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April 7, 2021 

Safe Sports School

Granbury High School athletic trainers are the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award for the second time. 

With a designation extending until October 2023, the 1st Team award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment. This marks the second time for GHS to receive the award, which was previously earned in 2015. 

Through the district-wide sports medicine program, athletic trainers Andy Rankin and Connie Rhodes support all Granbury ISD athletic programs at GHS as well as Acton Middle School and Granbury Middle School.  

“Granbury ISD is honored to receive this 1st Team recognition from NATA,” commented athletic director Dwight Butler.  “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices, and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.” 

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status, athletic programs must do the following: 

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Be sure athletes and parents are educated about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

“The health and safety of student athletes is critical as it has both immediate and long-term effects,” said NATA president Tory Lindley. “NATA created the ‘Safe Sports School Award’ to recognize and champion schools nationwide that are committed to enhancing safety in sports. We are proud to see the list of award recipients grow exponentially each year as schools see the immense value in holding themselves to best practices and policies that ensure a high standard of athlete care.” 

Rankin and Rhodes also supervise student athletic trainers, who learn and participate in prevention, care, first-aid, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Students put in a lot of hours – with daily direct training room duties and providing training coverage at assigned athletic events both at home and away competitions. 

“Student athletic trainers are an invaluable part of the GHS sports medicine program. Without their assistance we would not be able to provide the outstanding medical coverage to the GISD athletic teams,” stated Rhodes and Rankin.  “They also provide assistance to us by being our second sets of eyes, ears, and hands.   With this support, it allows us to perform the advanced tasks and procedures that are part of being a licensed athletic trainer.” 

Additional information is available on the GHS website at