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Erica Russell joins HVRHS with over a decade of experience as an athletic trainer. Photo submitted

HVRHS hires new athletic trainer

FALLS VILLAGE — A new face will be on the sideline of Mountaineer home games this year.

In a push to enhance athlete health and fitness, Housatonic Valley Regional High School has hired a new athletic trainer.

Erica Russell is set to begin in the role on Oct. 1. Russell joins HVRHS with over a decade of experience in the field.

“This will be my 14th year as an athletic trainer,” she said in a conversation with The Lakeville Journal on Aug. 30.

Athletic trainers specialize in prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions related to physical activity and sports. They work with students, coaches, and other staff to ensure the safety and well-being of student-athletes.

“We’re there as the first responder if someone does get hurt during a practice or game. We are also there for prevention, taking a look at any kind of hazards that might be out in the field or on the court,” she said.

Russell said ankle sprains are generally the most common injury in high school sports, along with muscle soreness and concussions.

“Surprisingly cheerleaders suffer a large number of concussions. People don’t realize that,” she said.

Originally from Bethlehem, Connecticut, Russell’s career has taken her to New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts. She recalled fond memories of growing up in the Northwest corner.

“I love the area. It’s a beautiful area. I remember driving by all the time going to Lime Rock growing up,” she said.

Russell will be on the sideline for HVRHS home games and said she looks forward to working closely with the teams.

“You can’t necessarily stop people from getting hurt, but we hope to have a successful year with very few injuries.”

Athletic Director Anne MacNeil said the HVRHS teams are looking forward to having the support of such an experienced professional available.

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