If you’ve been to any sporting event at Rocky Hill High School over the last five years there’s a really good chance you’ve seen Andrew Abraham.
Abraham has been the school’s athletic trainer since October of 2018, wearing multiple hats while helping provide safe and successful sports seasons.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the community,” Abraham said of his five years in Rocky Hill. “The people make the communities and I’ve worked with an incredible group of people here.”
Originally from Central Massachusetts, Abraham played ice hockey at Springfield College while obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from the college.
His passion for athletics and helping others dates back to his childhood where he was a multi-sport athlete and his mother worked as a physical therapist.
Abraham, an employee at Select Physical Therapy who is contracted by the school, has slowly seen his role in athletic arena change from a competitive one to a caring one.
“Since I was six years old I was trying to be the best athlete that I could be and now I am in the mode of helping 300 athletes at Rocky Hill,” he stated.
His journey at the high school has also come full circle, recently having one of the student athletes that he helped at RHHS graduate and pursue a degree in athletic training from Springfield College.
“I might be biased but I’d like to say it’s one of the best athletic training programs in the nation,” Abraham said of his alma
March was National Athletic Training Month and Abraham said the job is so much more than what people may think.
On a typical day, he arrives at the school in the afternoon to meet with the school nurse, Renee Garrahy, and athletic director, Joseph Horvath, before prepping for any treatments or questions that student athletes may have before heading out for competition.
“It is a really important profession that maybe isn’t understood or valued as much as it should be,” stated Abraham.
As an athletic trainer, Abraham must fill a variety of roles; from acute injuries to emergency situations and everything in between. They also work as a conduit between physicians, physical therapists, other medical personnel, and parents. They also teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid to coaches at the high school.
The importance of an athletic trainer was highlighted earlier this year when Demar Hamlin, a professional football player for the Buffalo Bills, suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field during a game in Cincinnati on Jan. 2. First responders on the field performed CPR and used other emergency treatments for 10 minutes before Hamlin was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
Following nine days in the hospital, Hamlin was released to rehabilitate at home and the medical personnel that gave him aid on the field have since been lauded for their immediate reactions and life-saving efforts.
Abraham admitted that the profession is a lot of watching sports, but stressed that an athletic trainer must be ready on a moment’s notice and that preparation is a key to responding quickly.
“We’d love to watch the games and never be needed,” said Abraham. “But I’m ready to go when students need me, whether it is a severe injury or minor injury, I have everything ready to go.”
With the spring sports season starting, Abraham is in the beginning stages of his final few months at Rocky Hill.
During the pandemic he received his Master of Science in Sports Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and was promoted by Selected Physical Therapy to an Area Director of Sports Medicine. He now oversees 40 athletic trainers from around 40 different schools, along with performing his normal athletic training duties with the Terriers’ sports teams. .
Following the conclusion of the spring season, he will begin to solely focus on his new gig and will be replaced by another
athletic trainer at RHHS.
Leaving the Terriers family will be bittersweet for Abraham, who said he has created many meaningful relationships, in and out of the profession.
He was married this past fall and he said the local community had a “big presence” in his wedding.
“It has been a second home for me since 2018,” Abraham said of Rocky Hill.
He noted that he will still be present in the community, overseeing the new athletic trainer as well as coaching and cheering on the Terriers.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin