On this week’s edition of Inside the Medial Bag, we have Erin Roca. Of all the wonderful trainers John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital provides the LHSHL, I have probably spent the most time with Erin! The two of us alongside our scorekeeping pal Stan, would hold it down every Friday night at TBSA for pretty much the entire high school season. Not to mention she worked countless JV jamborees. It’s fairly safe to say that some of the best hockey and most memorable moments I have for my first year being a part of the LHSHL, Erin was more than likely sitting next to me. We got to see East Lake and Steinbrenner go toe to toe, Berkeley tie River Ridge with less than one second left on the clock, and of course the Lightning Cup Final at Amalie Arena.
“I was born in San Diego. I moved to Tampa when I was younger and graduated from Tampa Catholic. From there I went on to the University of Florida (go gators) where I got my undergraduate degree in Athletic Training and after I walked across the stage in Gainesville, I got right back in the classroom and received my master’s in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.”
Not all of us are able to become what we wanted to be when we were younger. I wanted to be a professional athlete, spoiler alert... that didn’t happen. Erin is one of the lucky ones. She knew what she wanted to do for her career and made that dream a reality. “I actually wanted to be an athletic trainer when I was a kid. I also wanted to be the first woman president of the United States.”
Erin became passionate about a potential career in athletic training in tenth grade when she went to a Lightning game where they were taking on the New Jersey Devils. “During the game, Pavel Kubina took a slapshot and hit Scott Stevens of the Devils right in the ear and let’s just say there was blood everywhere. While some can’t stand the sight of blood, I couldn’t look away. He got 15 stitches in total and from that moment, I knew I wanted to be an athletic trainer. I liked the fact that there was a career path that led to keeping athletes on the field or in this case, on the ice.” Her credentials go as follows:
Her path to John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital was simple, “I needed a job.” The opportunity presented itself and she took full advantage of it. Fast forward to present day and she has been a part of JHACH for seven years this summer which means she has been a part of the LHSHL since the beginning.
“The most memorable game for me so far was about two seasons ago when Mitchell and River Ridge squared off. The two teams just went back and forth all night. A close second would have been both times this past season when Steinbrenner and East Lake played. Those two are rivals.”
As for on the job life, Erin has some tips for all of the hockey players out there that seem or sound obvious but need to be heard. “Wear your equipment properly. It might appear to be cool to take the padding out of your gloves or wear the chinstrap a different way. It’s not. All you are doing is setting yourself up for getting injured. At the same time, listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right. Say something. Also, keep your stick down.”
Most Used item in the bag: Gauze and Tape
Worst Injury Experienced Live: Bilateral compartment syndrome
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