With spring sports having officially started, McNick has welcomed athletic trainer Ryan Preston to the staff. Preston became head athletic trainer when previous trainer Mike McCafferty left. While Preston joined the Rocket staff about mid-way through this school year, there are still many students, parents, and community members who have yet to meet him.
Preston graduated from Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus before graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in athletic training in 2015. He then began working at Miami University (OH) where he worked with the field hockey and softball teams. Preston went on to Ohio University to receive his master’s degree in athletic training; he graduated from OU in 2018.
Before graduating from Ohio University, Preston was a seasonal intern for an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Preston worked with the Houston Astros Gulf Coast league team while working with the minor league medical coordinator. After receiving his master’s degree, he worked in Columbus for Nationwide Children’s Hospital at Liberty Union High School, 30 minutes west of Columbus.
Preston’s primary job at McNick is to keep athletes safe and playing the sports they love. “My primary job [is] preventing, diagnosing, evaluating, [and] rehabbing injuries for McNicholas athletics,” Preston said.
Preston’s favorite part about his job is the connections he makes with the athletes; enjoying and sharing successes of athletes and being there for them. “I get to stay in sports, which I grew up playing and loving, while still be being a part of the medical field,” Preston said.
Preston said he has found the move to McNick fun and entertaining and enjoys the vast choices of athletics at McNick as it is much different from the previous school where he worked. “Each person comes from a different walk of life, a different family, and has their own unique personality,” Preston said. “[It’s] so much bigger of a spectrum than someplace that I was used to working in the past,” Preston added.
At McNick, one of the core beliefs is being “bonded together.” This starts by having a welcoming community that will have each other’s backs no matter what and make everyone feel included. Even though Preston has worked at McNick for a short period of time, he enjoys the feeling of being home. “My favorite part about McNick so far is the feeling like I’m back home. I went to a Catholic high school growing up and this makes it feel like I’m back there, except I’m working instead of being a student,” Preston said.
“[McNick] has a small town feel where everybody knows everybody, and everybody is really tight knit,” Preston added.
While working as the athletic trainer for the Rockets supplies Preston with great opportunities, there are also challenges along the way. “I came from a high school that was much smaller than McNicholas is with a lot less athletes,” Preston said.
This spring, Preston has six different sports, with 11 different teams to learn who the coaches, athletes, and parents are.
“Thank you everyone so far for accepting me into this community and making my transition as smooth as possible. It’s been a blast getting to know everybody so far, and I can’t wait to get to know everybody else that I haven’t met yet,” Preston said.