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The Perennial

Margarito Revamps Sports Med Program

Alexander McCormick

From taping wrists to helping players rehabilitate from serious injuries, Athletic Trainer Javier Margarito has spent his first year at Pinewood helping athletes perform at their best.

In the past year, Margarito has revamped Pinewood’s sports medicine capabilities, making notable changes to the sports medicine office and purchasing new equipment for student use.

Prior to Margarito’s arrival, Pinewood used a cramped closet inside of PE teacher Whitney Wood’s office for taping ankles and icing bruises. Since Margarito arrived at Pinewood, he has transformed what used to be athletic director Matt Stimson’s office into a proper training room with all the equipment a student-athlete may need.

 “It was one of the things that I pushed for and was really vocal about,” Margarito said. “I thought that to have a professional-level athletics program, it was essential to have a professional-level sports medicine program set up with a dedicated space.”

Over the past year, numerous student-athletes have made use of the new facilities, especially the upgraded equipment, to return from injury faster. 

Aside from revamping the facilities, Margarito has also made massive contributions to the recovery of student-athletes. Senior Oliver Quinn, who is on the football team, suffered from a partially torn MCL and patella tendon during a game earlier this year, and throughout his recovery process, Margarito has been with him every step of the way.

“As soon as I got hurt, Javi immediately recognized the problem and began to ice and wrap my knee,” Quinn said. “Realizing that my season was likely over, Javi comforted me about the situation and made sure that I knew all the details about what my recovery would be like.” 

In situations like these, Margarito, who played soccer in high school, is able to draw from his own athletic experiences and apply what he’s learned to help student-athletes.

I can relate to the athletes at Pinewood…even though it’s a little different in some aspects, athletes go through the same trials and tribulations,” Margarito said.

In high school, Margarito sustained minor sports injuries. His exposure to various rehabilitation methods introduced him to the world of sports medicine, where he met athletic trainer Jeff Tanaka, the future head athletic trainer for the Chicago Bulls, and kinesiology instructor Paul Starks. Margarito said the two mentors impacted him because whenever he needed guidance, he could go to them for advice.

“[Starks was] just always a good resource to ask when I would go back to alumni games or I would go back,” Margarito said. “He also had a big impact on my professional development.”

In Margarito’s first year at Pinewood, he’s done a lot to help student-athletes excel in their respective sports, and his goal moving forward is to continue to improve Pinewood’s sports medicine program.

“My goal was to get those kinds of things [sports medicine equipment] in, so that way we can maximize our potential here,” Margarito said. “I think there’s still things that we can do.”

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