National Athletic Training Month (March): Hock Edition

Hockomock athletic trainers

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post from Canton Athletic Trainer Kristen Aguiar, who is currently serving as Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts Secondary Schools Committee Chair. National Athletic Training Month (NATM) is held every March in order to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers.

The Hockomock League leads the way in many aspects of athletics across the state of Massachusetts, and Athletic Training is of course one of them. There are currently 13 ATs across the 12 schools and we want to take this opportunity to highlight all of them and the amazing sports health care they provide to all of our athletes. March was National Athletic Training Month, so we are taking this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you, and educate you on what we can and do provide across the league.

Athletic Trainers are nationally certified through the BOC (Board of Certification) after completing an approved collegiate program. Many of us were in the Bachelor of Science model, but the profession has moved to a Master’s program model. We are required to also be licensed in the State of Massachusetts through the Department of Public Health. ATs are required to recertify every 2 years after completing 50 continuing education hours, as well as maintaining our ethical requirements and CPR/First Aid certification.

Athletic Trainers are highly educated healthcare professionals specifically trained in the prevention, examination, diagnosis, rehabilitation, and treatment of medical conditions, emergent and chronic injuries. We are recognized by the American Medical Association, the Health Resources Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services. In the State of Massachusetts, we are governed by the Department of Public Health, previously governed by the Board of Allied Health.

Within the Hockomock League, the ATs meet seasonally to discuss any current issues and update each other on current issues within their respective districts. We communicate on injuries as they happen so there is great continuity of care and no athlete is lost in the system. We share Emergency Action Plans, Concussion Care plans, and alert each other to potential high-risk situations in order to provide the best care possible to all of our athletes.

On a daily basis, the Hock ATs provide a wide variety of care. We work under the guidance of an MD who writes our standing orders. We can provide evaluations, treatments, rehab programs, and concussion care as well as creating emergency action plans and giving our coaching staff the best information to help our athletes succeed. Within the high school care system we are bound by both HIPPA and FERPA to protect the privacy of our athletes. ATs try to work closely with the entire care team for their athletes, MD, PA, NP, DO, PT, and others so that the continuity of care is maintained and the success of the athlete remains the primary goal. However, due to our licensure within the state, we can only accept clearance notes from MD. PA, DO, and NPs (under MD supervision) Thus for an athlete with a long-term injury we may ask for a note from the previously stated care team stating that the PT treating them on a more regular basis can clear the athlete when they are ready to return to sport.

Aaron Wolfe – Attleboro
Colorado Mesa University, BA Athletic Training and BA Exercise Science 2000
Aaron joined the Hock in the fall of 2023. Previously he spent 2 years at a high school in Tennessee, 2 years at a high school in Minnesota, 10 years as a Physician extender supporting 9 Orthopedic specialists, 6 years with Arthrex teaching surgeons medical device implant surgical procedures and total joint replacement, and 2 years with ATI Physical Therapy as CEIS for National Grid Overhead Lineman. Aaron is a former competitive/collegiate soccer and baseball player. He also competes as a triathlete.

Kristen Aguiar, MS, LAT, ATC – Canton
Springfield College, BS Athletic Training 2004
Ohio University, MS Athletic Administration 2012

Kristen graduated from Springfield College and was a 4-year member of the Women’s Soccer Program as a goalkeeper. Prior to her arrival 8 years ago in Canton, she worked at Bellingham High School. She has 7 state titles between the 2 schools–and those moments never get old. She loves the variety of working in a high school and seeing her athletes succeed on and off the playing surface. Kristen is currently the Chair of the Secondary Schools Committee for the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts (ATOM). Kristen and her husband are currently looking for a puppy to rescue since their beloved Widget went over the rainbow bridge this winter after 14 ¾ years of lovable pug life. An avid music lover- Kristen has seen Kenny Chesney at least once every summer he has come to Foxboro. Her favorite coffee blend is Beach Bum Espresso from 3 Fins Roasters in Dennis, MA.

Jen Edmunds, MS, LAT, ATC – Franklin
Wheaton College, BA Psychobiology 2003
Bridgewater State University-MS in Physical Education/Concentration in Athletic Training
TJ as she is more commonly referred to has been with the Panthers for 18 years. TJ has patrolled the sidelines of the Boston Garden and Fenway Park. She has also traveled with Wheaton Baseball to Arizona and Florida. TJ’s favorite moments are any time an athlete returns from an injury to compete again, as well as Franklin Baseball in the Super 8 in the pouring rain and the 2012 girls’ soccer state title! TJ is in a clinical outreach position through Milford Regional Hospital. She was a 5-time NCAA Champion in Track and Field (pole vault!!) while at Wheaton and is in their Athletic Hall of Fame. These days she is married to her college sweetheart, a mom of two aspiring Panthers, and has a dog named Tessie. TJ’s Starbucks order is a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew with foam.

Amy Leonard, LAT, ATC – Foxboro
Northeastern University, BS Athletic Training
Amy had the pleasure of being a student-athlete at Taunton where she was introduced to the profession by Kris [Coute]. She has been on the sidelines at Foxboro for many years now and is now sharing the responsibilities with Christine. Amy is currently the Clinical Supervisor of Athletic Training at Mass General Brigham as well. She uses her creative juices to produce wonderful keepsakes and decorations for her Etsy Shop.

