Seeley Wins Sports Med County Honor


Kelly Pien, News Editor

Future orthopedist Rebecca Seeley has won the Contra Costa County Sports Medicine Student of the Year award. A total of 4 recipients were selected from candidates nominated by high schools throughout the county. Seeley Qualified for the competition by earning the Campolindo Sports Medicine award.

“It’s really exciting,” Seeley said. “I’m an intro student, so this is my first year in sports med, and it’s just really nice to have been able to use my knowledge and talents to learn how to actually do things that are helpful.”

Seeley, a senior, is the first Intro Sports Medicine student from Campolindo to both compete for and win both awards. Campolindo’s previous 7 representatives were all members of the Advanced Sports Medicine course.

“In the past we’ve had a few kids who were interested but never really followed through,” said head athletic trainer and Sports Med teacher Ray Albiento of having an intro student represent the program.

According to Albiento, Campolindo students have won the award 6 out of the past 7 years, which is quite a testament to the quality of instruction students are receiving in the program.

“I stress the importance of practice, so we do a lot of practical labs where we’re doing the anatomical landmarks, manual muscle, stress tests. The practical portion I think is really important,” Albiento said.

According to Albiento, only senior students who have performed at least 100 internship hours and have a good grade in sports med were allowed to compete for the school award.

The school competition in March consisted of a “practical test,” where the 9 student competitors had to point out bony landmarks on a skeleton, body, and model. They also had to perform stress tests, manual muscle tests, first aid, and a tape job. Most of the material on the test was covered in the class, but for the few topics that were not (spine and shoulder injuries), competitors were able to practice in class and out of class 2 weeks before the test.

The county competition was judged by a committee comprised of county education administrators and representatives whose companies had donated money to the county Sports Medicine program.

Albiento wrote a letter of recommendation for Seeley, and Seeley had to write a short essay explaining how the ROP [Regional Occupational Program] has influenced her life. Seeley said that Sports Med “helped me come to the conclusion that I want to become an orthopedist or a orthopedic surgeon.”

“It makes becoming a doctor or becoming an athletic trainer much more of a tangible goal, versus something that you think about but are like, ‘I could never actually achieve this,’” Seeley added.

The winners were announced on April 15, and Seeley and the other winners will be honored at a ceremony in May.

Seeley came to Sports Med with what Albiento called a “great background.” She took Physiology last year, but didn’t have room in her schedule to take Sports Med.

“She was a physio student who did really well, so she already knew a lot of the anatomy,” Albiento said. “She catches on really quick, even with the hands-on stuff that we’re doing, like first aid and taping procedures, as well as actually performing stress tests and manual muscle tests. Pretty much I only have to explain to her why we do it and show her one time, and she can grasp it pretty well. She’s a quick learner. And she’s able to actually educate other students with certain procedures as well.”

Senior classmate Adam Remotto said, “She’s a first year, I’m a second year, and she’s already smarter than everyone in the class, so that proves a lot. She took physio last year, and sports med this year, so she has a lot of physio knowledge. She’s really smart.”

Seeley plans to go to Haverford College near Philadelphia to fulfill medical school prerequisites and major in either biology or chemistry, possibly with a concentration in physiology or human biology.

“I really like medicine and I’m kind of a hypochondriac, so it’s nice to be able to know how injuries work and how to fix them and how to help people,” Seeley said.

“I like being able to know what’s going on. I like having to be able to know a problem for what it is, not having to guess at it. I like being able to find causes for things. But then on the field, it’s nice to be able to feel like you’re able to make a difference. You get to help them immediately return to the game. And for football, it was nice to be right there, right in the action,” Seeley said.

The “coolest experience” Seeley has had in Sports Med was attending the football state championships as a member of the training team. There, her job included making sure players drank enough water to prevent them from passing out or getting cramps, and bringing glue to Albiento to help the trainer glue Remotto’s nose back together. “I was on TV. It was great,” Seeley said.