Mr. Volger saves lives…or legs

By Shannon Garvey ‘21 and Faith Ilgner ‘22



Most athletes are familiar with the astounding support and medical treatment that the trainers provide each day for a multitude of sports. For the students who are unaware of what goes on in the training room, here is an inside scoop from lead trainer, Joe Vogler.

Indian Post: Is Unionville the first place you started working as a trainer?

Joseph Vogler: Prior to Unionville, I worked as an intern at a few places while I was an undergrad student. These internships included the New York Jets Training Camp, New York Yankees Minor League Team in Trenton, New Jersey, the Philadelphia Soul, a few local high schools, and sports teams at Rowan University. After graduation, I moved out to the Midwest and worked at Marshall High School, a rural school in Southern Illinois for two years while going to graduate school at Indiana State University. Ever since then, I’ve been here!   

IP: What time to you get to school every day? What time do you normally leave?

JV: On a normal school day, I get in around 11 or 12 depending on how much we have going on that day. I usually leave after all the practices and games are done for a given day (anywhere between 6:30 and 10). Weekends and holidays vary per season but are generally a few hours in the morning for practice and a few games or large events (XC invitational, wrestling tournaments). Summer preseason is its own animal and I’ll usually get here around 6AM and leave as late as 10PM, but luckily that is only one or two weeks of the year.

IP: What do you do during the day before the athletes come in?

JV: My day is pretty much split into two phases. Phase one is kind of my chance to catch up on everything that happened the day or night before. When I first get to school, I usually catch up on emails and phone calls with parents, doctors, and coaches. I’ll send injury reports to our coaches based on doctor’s notes that get turned into the main office and athlete’s progress the day before. I’ll also use this time to look at physicals in FamilyID, schedule ImPACTs, and do chores that help everything run smoother later (fill coolers, order supplies, stock our med kit, etc.)

I always try to check in with the following people at least once per day: Dr. Yucha (Team Physician), Mrs. Weaver (Athletics Office Manager), Mr. Crater (Supervisor of Athletics), and Mrs. Newbrough (School Nurse). Miss Laughman, Mrs. Walsh-Shell (Patton’s AT), and our West Chester University Athletic Training Students will also try to talk for a few minutes so that we are all on the same page about injuries when the after-school rush starts. Coaches will come in and out and call/text asking for updates on athletes. If students have study halls, last period senior privs, or are injured and can’t participate in PE, they will come in to do rehab during that time. A student from the TCHS Sports Medicine class also comes in some days and shadows during the last two periods.

IP: What is your routine when athletes start coming in?

JV: Once athletes start coming in after school, phase two of my day starts. During this time, our number one priority is acute injuries and emergencies. If we are lucky and none of those happen we try to get the athletes who are participating in games/practices (i.e. someone who needs to stretch, do a quick rehab, get taped) out as quickly as possible. After that it frees us up to evaluate any new injuries and work with some of our athletes doing long term rehab and those who are missing practice. Eventually either Miss Laughman or myself will go out to afternoon games and one of us will stay late for the night games.

IP: How many athletes do you assist/help on a normal day?

JV: It varies greatly by season, but on any given fall afternoon I would estimate that we see about 50-60 athletes. Obviously not all of these are for significant injuries, but little treatments to help keep them healthy and participating at their highest level on the field/court. These treatments add up: since fall sports start in August combined we have done almost 5000 treatments at the high school and seen almost 500 injuries.

IP: What is your favorite part about being a trainer?

JV: The number one thing I love about being an athletic trainer is seeing our athletes’ successes and being able to keep them healthy. It sounds cliché, but is still true that I chose to major in athletic training because it combined two things I wanted to do: work in the medical field and focus on sports. My job truly allows me to do both of those every day. One of the most rewarding things is seeing someone who was injured a few weeks ago, but worked hard to get back, compete and succeed on the court/field.

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