Athletic trainer Rachel Mahoney works in her office near the main gym. She deals with physical paperwork for each athlete and helps athletes with both major and minor injuries. Photo by Sammie Seamon.
Athletic trainer Rachel Mahoney is a familiar and friendly face around Ann Richards. However, she is expecting a new baby, and will be on maternity leave around March 10th. She says that she expects to return either in May or August.
Ms. Mahoney began working at Ann Richards in November of 2014. She helps all of the athletes at Ann Richards take care of their sports-related injuries and health in general, manages paperwork, and attends meets and games. Taking this smaller job compared to bigger high schools is helping her out with her schedule, as she is expecting the new addition to her family.
“I think that’s part of the reason I took the job… at any other school that you work at, you’re working anywhere from 10 to 15 sports [a year], about 5 sports at a time, so it’s constant movement. And while that’s exciting, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to start a family,” Mahoney said. “And I knew I could not start a family if I was that busy, because one or the other would fall through, whether it was my job or my role as a potential mom. So I knew I needed to find a job, where I could still do what I loved but have time to have a family.”
While in college, she realized her desire to help younger people, like high school students, as opposed to professionals or otherwise.
“I got to do high school and college level [jobs], and working with college athletes, well it’s fun and it has it’s perks, but the reward isn’t there. There’s a lot more entitlement, there’s a huge sense of entitlement with college athletes, whereas high school kids are playing sports because they want to have fun and they love playing sports,” Mahoney said. “So when I got to work with high school kids in college, I realized that’s where the most joy is, the most reward out of your job.”
During her absence, trainer Greg Bauer will be filling the role. He has worked at Ann Richards in the past, and was actually the one to introduce Ms. Mahoney to the Ann Richards School.
“He is the sweetest old man, he just has a sense of humor, that’s what I tell everybody, his sense of humor is straight out of the seventies. But that’s okay, because y’all are the sweetest kids, and he knows that,” Mahoney said.
Ms. Mahoney thinks highly of the dedication of all of the athletes, despite only having five sports available here.
“We still have a lot of people who participate, and then the coaches are amazing; the way they are able to work with the girls here is pretty amazing, it’s not something you’d see anywhere else,” Mahoney said.
The coaches, in turn, also appreciate Ms. Mahoney for all of her hard work, and her dedication to the athletes.
“I feel like it has to be a lot, because she has to be at every activity that’s here. For example when there’s basketball games she’s here those nights, and soccer games here, she’s at those too, so I think it is a lot of hours, and that’s gotta be pretty tough,” coach Lora Tilson said. “I think it’s fantastic that she helps keep the kids healthy and safe and ready to play.”
As we all say good-bye, at least for a little while, she expresses her love for her job and her excitement to be back soon.
“I enjoyed here, overall, it’s so unique. I worked an event a couple weekends back in San Antonio, there was about eight athletic trainers there, and they all said ‘man, you have the best job ever.’ Like this is the job they’d want to come to when they were done working at their big schools. And I said, ‘Well, that’s too bad.. cause I took it.”