September 10, 2021

Remembering 9/11/2001…..

On this anniversary of the 9/11/2001 tragedy, there are many ceremonies and TV specials to commemorate the memory of those who lost their lives that day.  I am sure these are all fitting tributes, but these events do not come close to the living memorials in our hearts and minds.

The memory of that day is still vivid in my mind.  I first heard the news of the attack as I was driving into SLU on I-44.  I was working as the Head Athletic Trainer at Saint Louis University at the time.  Fall sports season was in full swing and I anticipated a busy day covering a volleyball match and serving the needs of the rest of the Billiken athletes who needed my care.

Because there was road construction on I-44, I was listening to KMOX on the drive into work that day.  I was listening to live coverage of Tiger Woods’ practice round at the PGA golf event taking place at Bellerive that week.  As I drove past the Laclede Station Road exit, the morning anchor on KMOX cut in to report a terrible accident in New York City.  They were still unsure of what was happening and I listened intently as I arrived at work and heard about the attack on the second tower, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

The Athletic Training Room had the only TV where Billiken athletes could watch the coverage in West Pine Gym.  Slowly the number of athletes and staff began to accumulate in the Athletic Training Room as the sad news of the tragedy unfolded.  Time stood still as we all sat in disbelief and silence.  Tears flowed freely as we called our friends and relatives to try to make sense of the incident.

Several of us were directly affected by the incident.  My brother Tim was in Manhattan, near ground zero on business that day.  Many of our athletes and staff had connections to people embedded in the tragedy.  Because the problems with communications, I did not hear from Tim until Wednesday and I remember my relief in hearing his voice!   

The volleyball match with Indiana that day was cancelled and our upcoming trip to Florida was also cancelled as airline travel was temporarily suspended.  FBI agents began to appear on our campus, as institutions with aviation programs were being investigated for possible leads on future attacks.

I barely slept that night waiting for Tim’s call as my family and I huddled watching the ongoing coverage of the aftermath.  My brother Tim finally made his way out of the New York City on Friday and rented a car in Newark, NJ which he drove to our home in St. Louis.  He arrived at about noon on Saturday tired and still reeling from the event he witnessed.  We totally lost track of time as we spent the day talking and crying about our feelings, relieved we had survived, but grieving for those that did not.

I traveled with volleyball on its first road trip to Dallas and Houston a few weeks later.  The airports were full of armed soldiers to maintain security.  For months afterwards we feared there would be another incident, but thankfully, there has not…..

Our lives have been irreversibly changed by those events in September 2001 and all of the things that came later as a result.  The greatest memorial we can provide those affected is to keep their memory alive in our hearts and minds, trying our best to serve others as a legacy to their sacrifice.

May God’s blessings be with you…

September 04, 2021

SLU AT Student Grows Confidence and Clinical Skills over Summer with SLU Men's Basketball

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Saint Louis University Billiken Athletics
By: Mason Cotterel (MAT Class of 2022)

I had an amazing experience during my time at Saint Louis University with Billiken Men’s Basketball. Not only getting to learn under a new preceptor but working with a different athlete population and in a different type of setting greatly impacted my development. Getting a lot more experience with modalities, hydration, nutrition, and taping gave me a lot more confidence in my own abilities as well as helped educate me on some of the differences in the treatment and care of athletes at the college level when compared to the high school level. 

Through experiences as well as conversations with my preceptor Jonathan Burch ATC; I learned how at the college level there is a different standard for not only the treatment and care of your athletes but for your professionalism as well. With college athletics you are there as early in the morning to as late in the evening. With you assigned team you are there throughout the day for whatever their schedule looks like and on the road with them for every away trip. Just as there is more of an investment from players, coaching staff, and the school in a team’s success, so too is there a greater investment in their health and it relies on the athletic trainers to help organize and coordinate this care for the athletes. 

I was inspired by my time at SLU, knowing that I hope to get into the world of college athletics with ambition and drive to not only work with sports that I love, but in a field and profession that I love as well. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.