Sports are a big part of Franklin’s community, from the homecoming football game, to Powder Puff, to golf, and swimming. But when these athletes get injured, there’s one crucial person they go to: Stephanie Lyda, Franklin’s athletic trainer.
Lyda has held the title of athletic trainer since 2014, and is in her second year at Franklin. Before Franklin, Lyda worked at a physical therapy clinic in Lake Oswego. Enthusiastic about the new facilities, Lyda appreciates the location of the training room, which is directly across from the field on the basement level of the gym building. The shelves and drawers are full of physical therapy equipment, including braces, bands, and tape. Lining the walls are exam tables where players are treated and diagnosed. There’s a stationary bike, exercise balls, and boards to aid athletes in their injury recovery.
Lyda grew up playing sports and was very interested in working in the medical field, so becoming an athletic trainer was a natural career choice. “I get to hang out with high schoolers who are awesome and super fun, and I get to watch sports and then help [those] who get injured feel better,” says Lyda. She says her favorite sport to treat is soccer because she loves watching the game. “I appreciate the athleticism and I feel like the injuries are not as catastrophic.” She adds, “I like almost every sport I cover, there isn’t one I really don’t like.”
Prioritizing time is one of the challenges that comes with being an athletic trainer. Often staying until 8:30 or 9pm, Lyda ensures that all athletes are treated and cared for. “Realizing I’m one person, and there’s only so much I can do with each athlete… The volume and number of athletes I need to see while also getting out to games can be challenging.” Lyda also attends away games, ensuring Franklin’s health at home and across Portland.
As for the worst injury Lyda has ever treated, a dislocated and fractured ankle took the prize. “It wasn’t bloody, but when I looked at the x-ray, the bone almost could’ve been sticking out of the skin,” details Lyda.
Franklin also has a sports medicine clinic class in which students attend games and help out in the training room to learn and receive hands-on experience from Lyda in the medical field. Nora Harbison (12), a former clinic student, says “I liked doing clinic because it gave me a more hands-on way to learn, and [gain] exposure to actual injuries and how they are treated.” Just like Lyda, clinic students often stay late to assist at sports games. “They get to see the process of injury evaluation,” says Lyda. Clinic students are also able to watch the process of assesing whether or not an athlete is able to continuine play, the return-to-play process, and how different injuries are treated, “which I think is really cool because even if they don’t want to do athletic training, say they’re interested in another medical field, they still can understand what it’s like here when patients return from injury,” says Lyda.
Julia Povich (12), center back for the varsity soccer team, says “[Lyda] has been a great addition to our school. Ever since she arrived she’s been a fan favorite throughout athletics.” Povich appreciates how invested Lyda is in helping the athletes, no matter the size of the injury. “Most of us, especially the soccer team, have discovered that her office is a fun and safe place where we can go to do our exercises or just hang out before practice.”
Lyda is an instrumental part of the Franklin sports program, and continues to provide helpful support to athletes and students alike.