CHS trainer helps athletes heal after sports injuries

By Hannah Yasharoff, Staff Writer

Junior basketball player Bryan Strittmatter exits the athletic training room with both ankles taped up. His ankle injuries were affecting his game, but thanks to CHS trainer Gabrielle Haubenstricker, he is recovering and can continue to play.

Haubenstricker is employed by ATI Sports Medicine, a private company that provides athletic trainers for professional, collegiate and high school sports teams. She was hired by MCPS to provide physical therapy services at CHS and Einstein High School and is certified in injury management and assessment, injury prevention, immediate emergency care and rehabilitation of injuries.

“I took a sports medicine class that introduced all the different types of jobs in the field,” Haubenstricker said. “I automatically gravitated towards athletic training. Not only could I help people, but those people would be athletes.”

According to athletic director Scott Rivinius, having access to a trainer creates huge benefits for CHS teams.

“Our trainer provides a resource to our athletes and coaches on injury prevention, diagnosis assistance and recovery,” Scott Rivinius said. “It is very helpful to have an expert on site for practices and games in case of an injury or illness.”

Haubenstricker became a trainer as a way to remain involved in sports after she graduated high school. She majored in athletic training at Towson University.

“I played volleyball, softball, ran track and bowled in high school,” Haubenstricker said. “I wasn’t going to be able to go far with volleyball as far as a career, but I knew I wanted to stay around the athletic atmosphere.”

According to Rivinius, CHS has never employed a full-time trainer, but this year’s concussion safety initiative in MCPS required outside assistance to administer concussion Impact Baseline Testing. ATI, the company that provided this assistance, also chose to provide trainers to a select number of schools, one of which was CHS.

In addition to helping all of CHS’s sports teams, Haubenstricker also offers help to all CHS students. She can be found in the athletic training room near the lower gym during after school hours.

“I’m either there Tuesday and Thursday or Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Haubenstricker said.

Junior basketball player Bryan Strittmatter has received help from Haubenstricker concerning several ankle injuries from both football and basketball. She gave him ankle-strengthening exercises and tapes his ankles for games.

“My ankles would still be in pain right now if it wasn’t for her,” Strittmatter said. “She has helped tremendously with my recovery.”

According to Haubenstricker, the best part of being a trainer is being able to help athletes succeed in their athletic careers.

“Ultimately, I just want to be able to help people,” Haubenstricker said. “I don’t know where the future may take me, but I do know it will involve helping others.”