STORY BY LARISSA SAMANO, SPORTS EDITOR
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAUREN VILLAR
Cypress College carries one of the best junior college athletic training facilities by virtue of sufficient funding for the athletic programs.
Nicolette Marinello and Rachael Kirkpatrick are co-head athletic trainers for the facility and have been a part of the Charger family since Fall 2021. Both receiving their Bachelors from the University of Chapman, they round out the extensive sports medicine team that Cypress offers.
When asked what separates Cypress’s athletic training facility from the rest, Marinello said, “The biggest difference between the training facility at Cypress and other JuCos is our team. We bring in a wide range of specialists such as team physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, a dentist, dietitian, sports psychologists, and mental health counselors.”
The funding provided not only allows for more staffing to help athletes, but state of the art technology does so as well.
Kirkpatrick said, “We have a lot of modalities that other programs don’t typically have which also comes with the funding…so we are very fortunate in that aspect.” Marinello added, “We have way more updated machines than a lot of different places such as laser therapy, radio pulse wave therapy, hot and cold compression, and we do it all based on the athletes schedule.”
Each athlete that comes to them is different. Situations range from the sport, to severity of injury, and to season. With Cypress’s athletic program holding 250 plus athletes, they create a very personalized process of recovery for every athlete to ensure their success mentally and physically.
Kirkpatrick said, “It’s really nice to have different perspectives and specialties to be able to apply to a specific patient with a specific injury.”
Marinello and Kirkpatrick love their jobs because they know they are making a difference in athletes’ lives. Marinello said, “In the end, they are goal driven and motivated to get back to their sport so it’s very fun to work with athletes that are very competitive and want to get back.” Kirkpatrick added, “There’s a really great culture and overall [the athletes] are very kind, respectful and genuine, and not just with [their] teammates, but especially [in the trainer’s room].”
It is important for an athlete to take care of their bodies to ensure safety and allow them to play at their highest possible potential. The athletic trainers at Cypress College have gained the trust of Charger athletes and have formed an athletic family.