The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

New Athletic Trainer

This year, LASA hired athletic trainer Calvin Ta to support LASA’s ever-growing number of athletes. Having graduated with a master’s degree in athletic training from Texas Tech University, the Houston native is eager to apply his knowledge and new ideas to LASA’s sports medicine program.

Being an athletic trainer is Ta’s passion. As an athletic trainer, Ta does his best to help students in LASA athletics to succeed. He corrects athletes’ forms and teaches them stretches and exercises to heal or prevent major injuries. 

“I can prevent student’s injuries, correct their forms during weightlifting and… teach athletes forms that make their performance better,” Ta said. “I can’t say it was enough to have us win every single game, but I’m trying to help in a way I think I can impact LASA.”

Sue Torres, known by LASA athletes as ‘Doc’, is the other athletic trainer at LASA. Torres has been a high school Sports Medicine teacher at LASA for over 15 years and has gained valuable knowledge and experience over her years. One of her primary duties as an athletic trainer is to treat sports injuries immediately, even in the middle of games.

“If you watch a sporting event, and someone gets hurt, and somebody runs out there, those are athletic trainers,” Torres said. “We take care of them in the acute phase. And sometimes that involves emergency care … like Damar Hamlin when he went down, an athletic trainer was one of the first ones to him and started doing CPR. That was an athletic trainer, so we do emergency care. And then after the emergency part of it, we do rehab and treatment just like a physical therapist.”

Ta went to a magnet school himself and understands LASA’s academic culture, recognizing the amount of school work students receive. His awareness of what students are typically stressing about allows Ta to better connect with the student athletes he serves.

“I actually used to go to a magnet school in Houston,” Ta said. “So I understand how the pre-AP and AP courses go, and the struggles of trying to get into top-tier high-ranking and prestigious colleges.”

In the same way Ta feels he can act as a guide for magnet student athletes based on his expertise, Ta feels that Torres is a great mentor to him. Because of Torres’s vast expertise, Ta feels grateful to work with her. 

“I think she’s great,” Ta said. “[She is a] great resource to have, especially with so many years under her belt, whether it be at this school in AISD, or from the collegiate experience that she has, and even military experience, she’s a great resource. And I am glad to have been picked by LASA because of her, just because of that.”

Being an athletic trainer has been a large part of Torres’s life. She has struggled with the amount of athletes she has to take care of in the past, but says that Ta will lighten the workload for her. 

“Athletic trainers have long hours, that’s part of being an athletic trainer, that’s part of the course,” said Torres. “But now we’ve got Calvin, so that makes the whole lot nicer.”

Athletic trainers attend sports games that often run late into the evening. In addition to helping Torres with the long hours, he is also helping more students out like junior Abby Aardema, a LASA volleyball and softball player. 

“Prior to this year, Torres was outside helping with football during our practices, which made it hard when injuries came up,” Aardema said. “Since Coach Ta is here, he is able to help us with injuries in volleyball. This past year, both Coach Torres and Coach Ta have helped me with my injuries. They have kept me accountable and have also given me the resources to do rehab for my injury and also be educated on my injury.”

Torres also agrees that Ta will impact LASA in a good way. She thinks that Ta can bring new and original ideas to LASA and prevent athletes from getting injured. 

“It’s fun and he is young, so he’s bringing fresh ideas,” Torres said. “I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I worked at the college level for 15 years before I came here. He’s a year out of grad school, so he’s got professional ideas.”

Aardema is a student in the Sports Medicine class and she says that she is learning a lot from Ta. She thinks that Ta is a great teacher and is knowledgeable about the recovery process for injuries.

“Coach Ta has been extremely helpful, not only for all the different sports, but for the class itself,” Aardema said. “…In the class, he has provided new modern research about certain modalities or exercises. For example, he has been teaching us the new research on the effects of ice and it has really helped us understand why we do certain modalities.”

Through the time Ta has worked here, he’s managed to improve the health of many student athletes and prevent injuries that could affect sports careers. Although Ta is only just starting his first year as a Raptor athletic trainer, he already feels at home at LASA.

“I like the community,” Ta said. “It feels like I’m being supported as well, especially from other faculty, but also through people and coaches.”

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