Sports

Athletic Trainer Amy Wiggins Reflects On 25 Year Career At Andover

D. Zhu/The Phillipian

Often found in the Borden Gym training room or at the rink, Amy Wiggins is in her 25th year as an athletic trainer and eighth year working at Andover. Wiggins has worked with a wide array of athletes, all with their own stories to share.
“I enjoy listening to all the stories the students tell me. They share an awful lot and I really enjoy listening to it all,” said Wiggins.

Wiggins helps students address their injuries, allowing students to continuing playing or return to playing despite physical setbacks. Wiggins values her role in athletes’ recoveries.

Wiggins said, “My favorite part about the job is definitely working with the high school age group population. I absolutely love working with high school students, and the best part about being a trainer is when an athlete is injured and wants to reach a goal and I am able to help them get there. It’s a pretty awesome feeling, and that’s what I really enjoy doing.”

As an athletic trainer, a large aspect of Wiggins’ job is attending various athletic competitions. Wiggins enjoys her involvement in teams and the opportunity to attend athletic events, especially with her background as a collegiate athlete.

Wiggins said, “My favorite sport in general is soccer. I’m passionate about the sport myself, so working with the soccer team is my favorite thing. I bring some new techniques and studies and ideas to those athletes. My favorite sport to watch is boys lacrosse, just because it is so fun to watch. I also have to say I love softball, because I played softball in college. When I was in high school, in the spring that was really the only sport they offered. I loved it, played for a few years in college, and then stopped to focus on my career.”

Wiggins admires fellow athletic trainer Cathy Berecki for the guidance she provided Wiggins in her early stages at Andover.

“Cathy Berecki is retiring this year, but when I came on to work at [Andover], Cathy was really crucial in helping me learn the ins and outs of [Andover]. She is an amazing person with an amazing personality to work with students. She instilled confidence and guidance in me, [and] was such a wonderful role model. We’ve both been women in athletic training, which used to be a predominantly male profession. This school would be a very different place without Cathy,” said Wiggins.

Transitioning into a similar role that Berecki held for Wiggins, Wiggins has welcomed coworker Devin O’Reilly into the training room.

Wiggins said, “This is my first year working with Mr. O’Reilly. There is a large age difference between us, and he brings a lot of young energy to the job, and I really enjoy that. He brings a lot of new things from his program at Merrimack. We work together really well. He’s really fun, smart, and a well educated athletic trainer.”

Looking ahead, Wiggins hopes to fuse technology and athletics together to form a more advanced workspace at Andover.

“Athletic training changes all the time. I see things that are out there and I want to bring those things to [Andover]. Technology and athletics are really coming together. I would like to bring more of that to [Andover], such as heart rate monitors and concussion rehab to name a few. This would bring students who have passions for technology and for sports together, and get them involved. That is a really big goal of mine,” said Wiggins.
Expanding beyond the scope of students, Wiggins is looking to expand technology so it becomes more accessible for the faculty as well.

“I would like to bring new exercise options into faculty, using technology that I previously mentioned. One example is being able to use instant replay in football, via computers, as a second set of eyes when someone took a really hard hit. That way, we can better assess them in the training room. There is just so much out there. It is really neat to see this information, and what coaches and trainers can do with it,” said Wiggins.