The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

On and Off the Field, She Makes a Difference

Whether performing physical therapy or following up with injured players, Lex does it all
Walking+into+the+gymnasium%2C+Ms.+Alexia+Clark+was+surprised+by+student-athletes+as+she+is+presented+with+an+award%2C+rewarding+her+for+her+dedication+as+an+athletic+trainer.+Being+here+for+six+years%2C+she+has+helped+so+many+athletes+raise+her+heads+back+up.
Gaby Blanco
Walking into the gymnasium, Ms. Alexia Clark was surprised by student-athletes as she is presented with an award, rewarding her for her dedication as an athletic trainer. Being here for six years, she has helped so many athletes raise her heads back up.

Wondering why she needed to clock in so early, Ms. Alexia Clark, as known as Lex, entered the athletic training room at 9 a.m., her usual arrival time being 12 p.m. As the athletic director gave her a call, she made her way to his office, unsure of what to expect. Finally, Lex was redirected to open the door of the gymnasium, where she was greeted with applauses from a crowd of student-athletes and news channels.

In celebration of National Self-Care Month, Coral Gables Senior High’s very own athletic trainer Lex was honored with the “Making a difference ON and OFF the field” award on Sept. 27, given by Buddy’s Helpers. A national campaign running for the 93rd consecutive month since December 2015, this program has recognized school faculty members and staff throughout the U.S. who stand out, sometimes discovered from nominations by other school principals, just like in Lex’s case.

“I know Lex is extremely deserving of this award because she’s always helping others and making sure they get their recognition so it was time for her to get hers,” junior Valentina Tomas said.

Volleyball players came out to support Lex as she received the award, cheering her on. (Gaby Blanco)

To celebrate this achievement, local news channels such as NBC 6 and WSVN were invited to campus, eager to hear what her work specifically entailed. Gables was placed in the spotlight, a significant feat as it gave the school exposure on the hidden gems found within its walls.

As a soccer player and big fan of InterMiami, Lex was also rewarded with two tickets to the next game.

“Definitely an InterMiami fan, hard not to be a soccer fan when I played soccer and its been part of my life since I was three. It’s going to be an exciting experience, some of the physicians I work with are the physicians there so that is kind of exciting, seeing the medical side of the game,” athletic trainer Alexia Clark said.

As an advocate of self-care, she gives daily reminders to her students that drinking a bottle of water is not enough, with nutrition being equally as important, and this award, along with a donation made on her behalf to a charity organization of her choice, highlights her perseverance.

“Sometimes they are not customized to having those feelings [of looking out for their own health], especially so young. My job here is to kind of teach them as much about themselves as I can because they are going to be their biggest advocate. If I can teach them how to help [themselves], then it helps me,” Lex said.

An athletic trainer does not have a set end time to each day. If a game gets extended into extra time, Lex is always there, ready to lend a hand. Working mostly behind the scenes, she is sometimes the only health professional that students see throughout their high school career.

“Again it’s cool [for Lex to have received this award] and obviously I was just saying to your principal: people who did not know about Lex will now know about Lex, and people who knew about her will get an opportunity to truly say thank you,” director of Buddy’s Helpers Joe Trost said.

From a cramp to a serious concussion, Gables athletes make their first stop visiting her. Attending to the problem as soon as it arises brings the injured player reassurance, many times needed for their mental health, especially after getting sidelined.

Senior Julian Gonzalez shares with the news channels how his experience with Lex has motivated him to take better care of himself. (Gaby Blanco)

“My freshmen year, I had gone to her because I was sore and she was like “suck it up, you are out of shape” and she just told me to grow up. She is getting the recognition she deserves, she is a great athletic trainer,” senior Julian Gonzalez said.

Lex’s impact on the Gables athletic community is priceless; she goes above and beyond, even leading a program where she coaches students who are considering becoming athletic trainers in the future. They learn hands-on the job in all its forms, from carrying iced water jugs and learning how to treat an injured player to the most crucial, taking care of themselves.

“She told me to fight for what I love and if I truly want it and put in the effort for it, I can achieve what I set my mind to. She does not only help with sport related things, she makes sure that the athletic training students are doing well in every aspect: mentally, physically, academically and emotionally,” junior Tomas said.

Making her mark with the athletic community and student body, Lex has always been there and will continue to be. This award serves as a reminder of how her work will keep changing the lives of many.

“I was a very shy girl, I did not talk at all, and now I am a senior [athletic trainer] officer and that is because of her. She has helped me through everything and I just want to say how grateful I am,” senior Martina Gonzalez said.

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About the Contributors
Laura Ridoux, CavsConnect Co-Editor-in-Chief
Laura Ridoux is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program. This is her third year in CavsConnect and she is very excited to return as co-editor-in-chief to lead her staff into her last year of high school, with plans to make it the most memorable one yet. At Coral Gables Senior High, Laura is quite involved, being on the board of multiple clubs including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society, National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America, while serving as Treasurer for the Class of 2024. She never backs down from a challenge and is always looking to learn something new. Outside of school, Laura loves to travel, meet people from different backgrounds and take pictures with her Canon EOS Rebel T7. Overall, she is thrilled for this upcoming year and cannot wait to see what lies ahead for her.
Gaby Blanco, CavsTV Photography Editor
Gaby Blanco is a senior in the DEH academy at Gables. Being Gaby’s third year as the photography editor of CavsTV, she hopes to round off her year by winning awards for her work at FSPA and spreading her love for the hobby. Besides school, she enjoys playing and watching everything horror and going out with her friends as much as possible. Coming as a surprise to many people, Gaby actually wants to study Architecture in the future and not journalism! She has been studying architecture for the past 4 years, is certified, and hopes to pursue an education studying abroad after she graduates.
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