GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF) – Grovetown High School prepares its students for the future and has plenty of programs to help them do just that.

One program that stands out is it’s sports medicine program.

“We work all year long to teach all things sports medicine to our students. So, I spend the first quarter teaching them how to assist our athletic trainer in anything emergency. So, we learn basic things like ankle taping, but then, we also learn emergency preparedness. So, they learn how to help in a emergency situation like a spine boarding incident, heat illness, concussion evaluation,” says Jessica Kirby, a teacher.

“Basically it’s an opportunity for kids to not only learn in the classroom, as far as sports medicine goes, but it’s actually an opportunity for them to come down and take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to a clinical setting on the field with our student athletes here at the school,” says Michael Payne, a Certified Athletic Trainer.

Jessica Kirby used to work for Doctors Hospital, and now she’s the program’s first athletic trainer.

“It gives them a hands on experience to see if this is a field they want to go into and even if sports medicine is not their field, but they want to go in to medicine, they’re going to have to know how to evaluate a patient and I teach them how to do that,” says Kirby.

“So, within the class they do a lot of emergency preparedness such as CPR, AED, and spine boarding. They also do more minor things such as wound care, taping, bracing, stretching,” says Payne.

The students love the program and understand that the knowledge that’s being provided can help them in plenty of different careers down the road.

“A lot of the kids that come to the sports medicine program, mainly if they want to do sports medicine or athletic training in the future, this is a great way to jump in to it and to learn a lot of the basic essentials that they’ll learn moving forward. But it’s also a good foundation for any kind of healthcare job or setting, in the fact that they’re learning to check vitals, and they’re basically getting introduced to a general knowledge of health care,” says Payne.

“I plan on going in to firefighting school, fresh out of high school, so honestly a lot of this will somewhat transfer over in basic EMT skills and basic life saving skills,” says Andrew Duncan, a Grovetown High School senior.

“Sports med is very hands on which I love about that. We get to learn a lot about what you get to do with the athletes and especially working with athletes hands on pretty great, too,” says Sophia Ortiz, a Grovetown High School senior.

The two seniors are glad that Grovetown High School has this kind program, and they hope other students interested in the field take advantage of it.

“It makes me feel great that I got the opportunity as well as the people in my class and people in the future will have the opportunity to do the things that we do in this class,” says Duncan.

“If you love sports [and] if you love doing hands on things, getting to know stretches, taping, anything like that, then you should definitely try because you will definitely fall in love with it,” says Ortiz.

The staff and the students love the sports medicine program, and they’re thankful for anyone that’s made it possible.

“Without Doctors Hospital we would not have this program, because I would not have been placed at Grovetown High School and without the leadership of Mr. Baker and our former athletic director and even our first head football coach, we would not have the facilities we have here and this program might not have gotten started,” says Kirby.