said the paperwork.  Registering athletes daily, keeping careful notes about injuries and rehab progress.  Trainers provide injury prevention education to parents, coaches and athletes.  But, as we talked, they mentioned the responsibility they feel without having much authority, the amount of time involved with the job and working with young student-athletes that don’t follow-up with rehab.

What’s the best part?  That brought a smile to their faces when they talked about successfully working with a student-athlete to rehab an injury and get them back in the game quickly and safely as possible.  Successful athletic trainers develop a relationship with student-athletes that allow them to encourage them, care for them and get them back to the game they love to play.  Sometimes, the athletic trainer is the only person supporting the best interest of the athlete.  They, also, talked about having former students or athletes stopping by to touch base with them.

Athletic trainers can be such a positive influence for high school athletic programs.  They serve as advocates for the safety and wellness of all student-athletes.  The next time you go to a high school game, stop and say “thanks” to the athletic trainers for caring for your student-athlete plus hundreds of other things they do along the way. 

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