Trainer leaves to accept new post

Amy Boldt
Jared Donley keeps an eye on his Summit participants during a summer 2009 session.

An opportunity to be closer to family was just something Jared Donley couldn’t pass up as he prepares to leave Geneseo after a two year stint working for Hammond-Henry?Hospital and as athletic trainer for Geneseo High School athletics.

“We’re moving to be closer to family,” said Donley. “My new post will be 20 minutes from where my wife grew up and 30 minutes from where I grew up.”

Donley has accepted a position in the same type of setting he said at Gibson City Area Hospital and will be the athletic trainer for Blue Ridge High School in Farmer City.

Donley came to Geneseo in the Fall of 2007 and took over as athletic trainer for the high school.

“The community was very welcoming,” said Donley. “For the first two weeks I was here I was with Todd Ehlert and he got me oriented and it was a very smooth transition.”

Before arriving in Geneseo, Donley worked as a physical therapy aid at Champion Fitness, which moved into a full time position.

“I am going to miss the great staff at Hammond-Henry?Hospital because I made a lot of good friends and the facilities are phenomenal,” said Donley. “I have also become close with athletes here.

“It has been fun to be a part of Geneseo tradition as far as football and a lot of the other teams had success as well.”

His Geneseo post was his first job as an athletic trainer and Donley said he learned a lot about the profession and how to communicate with players, coaches and the staff.

While at Hammond-Henry Hospital, Donley worked in the clinic and visited Annawan and Cambridge once a week, but he was most visible in Geneseo at games and practices and at the Summit.

Donley stated one of the most important parts of his job is preventing injuries and educating parents and kids on how to help themselves.

“Kids have the first line of defense to help prevent injuries,” said Donley. “The most common injury I see is a lot of overuse. The kids’ body mechanics aren’t correct and there are things that can be prevented through stretching.”

With any sport, the risk of serious injury is always in the back of Donley’s mind, but luckily enough he hasn’t had to put that training into action.

“The most severe injuries have been radial fractures or torn ACLs, which is the most severe as far as rehab,” said Donley. “Rehab for an ACL is six months, where we work on range of motion and strengthening.

“I’ve had minor concussions and had one neck injury to deal with in the winter of 2007. The biggest thing is to stay calm and then your skills and education just take over.”

When Donley heads out to tend to an injured player he said the first instinct is to check for head and neck injuries, then he moves on to the bones and joints and if Donley feels it is safe to move them, he does.

“I?have learned more through on the job training than I did in school,” said Donley, who attended Monmouth College then Illinois State University. “With all the staff at Hammond-Henry, you learn something new when you are with them everyday.”

Donley said the most difficult part about his job is sometimes communicating with parents about their child’s injury.

“Sometimes they disagree with the care, but it rarely happens,” said Donley. “The parents don’t know me that well, so 98 percent of the time the parents are great and 2 percent of them want a second opinion, but most of the time they don’t have a problem.

“I?am definitely happy with my decision to pursue athletic training. Two days are never the same, you don’t know what to expect. I love sports and I?work with great people.”

Donley’s last day is July 31.

Jared Donley (left) tends to Danny Curnyn (right) during the 2007 football season.