Every athletic program depends on its players to be healthy in order to be successful. At Anthony High School, the Wildcats’ medical team behind the scenes is better than anyone in the country at keeping its athletes on the field.
At the end of the school year, Anthony’s athletic training program was crowned national champions by the AACI. It’s the Wildcats’ second top-three finish since 2016.
“It means a lot. I’m very proud of the kids. I couldn’t express how proud I am enough,” Anthony head athletic trainer Ben Snyder said.
It was a dream the Wildcats held all year.
“From the beginning of the year we would always tell each other that we were going to win nationals, that we were going to take it because this was our last year as a full team,” said junior Amber Burciaga.
The qualifying process is lengthy. It starts with a 300 question written test. The Wildcats advanced five trainers from there to a regional event in Los Angeles, which was followed by a practicum on Skype, where the competitors had to demonstrate their abilities to a judge. A few weeks later, the results returned with Anthony on top.
“They did a lot of the every day stuff in the class and in the practical class, and then a lot of them stayed after school. We would always stay for the practices and the games,” Snyder said.
Snyder said all 14 students in the program have a chance at careers in the medical field. The program has earned the respect of their fellow Wildcats.
“The kids aren’t afraid to ask us questions and they aren’t afraid to come up to us if something is wrong,” senior Isaiah Garnica said.
“I think it gave us a really good reputation. I think that’s what we needed. People know that we actually know what we’re doing and we’re not just over here messing around,” said senior Jazmine Bustillos.