Christine Dundon, LAT, ATC – Foxboro
Springfield College, BS Athletic Training 2019
Christine graduated from Springfield College. She is one of the “newer” additions to the Hock AT squad joining Amy at Foxboro. Christine was a student-athlete of Amy’s who has followed her footsteps into the profession. She was the first recipient of the Mass General Brigham Athletic Trainer All Star Award in the fall of 2022. Christine has also spent some time working at Tri-County High School in Franklin.

Adam Bennett, MS, LAT, ATC – King Philip
Bridgewater State University, BS Athletic Training 2014
Ohio University, MS Athletic Administration 2018

Adam has loved being part of many playoff runs, including four state championships, and getting to cover games at many different sporting venues around the state, making countless memories along the way with student-athletes has been the highlight of working at King Philip HS. Having a front-row seat to watching student-athletes live their athletic dreams while ensuring they have a healthy and safe experience is such a rewarding experience. Outside of working at KP, has had the opportunity to help with medical coverage at larger athletic events like the BAA 10K in Boston and the Finish at the 50 5K & 10K at Gillette Stadium. He also was a graduate of KP back in 2010. Adam shares a love of coffee with Kristen and TJ–and is constantly perfecting his brewing methods.

Emma Dunlea, LAT, ATC – Mansfield
University of New Hampshire, BS Athletic Training 2022
Emma is currently at Mansfield High School. She is contracted by Mass General Brigham. Emma is another Hock School product-having been a student-athlete at Sharon High School.

Ashley Desko, MS, LAT, ATC – Milford
Syracuse University, BS Health and Exercise Science 2019
Merrimack College, MS Athletic Training 2022

Ashley joined the Hock in the fall of 2022. During her time at Merrimack, she completed a rotation with Holy Cross football and they got to play at the brand-new Woo-Sox Stadium. Ashley has really enjoyed her time at Milford so far, especially football’s run to the final four in both 2022 and 2023, as well as Boys’ volleyball in 2023. She finds it very rewarding to hear of her students becoming interested in Athletic Training to follow in her footsteps and is honored that she has already impacted some enough that they mention her in their college application essays. Ashley is an identical twin who has a dog named Bogey (yes after the golf term!)

Jarrett Sorge, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS – North Attleboro
Bridgewater State University, BS in Athletic Training 2009
University of Connecticut, MS Kinesiology 2014

Jarrett joined North in 2022. One of his career highlights was receiving grant funding for a Student-Athlete Mental Health, Appearance, Performance Enhancing Drugs/Supplement Use Lecture series. Jarret is helping build the future of athletic trainers by continuing to be a preceptor for both undergraduate and graduate students for 10 years. He is married and has 2 children and a dog named Louie. Jarret is a former collegiate soccer player and an avid golfer in his free time.

Michelle Norman LAT, ATC – Oliver Ames
Merrimack College, BS Athletic Training 2015
Michelle joined the Hock this fall after spending a few years in the TVL with Norton High School. She is contracted by Mass General Brigham.

Tanya Gallagher LAT, ATC – Stoughton
Lasell University, BS in Athletic Training 2004
Tanya came to Stoughton in 2021 after many years at Dover Sherborn. She, like many of the Hock ATs, has had the pleasure of working on the Gillette Stadium sidelines. Tanya has enjoyed many successful teams over her career, no doubt in part due to her hard work. She is contracted by Mass General Brigham. Tanya is married with 2 sons. She loves the beach and vacationing on the beach. Tanya also enjoys hiking up in New Hampshire.

Kris Coute LAT, ATC, LMT – Taunton
Bridgewater State (College) University 1993, BS Athletic Training
Kris won the MSSADA Ando Athletic Trainer of the Year 2024 for all of her amazing contributions to Athletic Training over the past 31 years. It is no surprise that Taunton teams have won 13 state championships with her handling their sports medicine care- Baseball 2019, 2022, 2023, Boys Basketball 1997, and perennial power Softball- 1997, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023. When she is not hard at work-Kris’ happy place is her garden. She and her husband enjoy traveling and spending time with their large extended family. Kris has 4 brothers- 12 nieces and nephews and 1 grand-nephew. Joining the dog-loving squad as well she has a Cavalier King Charles named Tucker.

Lauren Serratorre, LAT, ATC – Taunton
Bridgewater State (College) University, BS Athletic Training
Lauren has been in the Hock for many years. While she was in college Lauren did an internship with the US Naval Academy where she worked with their legendary football program. Prior to diving into her AT career, Lauren coached Lacrosse at Anna Maria College. She then spent 5 years at Mansfield before having children. She then spent a few years working per diem at both Mansfield and Taunton. Kris and Lauren grew a great partnership and Taunton hired her on part time. That part time role grew and she is currently full time with the Tigers. In that time she has worked with 6 State Championship teams! Lauren will be taking a step back from AT at the conclusion of the school year to be on the sidelines for her own children’s events as they get older. However you may still see her occasionally filling in when it works for her schedule.

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Ryan Lanigan
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