Most of Northwood’s athletes have the luxury of playing their sport without thinking about the work that goes into fostering a healthy, well-equipped team. From treating a sprained ankle to supplying cold water to the thirsty athletes that come off of the football field, athletic trainer Andy Sepulveda is a valuable asset to Northwood’s athletics program.
Zarina Yunis and Megan Ta: Can you give a description of the work you do on a daily basis?
Andy Sepulveda: When the bell rings, I do a lot of preventatives, like taping athletes to get them out for practices. I also do a lot of evaluations of possible injured athletes. A bunch of kids also have rehab health plans that they might do, they will just run through their own exercises. Other than that, it’s more emergency management, so when someone does get hurt, they call me to go help them.
ZY and MT: What motivated you to become an athletic trainer?
AS: I won’t say my path was always the athletic trainer route. I always liked helping people, so I wanted something with a fast pace. I also like being there when someone’s hurt, knowing that I can help them. I also like this age group, which makes me laugh, and I’m kind of a sarcastic person so it fits me. Someone had suggested that I take a sports medicine class at Orange Coast College and I took a couple classes. I decided that that was more my speed rather than being cooped up in a classroom, and I like being part of sports and seeing multiple sports and all their aspects. I like seeing my students have fun.
ZY and MT: How has creating bonds with other teams, coaches and athletes impacted you?
AS: I never thought I would be at a high school for 20 years. I thought that I would stay here for a couple of years and then move on to something else, but I never thought I would be here for this long, and it truly is a family. The fact that there’s a handful of teachers and staff that I have been with since day one, especially even in the athletic world, it’s more than just a job. It’s a family.
ZY and MT: What is your fondest memory of your career at Northwood?
AS: It’s a tough question because I’ve had 20 years of fond memories. As much as I love all the sports, I have my favorites—football takes up a lot of my time. In 2005, football won the semifinals to advance to the finals, and we beat La Habra at an away game. We were all the way in the fourth quarter and down three touchdowns, but we scored three touchdowns to win the game in the last few minutes. A lot of the players were sick, worn out and injured, and having them overcome that to win the game was one of the biggest highlights for me. Beside the games themselves, I love getting to know students and being a part of the whole school. I love it when students graduate and come back and visit me and tell me how their lives have changed since high school.