Keeping local student-athletes sturdy |

Keeping local student-athletes sturdy

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailySteadman-Hawkins athletic trainer Kyle Prothro, left, checks 15-year-old Alex Whtney's blood pressure Wednesday.

VAIL ” At the Olympics, Dr. Bill Sterett made sure Lindsey Kildow and the rest of the U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team were healthy. At Battle Mountain High School, he helps makes sure Fiona Jeppson and the rest of the Battle Mountain Dance Team stay healthy.

And the football team. And the volleyball team. And all of the other student-athletes at local high schools.

Sterett and other doctors and athletic trainers at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic volunteer their time each year to go to hundreds of games and practices to care for athletes. They also welcome the student-athletes into their Vail clinic for help with injuries.

The Athletic Training Outreach Program covers Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley high schools, and local rec leagues.

Sterett, team doctor for the U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team and partner at Steadman-Hawkins, started the program 10 years ago. To him, working with high-school students is just as gratifying as working with a pro team.

“Because these are the kids I live in the community with,” he said.

On Wednesday, Sterett was one of several doctors and athletic trainers giving physicals to Battle Mountain athletes for the upcoming school year.

Sterett asked Jeppson, a junior, to stick out her tongue and to follow his finger through the air. He listened to her lungs and listened to her heart. She touched her toes so he could check for scoliosis. And he asked her to do a “duck walk,” walking in a crouch, to test her hips and knees.

Sterett gave her the green light to dance the year away.

“She is now officially clear for everything,” Sterett said.

Vision, height, weight, medical history, blood pressure and pulse readings were also part of the physicals Wednesday at Battle Mountain.

Students had to pay $10. Steadman-Hawkins donates the money back to the school to help with sports programs. The rest of the athletic-training services the clinic provides are free of cost to the school and students.

Athletes from certain sports like football, ice hockey and soccer got concussion tests, which provide a baseline to measure head injuries.

Jeremy Windham was getting ready to start his senior season as Battle Mountain’s quarterback.

But first he had to fully recover from his latest injury ” he’s had two knee surgeries and one shoulder surgery over the past two years, playing football, basketball and baseball.

“I had one (injury) for each sport,” he said.

The Steadman-Hawkins trainers and doctors have done a great job caring for his injuries, he said.

“They know everything and people come from all over to get their surgeries from these doctors,” he said.

Two-a-day practices start Monday, and Windham hopes to be able to play by the third game. He’s optimistic about the season, and maybe a playoff run.

“We’ll see,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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