Perrysburg woman gets kick out of job with soccer team
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor
Saturday, 15 December 2012 07:30
A love for people, sports and medicine has led Erika Spudie into athletic training.
|Erika Spudie on field at Columbus Crew Stadium (Photo provided)
And the Perrysburg resident and senior at Cedarville University recently got the taste of working with a professional sports team through an internship with the Columbus Crew, a Major League Soccer team.
"It was really awesome to get a different perspective of athletic training just from working at a D-II college to working with professional soccer players; working with a different athletic population,'' Spudie said about the five-month internship which ran from July to November. ''It was cool to talk and work with people in a different stage of life.''
With the Crew, Spudie was involved in all facets of the athletic health care for the team. She handled injury evaluations, treatment, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning components, and diet and nutrition.
During each day, she began by helping to prepare the team's facilities for practice. Once the players arrived, she helped the team's two athletic trainers with pregame treatments, taping, rehab and any injury evaluations. During practice, Spudie worked with the Crew staff to treat injuries and work through any necessary rehabilitation protocols.
"I was coming from working in an all Christian environment, a very sterile environment, and then going to the world of professional sports,'' Spudie said. "Granted MLS is nothing compared to NFL, but it's still a different environment.
''The guys were so personable and great and just respectful of me and allowed me to do what I needed to do and let me do day-to-day things,'' she added. ''They let me treat them before games, which was very surprising.''
The other aspect of the Crew experience Spudie enjoyed was being able to learn from the team doctors.
''We got to spend time talking with physicians and kind of collaborating with them and building off of their knowledge,'' Spudie said. ''Their team physician was around two or three times a week and I got to pick his brain and sit in on his evaluations.''
While working with the Crew, Spudie was still taking classes this fall at Cedarville and was making an hour long drive each way five or six times a week.
''It was rough, but I definitely didn't mind it at all,'' Spudie said about the daily grind. ''The team totally made it worth it.
''My parents (Bob and Annette) are awesome,'' she added. ''They are so supportive and they totally understand that doing 500 hours of clinical work a semester doesn't really allow me to have a part-time job.''
One of her highlights with the Crew came on Sept. 11 when the United States' men's national team played Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier at Crew Stadium.
''I was able to be there on a stretcher crew on the sidelines. That was a really good experience,'' Spudie said.
Spudie starting playing soccer in kindergarten and continued with the sport through her high school career at Toledo Christian.
''Just because of the nature of soccer, I sustained several injuries of my own and was kind of introduced to the profession of athletic training,'' Spudie said. ''I always wanted to go into the medical field, but kind of realized that med school wasn't for me.''
When looking for a college, Spudie was interested in a Christian school within three or four hours of home and Cedarville filled the bill.
Spudie has done a clinical rotation every semester at Cedarville and worked with the volleyball and track and field teams during her sophomore year.
''(In) doing your clinical rotations every semester, it really brings together what we have learned in the class room.'' Spudie said. ''It's good to learn something and get to apply that the very day that you learned it, so that's really a neat aspect of athletic training that I like.''
After graduating in May from Cedarville, Spudie is hoping to attend graduate school and earn a master's degree in athletic training.
''I'm not too picky,'' she said. ''I grew up here in Ohio so I would like to find myself in a different place; get away from home and grow up a little bit more.
''I would definitely like to stay with professional soccer. If that doesn't work out I would like to work at a D-I university. I like the competition level.''